Designing interior living spaces has changed significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and multi-family dwellings are no exception. Typically, multi-family homes are duplexes or small apartment complexes with four units or fewer—so, different from a single-family home but not quite on the scale of a large commercial property.

For builders and designers, this type of project offers a unique opportunity to think outside the box and experiment with different ideas and materials. Below are some of the top trends we have been seeing recently with multi-family home builds.

So long, cookie-cutter spaces. Hello, homey feels. 

The great thing about multi-family properties is that even though they house multiple units, the overall aesthetic is such that each unit can still have its own look and feel. Instead of a boilerplate apartment-like vibe, we are noticing a trend toward unique accents and additions that make individual units feel like home. Think custom countertops and backsplashes, motorized window treatments, and luxury flooring that offers both beauty and durability.

Space: The final frontier.

Nowadays, more people are working from home than ever before, and all signs point to this trend sticking around. That means builders and designers must rethink their use of space to accommodate a  new remote workforce. A designated home office with carpet tiles for sound insulation is ideal for homeowners with young children, but dual-purpose spaces are also becoming popular. Think home gym/home office or kitchen nook/homework area.

Expand beyond neutrals.

Drab off-whites and beiges have no place in the modern multi-family home. Instead, builders looking to attract buyers may want to consider eye-catching tile backdrops, colorful light fixtures, even mixing and matching metals in the kitchen and throughout. Play with different textures and materials, from cabinets and countertops to flooring, wallpaper, and window treatments.

Choose your materials wisely.

Many multi-family homes are rental properties, which means durability will be important when it comes to choosing the materials you use. The good news is that there are numerous cost-effective options that can withstand everyday wear and tear and hold up well over time. Examples include engineered stone countertops, carpet tiles (extremely easy to replace in case of staining or damage), and laminate and vinyl flooring.