In the blink of an eye, the UK Build to Rent (BTR) sector has shot from embryo to foetus to rampaging toddler.
Though still in its infancy – compared, say, with our broad-shouldered American cousins – there are several British BTR developers who have emerged from this nationwide growth spurt fully fledged, bearded, and leading the pack.
What makes a BTR development stand head and shoulders above the rest?
It’s simple(ish): A friendly and hardworking management team. State-of-the-art facilities. Great value for money. Cracking location. And – here’s where we come in – intelligent and beautiful design.
To compromise on any one of these areas is to risk dissatisfied tenants, bad reviews, low occupancy rates and depleted profits.
Give tenants what they want
Learn from the best
Here’s how we did it
According to Savills, most UK BTR tenants are aged between 26 and 40. This is a sustainability-conscious generation who are willing to pay more for products and services from socially responsible brands. Which makes sustainable both ethical and profitable.
By far one of the easiest ways to be sustainable is to invest in products that are both timeless and durable. This is crucial when designing for BTR, as developers won’t want the financial burden of having to replace furniture every couple of years.
A chair, for instance, must be capable of weathering structural stress. And fabrics need to be carefully chosen for their thread count, weave tightness, colourfastness and stain resistance. Beauty and strength – these are your guiding principles for a sustainable, long-lasting and cost-effective BTR design.
Sounds pricey – but when there are vast spaces to fill, designing and making a lot of the furniture yourself saves money. At 10 George Street, this tailored approach helped us to create an ownable look while keeping an eye on quality and cost.
We made regular trips to the manufacturers to ensure that our designs hit the sweet spot of comfort, durability and affordability. We listened out for squeaks and creaks. Tested different cushioning. And handpicked textiles that wouldn’t easily damage.
At Angel O’Donnell, we champion the importance of flexible, multi-fabulous spaces in attracting a switched-on community. To capitalise on square footage, your aesthetic must work from sunrise to sunset. It can’t give out club vibes while people work or enjoy a morning coffee. Equally, it can’t feel like the set of This Morning once people have downed tools and ordered a bottle of rosé. Balance it right and your communal spaces can segue seamlessly between work, rest and play with just the flick of a light switch.
Create Insta moments
Social media creates an opportunity to leverage the uniqueness of the BTR experience. So by incorporating ‘photo hotspots’ into your design, you’ll encourage tenants to shoot, share and build a viral occupancy that will attract like-minded people
Use recognisable design classics
We created snappable moments with Patricia Urquiola’s playful Fishbone tables and sculptural Nub chairs, Jonathan Adler’s decorative Menagerie Horse and Shark sculpture, Emma Finch’s abstract ceramics and Kit Miles’ nature-inspired cushions.
Mix up your art
Knowing that we would be appealing to an international crowd, we sourced an array of pieces from around the world. Brightly coloured collages, fizzing pink neons, shiny metal shapes folded Uri Geller style. Each space was embellished with statement pieces, providing fun backdrops for group selfies and mass tagging.
Make the most of your outdoor space
10 George Street has a stunning terrace, which we filled with enormous circular daybeds, giant cabanas, sleek lounge chairs and lush greenery. Again, this gives tenants the luxury they deserve and with it, a load of photo ops.