Strong student housing market produces new decor styles
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The student housing market is looking stronger and stronger. The latest research report from Dallas-based data firm Axiometrics Inc. shows that this year and next will see some robust growth. 2015 is off to a strong start, with about 95 percent occupancy by April.
2016 looks even brighter with another 50,000 new beds to be added. While re-leasing is common, demands are particularly strong for new student housing apartments.
What naturally ensues from this growth is demand for better and nicer interior décor for the student housing sector. Traditionally, student housing décor has always meant low-budget projects. But professionals are giving it another look thanks to the rapid growth of the industry.
Many are focusing at student housing décor as an innovative challenge while others are creating a niche service just for the purpose. Let's take a look at the predominant décor trends that are ruling this young sector.
Innovation is the key to this burgeoning sector with strict budgets. To make most of these cost constraints, designers are steering towards brighter and bolder colors, accentuating a small space with little effort.
Color is cheap and is the easiest to match with different kinds of accessories. With very little time, money and effort, one can achieve a high-end look. Professionals recommend a 60-30-10 Rule here — 60 percent of a dominant, more neutral color, 30 percent of a secondary color and 10 percent for a bolder accent color.
Working around a budget has taken on a whole new meaning with interior design today, especially in student housing. Typically, the three rules of thumb for designers are plan ahead, fix the budget and stick to it. A wider approach is as follows:
a) A DIY-Décor partnership — Young designers are setting the trend for a new kind of partnership in their work. They are using their student-clients' existing talents like art, poetry, craftsmanship or photographs to decorate a room. It gives each of their projects a distinctly unique touch that cannot be replicated and offers a personalized touch to the room as well.
b) Stage-wise décor — Plan a step-by-step project instead of trying to decorate everything at once. This can stretch the budget and create a much richer style in the long run. Doing one room a one corner at a time also gives the student a better idea of space utilization and of priorities. What could have been a huge sofa space can probably work out better as a study/living area with lots of practical storage options.
c) Looking for bargains — Buying ready-made secondhand furniture is not a new concept for students. But this time they are doing with professional help who will apply their expertise to get the best of quality and style.
Designers love refurbishing. It provides an opportunity to show creativity instead of using new products to decorate a home. Re-purposing existing furniture or old design elements takes time and effort, but costs a fraction of what the new accessories or furniture will cost.
With some expert professional help, the student room can be completely transformed into a classy and chic apartment. Buying unfinished furniture without a top coating of paint or stain is a great way to start. You can get great quality pieces for a low price, and then work on it to finish it according to one’s personal style.
Heavy and ornate are the antithesis of what trendy means today. The art of minimalism is ruling the global interior décor industry. Choosing this style to decorate a student home not only brings in class to the space but also ensures staying on-budget.
The minimalist trend in this segment is defined by monochromatic and neutral colors, clean lines on furniture and cabinetry, use of natural materials, and unobtrusive and yet plentiful lighting. It also entails minimal use of accessories, with the ideal ones featuring one or two large statement pieces.
Lastly, students today are looking at chic spaces to socialize in. If it can be in their own home, they can be especially proud of it. An entertaining space with the right amenities and furniture is the top priority.
Designers are constantly coming up with out-of-the-box ideas for these types of spaces, from feature lighting, to foldable furniture for dancing space. Experiments include creating a gallery-like space for entertaining and socializing, street décor for a dynamic feel, and "corner studio"-esque spaces for studying.
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