Pup parents know the sight — the adorable image of your furry friend relaxing in the sunshine and indulging in one of life’s simplest pleasures. They might want a water break, or simply the chance to recharge before embarking upon their next zoomie run. Either way, it’s safe to say that dogs love the sunshine — and their parents love sharing it with them!
Fido may be on your mind more than usual now that we’re approaching the “dog days of summer” — the final, lingering stretch of warm weather before fall arrives. And if you’re opening or renovating a multifamily community or off-campus student housing, it’s important to understand today’s young pet parents — because there’s a lot of them. According to a 2016 Mintel survey featured in The Washington Post, 71% of men aged 18-34 had dogs, and 62% of women in the same age group did, too. 75% of respondents also said they were likely to “splurge” on their pets’ needs — and surely that applies to housing, right?
While simple grassy spaces and bare-bones dog parks might have sufficed for past generations of pooches, many of today’s dogs (or, rather, their owners) crave something a little more elaborate. Just like parents have always wanted playgrounds for their kids, pet parents want just as much enrichment for their four-legged little ones! Fortunately, an experienced clubhouse design firm can help make your multifamily or student community even more attractive to prospective residents. Just read on to see a few fun features worth considering.
Proud pet parents love to watch their dog climb, run, jump, and scoot their way through a complicated agility course — especially if it’s right in their backyard! Obstacle course features help keep dogs mentally and physically stimulated. A clever, function-minded use of space gives pet parents plenty of room to work out with their dog, even if you don’t have an enormous field to work with.
Hydration & Waste Stations
Other functional features — like a hydration station for H2O, or a handy pet waste receptacle — make your space even more accommodating to pooches and their parents.
A variety of landscapes — from a gentle slope or tunnel, to a flat, grassy relaxation zone — can help you make even more out of your community’s outdoor space. It also adds visual interest! Pet parents and non-pet parents alike can appreciate the focal point of a lively, verdant gathering spot.
Historically, pets and multifamily communities haven’t always seemed like the best bedfellows — and, true, dogs aren’t necessarily the cleanest members of the household. But with these features, you won’t just be attracting happy pet parents — you’ll be giving their four-legged friends room to roam and play somewhere other than their apartment! Talk about a win-win situation.
These ideas are fun to execute, especially if you’re a pet lover yourself — but don’t feel the need to do it alone! In fact, Mood Interior Designs can help you plan a pet-friendly outdoor space at every step of the way: from research to determine the best additions for your area, to designing and installing your pet wonderland! Just contact us today to learn more. We can’t wait to work with you.
When you hear “third place,” your mind might jump to the Olympics, or, say, your elementary school spelling bee. But what if the term actually held the key to creating a successful multifamily or off-campus community people want to call home?
Sociology professor Ray Oldenburg coined the concept of a third place in 1989 — defining it as a place that isn’t home (the first place) or work (the second place) but is a “neutral ground” that promotes conversation as the main pastime. Other activities are more than welcome in these kinds of spaces, though — like sharing food, or playing games with friends!
The third place could be somewhere like a coffee shop or park — a place that’s easy to access and convene in, with a laidback, friendly atmosphere. (Now, you’re starting to realize why so many of your favorite sitcom friend groups regularly gather in a café, bar, or diner, right?)
While the concept of a third place has existed for more than three decades, it makes sense why you might be hearing more about it these days. With countless people working or studying from home over the past few years — and many of those remote arrangements continuing on a permanent or hybrid basis — many may feel like they’ve lost the built-in reason to visit their preferred third place, as they aren’t leaving home as often.
But there is an upside. If you are opening or remodeling a multifamily community or off-campus student complex, you have the unique opportunity of crafting a third place for your future residents! From amenity-packed community clubhouses, to vibrant outdoor gathering areas, third places don’t just serve as attractive perks for potential renters — they actively improve society, too.
So, what might go into a third place in your multifamily or student community? Here are just a few potential options to consider.
Comfy Sofas & Community Seating
From overstuffed sofas to breezy, resort-style hammocks, your third place — whether it be inside, outside, or both — should be appointed with fun, stylish furniture that invites residents to kick back and relax! As residents tour the property before potentially moving in, these features will prove that your multifamily community is just that — a community! — and not just a complex of individual apartments, where renters are limited to the amenities they have in their specific unit.
Let’s face it — we’re all kids at heart. Your third place is the perfect opportunity to give residents a chance to unwind and have some fun. This might mean anything from a movie theater, to a gaming room, to ping-pong table... you name it!
You’ve probably heard the expression about “leaving a light on” — aka, letting your loved ones know that you’re home and available to see them! The same idea applies to the community clubhouse. During operating hours, the right lighting can beckon residents in as they pass by or even get their mail — turning a seemingly mundane around-the-house errand into an opportunity for friends and laughter.
Signs Of Life
To give your third place that welcoming, lived-in quality even after the lease-up period, consider incorporating elements like houseplants, a community bulletin board, magazines, board games, and other small but impactful touches that remind residents: life is happening here, and you can be a part of it!
You can’t go wrong with a classic, cozy fireplace — or, outside, fire pit — to create a familiar vibe in your community clubhouse!
Layout, Layout, Layout
In real estate, they say that “location, location, location” is the most important factor — and while that definitely holds true in our experience, we’d also argue that “layout, layout, layout” is equally important when it comes to crafting a third place. As much as a community gathering space should be about big, welcoming furniture, it should also be arranged in a way that invites people to stop in and say “hi” to a friend, or to plop down for a conversation around a perfectly crafted seating nook.
Many otherwise lovely community clubhouses may inadvertently steer residents away from the so-called third place, simply due to awkwardly arranged furniture or other barriers (like the living space being tucked away at the end of a long hallway). Fortunately, Mood doesn’t just deal with staging your space with beautiful furniture — we also help you chart out the perfect floorplan for your unique property! One that effortlessly fosters that sense of belonging.
We hope that these ideas help you realize the power of a third place in your one-of-a-kind community. Now that you understand the importance — and opportunity! — of such a space, let Mood Interior Designs help you craft it. Our turnkey team of passionate design professionals can guide you through every step of the process, from conducting research on the most popular amenities in your area, to taking care of FF&E ourselves! Just contact us today to learn more.
From the comfort of the air conditioned inside - outside is so pretty, spacious and full of fresh air adventures. When warm weather rolls in, cooped up residents start spending time out and about, slathering themselves in sunscreen and bug spray and plunking ping pong balls into red solo cups of warm beer. So how do property teams dust off the outdoor furniture to accommodate these warm weathered activities?
Outdoor amenity spaces don’t have to dominate the entire CapEx budget - but they often look like they do. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a poolside lounger that feels upscale and relaxed. But small design details, like hanging bistro lights on pergolas or branding cornhole boards can help refresh the space.
The design and upkeep of any outdoor amenity space is a big responsibility for the property management team. Weather is no friend to FF&E, and yet - with the help of commercial designers that understand the importance of finish and fabric selections, procuring for outdoor spaces doesn't have to be an annual event.
Question of the day: Will your outdoor amenity furniture live beyond the summer? Below are 3 design tips that will ensure your outdoor furniture thrives for many summers to come.
1. Fabrics & Finishes
Outdoor spaces demand both style and durability. Design is critical, but those designs must last through the heavy use and rigorous weather that outdoor spaces require. Fabrics and finishes come in a variety of colors, textures, prints, and brands but not all fabrics and finishes are engineered to the specific challenges of high traffic, open-air environments. Interior Designers work with their vendors to bring beautiful, soft and durable textiles to busy outdoor spaces.
2. Clean and Durable
Although high-quality outdoor furniture won’t grow mold, it can still get dirty. Making sure the furniture is easy to clean is key in keeping the maintenance staff happy. Any dirt or grime that gets on the surface can easily be wiped off with a wet cloth or sprayed down with a standard garden hose.
All outdoor furniture should be stored in an upright position to allow for proper water drainage. Storing furniture upside-down may cause water to accumulate (and in the wintertime, freeze) inside the frame, causing serious structural damage that is not usually covered by warranty.
When procuring FF&E, know your warranties!. Better yet, keep a physical file of warranty information. Full warranties are uncommon with commercial furniture. They are an unlimited product performance guarantee that effectively lasts forever. It’s like a no questions asked policy - which won’t fly in a housing environment.
Limited Warranty are subject to manufacturer determined limits - like a 10-year limited warranty. For example, the standard aluminum frame on a pool lounger has a 5 year warranty - which would cover things like the finish peeling or blistering off. Within the 5 years, the manufacturer would replace, repair, or refinish the frame in the original color and style. Think of how much time and money would be saved at Turn if warranties were engaged!
Outdoor amenity spaces and FF&E can be a beast to manage if you don’t have the right guidance at the procurement stage. If you’re not sure how to budget, design, or refresh your outdoor amenity space, consider consulting with Mood Interior Designs.