It can be tempting to jump on the latest interior design trends when renovating your investment property. However, just because Farrow and Ball’s colour of the year is big now, doesn’t mean your tenant or purchaser will feel the same six months to a year down the line. It also doesn’t mean that it will be to their taste.
Instead of focusing on trends, look at what lasts, what’s timeless, what’s practical to an extent but what will also give you a stunning base for you to easily adapt to any trends or client choices with soft furnishings and decorative items.
Here are my top five tips for things to consider that will offer tangible benefit to your property portfolio...
1. Great design never gets old
Trends tend to come and go whereas time-honoured classics are always in style. Architectural interiors don’t tend to date easily and will stand the test of time – keep the structure neutral and it will become part of the building and blend in seamlessly.
However, don’t feel like just because you’re renovating a 200-year-old barn conversion or farmhouse that you must have a traditional kitchen, for instance.
If your taste, or more importantly your client’s taste, is more contemporary, that’s fine. Modern, minimalist furniture, good quality materials, like oak and stainless steel, and neutral colours of black, white and grey will always work well together and won’t date.
The key is to keep all the detailing simple on the doors and frames with clean lines and not too much fuss.
2. It’s better for the environment
The high street and online retailers love to push trends because it helps to boost sales, but this just fuels the throwaway mentality. Iconic items of furniture can be pricey, but they can last for years and weather the storm of multiple tenants.
Plus, if you think of them as one-off purchases, they are comparable to the cost of lots of cheaper items added up over the years. When choosing furniture in particular, look back to the mid-century designers, for example, and the classic pieces of furniture they designed.
Take the Eames Lounge Chair, for instance – this was created in the 1950s but the look is timeless. Bang & Olufsen is another example – while the technology has obviously changed, the style of their equipment hasn’t altered in all the years they’ve been making it and it looks just as good now as it did then.
3. Your bank balance will thank you
Especially when it comes to the big-ticket items in the property, like kitchens and bathrooms, you’ve got to think about longevity.
Just because you’ve seen dark green kitchen cabinetry getting plenty of likes on Instagram and you love the look right now, ask yourself whether your client will be quite so keen on it in five years’ time, and more importantly, if it really suits the space and flow of the house.
Remember avocado bathroom suites? They were the height of cool in the 1970s, but soon became synonymous with bad taste. These are expensive things to redo, and costly in terms of time and inconvenience.
4. You can adapt easily when you have a great background to work with
If you have invested in a quality timeless kitchen and a good quality bathroom, the other items which make a property feel more homely can easily be adapted and changed to suit your potential tenant or future owner.
It’s far easier to style a home for a family then switch to a young corporate couple with throws and well-placed art than it is to change the larger scale and high-priced items.
5. You’ll develop your own statement style
If you’re planning on renovating multiple properties, the chances are you’ll develop your own sense of style that runs throughout your portfolio.
This also helps with cost in the long run, meaning you can buy larger quantities of your chosen paint colours, tiles and flooring which can be used in future builds or renovations.
By sticking to neutral colours and timeless finishes, they’ll work in any home meaning less waste and more re-use.
*David Conlon is founder and head designer of en masse bespoke interiors, specialising in high-end residential projects.