Multifamily Design Trend Predictions for 2017

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By Childs Dreyfus / Published by Childs Dreyfus
An interior architecture firm predicts the top multifamily design trends for 2017.


Multifamily interior designers look forward to the beginning of every new year because they get the opportunity to predict design trends and find a way to incorporate them into their work. What should you expect if you plan on moving into a multifamily building this year? Here are the trends designers are expecting to see throughout the year: 

Smart Technology 

Many renters are willing to pay more for a unit with smart home features. Smart technology is often associated with Millennials, but the truth is even seniors are looking for these features, so this will definitely be a huge trend within the multifamily industry this year. Because many smart products are designed to reduce energy use, eco-conscious tenants will also be looking for these features before signing a lease. So what can you expect? Think door locks, lights, and thermostats that you can control from an app on your phone. 

Cerused Wood 

Hardwood has always been popular with renters and buyers, but this year it will be transformed with a new and exciting finish. Decades ago, cabinetmakers used a white pigment based lead known as ceruse to fill the grain of wood beams and create a unique finish. This trend is making a comeback—but don’t worry, cabinetmakers now use nontoxic substances instead of the original lead-based pigment. The contrast between the dark wood and light grain is incredible, and can complement many different looks. Light cerused wood looks natural with a slight rustic vibe, while dark cerused wood looks elegant and chic. 

Matte Appliances 

Stainless steel appliances may have a little competition now that many are predicting matte appliances will be popular in multifamily design this year. The shift to matte appliances may have been partly inspired by the popularity of hardware with shiny finishes. Designers can use matte appliances to balance the glossy look of a kitchen’s hardware. 

Large Windows 

Multifamily properties that are constructed this year may feature larger windows than usual. Larger windows are appealing to eco-conscious renters because they allow more natural light to stream into the unit, therefore reducing the need for electricity. Every unit won’t have floor to ceiling windows—but you should expect to see slightly larger windows that draw your focus to the incredible views. 

Finished Ceilings 

This year, designers will look at ceilings as the fifth wall in the room, and this trend is expected to take off because of its versatility. For example, white ceiling tiles can be used to add texture and create an art deco vibe in the room, while silver metallic tiles complement eclectic style apartments. On the other hand, a wood-beam ceiling works well in buildings that are aiming for a farmhouse or country vibe. As you can see, finished ceilings can take designers in many different directions depending on the style of the building. 

Unique Bathrooms 

Multifamily designers will pay more attention to bathrooms this year to create an unexpected surprise for tenants. To pull this off, designers can choose untraditional vanities, an interesting light fixture, or brass faucets with a matte finish instead of the standard silver or gold.

What trends do you think will make a splash in multifamily housing this year? Are you excited about any of the trends on the list above? Share your thoughts in the comments below!