With people back at work and school, and gradually returning to cities and urban areas, demand for multifamily living is on the rise once again. A combination of low rates, high construction costs, dwindling inventory and soaring single-family house prices has sparked the resurgence—and investors, builders, manufacturers, designers and tenants alike are benefiting.
Here are some of the themes and trends (and product solutions) we’re predicting will gain momentum in 2022, especially as it relates to flooring.
Health and wellbeing are paramount. More than ever, residents are focused on their physical and mental health—as they should be. They’re seeking healthier buildings with spaces that promote wellbeing. This goes beyond offering amenities like yoga rooms or outdoor recreation areas or paying closer attention to air filtration and lighting systems. Material selection with wellbeing in mind is increasingly important, and that means more than just meeting LEED, WELL and other eco certifications and declarations. That’s expected.
Wellbeing starts with well-made product – and well-made carpet starts with the fiber. Products like Dog Eared™ and Interlude™ that are manufactured with Bentley Premium™ Nylon are designed to perform, retaining texture and color even under the most challenging traffic. And because the yarns are engineered to naturally inhibit staining and soiling, there is no need for topical treatments that easily wear or wash off and can be harmful to the environment and indoor air quality.
Longevity is essential. Of course, multifamily building owners, and their architects and interior designers, want the spaces to look great day one when people move in. But they also want them to look just as great five years later when the next families move in. The carpet, everywhere, should still be pristine.
Keep in mind that traffic patterning is changing. More people are spending more time in their units and in common areas. There’s more rolling traffic in corridors too; more products are coming in and more deliveries are being made. Don’t overlook the entryways. Products like Bentley’s Rough Idea™ Shear not only holds up to the toughest street traffic but also serves to remove excess soil and moisture with every step, not only keeping the entry installation looking good but also protecting the rest of the floors with cleaner foot traffic.
Prioritize simplicity and flexibility—in everything.
Now that our homes, including urban apartments and campus dorms, are more than where we eat meals and sleep, there’s an increasing need for flexible spaces. For many of us, dining rooms and kitchens work as offices. Bedrooms double as virtual school/learning areas. Multifamily residents are wanting more open, multi-functional work/play spaces within their buildings, giving them the option to leave their unit and go downstairs for a Zoom meeting or simply for a change of scenery.
We’re craving more simplicity too, and flooring trends are delivering. Mid-century, modern wood is coming forward in LVT, for example. Likewise, the preferred patterning and installation methods are less herringbone and chevron and more straight-laid for a calming effect. The casual vibe that we’ve all gotten used to in the last couple of years isn’t going away.
Above all, make it look, and feel, like home. The thirst for residential influences in every kind of public space, including those in multifamily buildings, is a pursuit of warmth, accessibility and comfort.
Designing for multifamily living spaces is not an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all approach. There are so many factors and forces in play. At Bentley, we’re seeing an increase in broadloom installations across the country; EliteFlex™ 6-foot products are selling in major markets. Other markets are leaning in on LVT. The shared goal, especially when selecting flooring options for multifamily living, is creating a beautiful, comfortable atmosphere that evokes a sense of home while providing for the performance needs of commercial spaces.
For more about Bentley’s multifamily living solutions, check out this brochure.