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CDG – branding through interior design

There’s no place like home—especially when that place is Chicago, the country’s architectural beacon and the long-time headquarters of the Childs Dreyfus Group.

“We have continued to expand to New York and New Jersey, Boston, Florida, Alabama, Texas, California and the Carolinas, but there will never be anywhere quite like Chicago, our home, our corporate headquarters and our backyard,” said Childs Dreyfus Group President Rene Pabon. “Your local team, CDG delivers value in interior architecture to spark authentic living—the perfect match for the architecture capital of the world. We have been leading the way for more than 60 years and couldn’t be prouder to be affiliated with this inspirational and aspirational city.”

Most recently, CDG was selected to drive the interior design for the 4600 N. Marine Drive development in Uptown. The property, currently a surface parking lot, will consist of a 12-story residential building with 314 units, not to mention luxury features and a terrific location. In addition to amazing architectural details inspired by the city itself, the new site will feature a green roof, EV charging stations, and a CTA / Uber ride digital transit display.

Creating better, more impactful places to live and work, Childs Dreyfus Group engages the power of architecture through interior design to promote communities and lay the foundation for new emerging lifestyles focused on health, environmental impact and convenience.

At CDG, sustainability is not a trend—it’s a commitment.

With a clear focus on sustainability and wellness living, the interior design and architecture firm crafts sustainable spaces for our clients and our team. We believe people should be able to invest in themselves and the places they live and work, supporting healthier living and long-term wellness and sustainability on a reasonable budget.

Interior living and exterior experiences come together in CDG’s interior design projects, with features such as landscape walkways, extended outdoor living and the small touches that add up in a big way for health and wellness.

Going beyond rooftop solar panels and living, green walls, we are reinspired by some of our newest green projects. Nutura, for instance, melds nature and nurture in a one-of-a-kind Gainesville, Florida multi-family project. With expansive gardens, woods, trees and mindfully curated architecture, Nutura invites the outside in to create a sense of peace, serenity and place. In a recent Colorado project, every detail was environmental, from the spacious community garden to the EV charging stations.

At our Alabama mid-rise, dreams are becoming reality as we develop a facility to support locally grown food. And in our upcoming New York and New Jersey spaces, we are focused on health and wellness, including smoothie stations, fit bars and living walls that bring mind-body and soul to the forefront of experiential living.

Closer to home in the Prairie Ridge development in Park Ridge, an adaptive reuse project repurposes an existing structure for new use—in this case we are recreating a three-story office building to highlight productivity, ergonomic furniture and smart living. We proudly support clients who make net-zero living a realistic goal.

As a LEED-certified firm, sustainability is designing on-site gardens with attention to community areas. It’s extraordinary outdoor dining spaces and indoor facilities that bring a new meaning to farm-to-table in mid-rise communities. It’s about supporting health and wellness in our offices. And ultimately, it’s all about quality of life.

National, Regional, Local: Think Global and Live Local

The past two years have taught us that we can live and work anywhere, that we miss global travel and that exploration can occur in our daily environment. Taking a broad approach to transformational design and narrowing down design concepts based on end-users’ values, lifestyles and backgrounds makes it easy for CDG to “think global and live local.”

A national leader employing individuals with a diverse global and regional expertise, The Childs Dreyfus Group shares local culture and style in each innovation. With revolutionary design empowered by technology and vision, CDG demonstrates how and why design matters. We turn vision into action into lifestyles.

It starts with our NATIONAL approach: Our national workplace and living place ecosystem spans states and borders. We know how to design for each market across the country with an acute understanding of the national climate.

It reaches REGIONAL markets: We hone our national approach to curate interior design, architectural and large-scale projects for the demographics, desires and needs of each region. We thoughtfully take regional culture and markets into consideration to create value and interest.

It is always LOCAL: With design that incorporates local small businesses and strengthens neighborhoods, CDG cares about each community we build and grow in, performing extensive field research that incorporates local culture in every single design.

From national state-of-the-art technology to strong regional interior design to luxury local project management, we deliver across a multitude of states, regions and demographics.

“At CDG, we connect every design with experience to transform spaces, create community and honor culture across every market we serve,” said Childs Dreyfus Group President Rene Pabon.

Leasing Launches For Station Bay At 1000 Schindler Drive In South Amboy, New Jersey

Leasing has launched for Station Bay, a residential community at 1000 Schindler Drive in South Amboy, New Jersey. Developed by BNE Real Estate Group, the property is located near the Raritan Bay waterfront, which will soon feature a ferry terminal with service to and from New York City.

The complex includes a portfolio of 291 rental apartments. Floorplans range from studios to two-bedroom spreads, all of which feature nine-foot ceilings, in-unit washer-dryers, wine storage, and full-height kitchen backsplashes. Select residences will also include private outdoor space.

Amenities at Station Bay include a lobby lounge with a coffee bar, multiple lounges, a co-working lounge with private meeting rooms, a sports simulator, a screening room, a children’s playroom, a pet spa, on-site parking, and a Matrix Fitness Club. Outdoor amenities include two sprawling courtyards, a swimming pool with private cabanas, fire pits, an outdoor bar, private barbeque and dining areas, and a dog run.

“After years in the making, we are beyond excited to open our doors at Station Bay, which represents a significant first step in establishing South Amboy as one of New Jersey’s most sought-after residential destinations,” said Jonathan Schwartz, partner at BNE. “We believe that our convenient transit-friendly location, waterfront setting, and amenity-rich lifestyle will quickly resonate with renters from New Jersey and beyond.”

CDG: Your Trusted Interior Design Partner from Coast to Coast

When it comes to impactful design and profitable results, everything matters.

Technology matters. Culture and locality matter. Reliable financial strength matters. Spatial planning matters. Function and form both matter.

It’s imperative that your ID team recognizes and understands local culture in every space it designs and creates. Invite in the beauty and creativity of local murals and artworks, the vivid world of local light installations, and the best local brokers and dealers to honor each building and neighborhood’s local culture. Well-done living spaces should look different in Florida, New York City and North Carolina, and in smaller towns than bigger cities because they are based on culture and authenticity and future residents’ varying needs.

As renters and owners both seek to remain connected no matter where they are, technology matters more than ever and we place a premium on hot furniture, keyless entry, smart walls and seamless connectivity throughout all of our private and public spaces. Technology also integrates safety features important in the post-Covid-19 era, allowing more touchless and keyless functions than ever before. Life moves fast and your living space should help you respond and connect at the same speed.

Experience also matters, particularly during challenging or uncertain conditions. The Childs Dreyfus Group thrives, thanks to our strong connections to architectural firms, venture capital groups, development teams and more, who come together to create outstanding living environments and experiences.

As a dedicated partner across industries and across the country, The Childs Dreyfus Group knows that connectivity matters, that integration matters and that innovation matters. Our clients, however, matter the most, which is why we continue to design, spark ideas and welcome the next generation in interior design. If you are looking for a trusted design partner, The Childs Dreyfus Group would love to help turn your vision into reality.

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

First impressions matter. Buyers, tenants and developers often make lasting decisions based on the first few seconds they see a new place or site. They can make the difference between “show me more” and “I think we’ll pass on this one.”

In the era of Covid-19, they expect to see safety measures. In a world of high-tech, they anticipate custom technology with ease of function. And in the vein of “think globally, act locally,” they admire thoughtful local touches that make a meaningful first impression.

Fortunately, great design can create that welcoming, enticing first impression, ushering in potential clients from the front door through the lobby and into a building’s every nook and cranny. While small spaces and corners are often overlooked by development teams, an ID team can collaborate with you to incorporate thoughtful details and functions into every corner, offering outlets in common furniture or installing sports simulators, for example. These unique touches add up to heightened interest, improved occupancy, and positive reviews.

A memorable first impression begins with the right lighting and a sense of aspiration. Amenities such as firepits and pools, cityscapes and private spaces, discoverability and local culture should incorporate both human-centered technology and personal touches. Community spaces are more important than ever, so lobbies, shared areas, and conference rooms must help to sell potential tenants on the beauty and utility of a space.

If you want help in establishing the right impression from the very first moment, The Childs Dreyfus Group can help you create well-designed spaces that sell safety, technology, culture and community for the perfect first impression.

Smart Design for Living, Working and Playing

Today, we often live, work and play in the same place. Our office is just down the hall from the bedroom, which is just a short elevator ride from the community room where we socialize. To maximize the ability to live well, work effectively and play comfortably, smart design centers around strategic planning to create spaces where design and functionality intersect with ease.

Ultimately, smart design supports holistic, healthy living, working and playing, not to mention the transitions back and forth from work to play to rest.

When it comes to living spaces, Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant can all come together to create a connected environment, where your coffee is always fresh, your floor is vacuumed, and your alarms are set. Our smart design prioritizes accessible, universal technology.

For those working from home, smart design gives you the ability to take a call on the move and to quickly connect with clients across the globe. It ensures that the latest technology works no matter where you are or where you want to go next.

When it comes to play, you can enjoy a golf simulator in one area, an intentional and innovative playroom in another and Landscaping and outdoor spaces also make it easy to take the party outside.

Everyday conveniences such as

keyless entry, refrigerated package rooms, and smart walls with the latest events, weather and public transportation schedules bring smart design into daily activities to create both connection and ease.

Anticipating your journey through work, play and community interactions, The Childs Dreyfus Group leads with smart design, smart connections and smart living spaces. Contact us for more information on smart design for savvy living.

Smart Design Promotes Physical, Academic and Mental Health

As most students across the country head back to school—in person, this year—more developers are taking a closer look at the unique needs of student housing. Students want design, functionality and comfort in equal measure – with consideration paid to community spaces, private study areas, workout facilities and trend-setting aesthetics. These spaces for living, studying and socializing can contribute to the holistic student success.

While pools and clubhouses are still enjoyed and appreciated by students across the country, student housing today must incorporate ample study nooks, indoor-outdoor access, and quiet spaces that appeal to students’ academic demands and personal wellness. Balancing the need for peace and quiet to study with amenity spaces that promote socializing needs to be both techy and welcoming. Spaces need to incorporate ergonomics, the right acoustics and a sense of a home-away-from-home—all designed to set up students to network and connect with each other to create a sense of belonging—for the optimum college experience.

From colleges and universities to off-campus student housing, The Childs Dreyfus Group understands this demographic thanks to our long-time commitment to student housing and our vast experience in this vertical. The spaces we design allow residents to connect socially and technologically with other residents because the thoughtful details we put into each room, nook and walkway create an authentic experience. Our architectural interiors help build a sense of community and create meaningful connections that last well past graduation.

The Childs Dreyfus Group has orchestrated high design for higher education for over two decades and would be happy to share our expertise with you. Contact us for more information on the latest in keeping students safe, engaged and inspired.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence is Here – And it’s Powered by Smart Design

The future of interior design is smart and sustainable. It incorporates thoughtful, meaningful technology in both community and private spaces as well as sophisticated design that is driven by innovation and community. Connectivity in buildings of all sizes—particularly for active adults—brings technology to life and enhances the entire living experience.

With custom algorithms to reduce lead time and grow your competitive advantage, artificial intelligence in design creates value for buildings of all sizes. From remote security and keyless entry to refrigerated areas for daily food delivery that property managers and tenants can control remotely, technology supports a variety of unique consumer needs, ensuring safety, efficiency, ease and visibility.

Active adults particularly prize the ability to connect with friends and family. Residential communities and buildings that offer indoor and outdoor activities with the support of high-end technology create the perfect balance of adventure and enjoyment for residents.

The Childs Dreyfus Group synergistically integrates state-of-the-art software with the human touch to push the envelope on design, enhance user experience, and support environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) goals. Residents now have the ability to plug in anytime, anywhere with charging docks in “hot furniture” that provide ongoing access to technology. Likewise, transit screens give residents access to view local transportation spots, including train times and Uber pick-up locations. It’s all about AI-enabled intuitive design that benefits planning, building and everyday living in community spaces.

Ultimately, best-in-class design incorporates AI and a forward-thinking approach as the hallmarks of interior design for the future. If you would like support in reimaging and designing multi-family or mixed-use spaces for today and tomorrow, The Childs Dreyfus Group can help you incorporate technology for smart, sustainable spaces.

Gen Z Expects A+ Spaces to Live, Work and Play

The most diverse and educated generation in the United States today, according to the Pew
Research Center, Generation Z does not recall a world without smartphones, YouTube or
Snapchat. This unique group has high expectations for themselves—and the places they call
In particular, Gen Z looks for modern, functional and high-tech spaces that artfully combine work
and play in one comfortable and innovative curation. With about 68 million members of this
creative, competitive generation living in the United States, college and university housing
developers are paying closer attention to their interests
Displaying an overall preference for urban living, Gen Z members are outspoken about their need
for technology that is integrated into everyday living and playing. From private study nooks to
party rooms, the best of college living today incorporates school spirit and personal touches. Gen
Z also looks for effortless indoor-outdoor access, easy-to-access technology built into furniture
and comfortable lounging areas.
With our long-time specialization in on- and off-campus student housing, The Childs Dreyfus
Group has deep experience in crafting meaningful, useful and eye-catching housing for this key
market. We help our clients grow their businesses and enjoy a strong return on investment by
connecting with this important demographic. Our thoughtful design is driven by technology,
community and the students who live and play in the spaces we create. If you are looking to
design or update student housing, we’d be happy to share our passion for fun, functional and
exceptional spaces for students.

3 Reasons For-Sale Developers Should Break Ground Now

Project sponsors can move up their timelines due to these market dynamics, according to David Wolf of Wolf Development Strategies.

With the condo market gaining steam in an already sizzling housing market, the race is on for developers looking to get shovels in the ground and capitalize on historically low inventory, as well as demand for larger floorplans, private outdoor space and other features that have become must-haves in new construction.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 720,000 units in April, up 84.6 percent from April 2020. Prices are trending up as well, with the median existing condo price at $300,400 in April, up 12.6 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Yet despite a strong sales market, lenders have set high benchmarks for pre-sales that often keep construction from moving forward as quickly as current demand necessitates. As a result, there’s an imbalance in the market as buyers seek out new product in markets where few options exist.

But developers have a real chance to alleviate this tension by breaking ground with less than a typical percentage of units pre-sold or no pre-sales at all—so that the start of construction is timed closely with the launch of sales and marketing.

Traditional hurdles to starting construction earlier can be navigated with the right strategy, and bringing projects to market quicker ultimately helps developers achieve stronger sell-through.

Market dynamics at play should incentivize developers to move up their construction timelines for the following three reasons:

Lower Pre-Sale Requirements, Less Competition

Waiting is simply not a winning strategy in the current market. Although construction sites remained open during the pandemic, many projects that had not yet broken ground were paused, meaning developments that break ground today will face less competition upon completion.

Moreover, developers that start construction ahead of schedule can effectively minimize their pre-sale requirement by bringing more equity or collateral to the deal. Most lenders want between 35 percent and 50 percent of units sold before they will fund the construction loan. But with more skin in the game, developers can lower this percentage, especially if they have a strong track record and existing relationship with the lender.

Quicker Sell-Throughs

From a real estate perspective, a silver lining of the pandemic was that everyone developed a greater appreciation for their home—or, in some cases, a better understanding of what they want in a new home. As a result, the housing market broke records in terms of sales and sale prices. That momentum carried into 2021, yet many would-be buyers were stymied by record-low inventory, prompting some to shift their focus from resale to new construction.

Even with the best sales tools, it can be difficult to sell buyers on a building that does not yet exist. Construction activity not only instills confidence but also shortens the window between contract signing and move-in. Our research shows developers can anticipate selling units about 25 percent faster if sales commence with construction. And as units move closer to delivery, the pace of sales often accelerates, especially if the homes are effectively marketed as “new construction without the wait.”

Sales and Marketing Advantage

When a deal is in motion and construction has started, there’s a greater opportunity to broaden your sales and marketing reach. The reality is that a project that’s viewed as in the concept stage will get less attention from other buyer agents. But once construction has started, the game changes among cooperating agents who become more likely to introduce clients to your listing, and referrals are the key to any successful sell-through.

In fact, we’ve found the announcement of a groundbreaking creates a bump in traffic and sales for a for-sale development—and there’s an even greater bump in sales six months out from units delivering.  

With the market realities in clearer focus as vaccinations continue and reopening plans take shape, developers should capitalize on the fleeting opportunity they have to break through by breaking ground now. Those who do this give themselves a competitive advantage as the U.S. economic recovery gains momentum and a new wave of residential development begins to take shape.

David Wolf is president and CEO of
Wolf Development Strategies.

Garvies Point

Stretching along the northern banks of Glen Cove Creek, all the way from Mosquito Cove to Pratt Park, Garvies Point is a new Long Island Community. The neighborhoods have a quiet, homey feel, yet they’re also in the heart of the action. There will be 28 acres of retail and restaurant space, housing, playgrounds, walking paths, a boardwalk, beaches, and plenty of natural, public space. Today we’ll talk about everything residents and visitors will experience in this charming community with resort-style amenities.

The Area’s History

Go all the way back to 1827. It was at that time that Dr. Thomas Garvie entered into an agreement with Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1827 to establish steamboat service between NYC and Glen Cove. The goal was to establish the area as one of Long Island’s most popular summer resort towns with historic figures like J. P. Morgan and F. W. Woolworth building estates there.

While it did take off, the area would soon become more of an industrial destination with companies like Duryea Starch Works and Ladew Leather Works Manufacturing setting up shop. Li Tungsten Corporation, a tungsten producer that closed for good in 1985, would be the area of focus for the redevelopment project.

Plans to return Garvies Point to its former splendor date back to 2002, but the housing crash and other issues caused numerous delays. It would take until 2016 for a New York Supreme Court judge to toss out two lawsuits and allow progress to finally continue. Construction started in 2017. It’s a big project, but when it’s done, Garvies Point will be an amazing place to live, work, and play.

Shaping the Community

The goal here isn’t to turn it into an area only for residents. It’s meant to be a community that’s just as welcoming to visitors as it is to its residents. A brand new ferry terminal makes it easy for people to escape the city and spend time on the beach, in a nature park, or strolling the boardwalk.

For those who want to make Garvies Point their home, condo units and apartments in The Beacon, Harbor Landing, and Village Square will provide plenty of housing options that are surrounded by restaurants, shops, and nature. No one is forgetting the area’s beauty. In keeping with that focus on the environment, The Beacon’s condominiums will be LEED-certified.

Experience Local Culture

One of the goals of Garvies Point is to create a community and not just another town. Residents and visitors enjoy a place where they’re welcomed to enjoy the beauty of the area together. An outdoor amphitheater is just one of the highlights. Stroll along the boardwalk checking out the shops and restaurants before heading to the beach. Take the kids to the playground or head to the community dog park. Dogs are welcome just about everywhere, and Garvies Point residences offer spa services for your pooch, too.

Residences have on-site libraries, game rooms, pools, club rooms, and lounges. Looking for more to do? Hop on the ferry to take in NYC’s nightlife and know you have a quiet, welcoming community awaiting your return.

Don’t Miss These Local Flavors

Many of Garvies Point’s hottest attractions are steps from the residences in Garvies Point. Don’t miss these community highlights.

Garvies Point Brewery – Established in 2016, this community brewpub is found right on the waterfront. Beer selections change frequently in the taproom. As there are eight taps, there’s always something of interest. Whether you prefer a biscuity, clean Kolsch or prefer a citrusy, hazy IPA with a bit of a bitter bite, Garvies Point Brewery will pique your interest. Have a growler filled or buy some cans to take back to your home.

Heritage Bakers – Heritage Bakers isn’t your typical baker. The bakery insists on organic heirloom wheat that isn’t treated with chemicals or fertilizers. As a result, the baked goods taste like nothing you’ve had before. Start with a popover and work your way through the menu. We recommend a plain or parmesan popover filled with bacon, egg, and cheese. Located right next door to Garvies Point Brewery, you don’t have to go far for the freshest, tastiest baked goods around.

Live, Play, and Relax

Just as a lot of thought is being put into the buildings and exterior amenities, the indoor living spaces have been designed to bring that enjoyment inside. Large windows allow for the best views of the waterfront and natural areas while letting in loads of natural light. Open floor plans allow views from multiple rooms at once. Multiple community rooms and areas allow residents to spend time together socializing, having outdoor barbecues, playing games, or watching movies together. Garvies Point offers all-in-one living where you live, play, and relax without having to get in a car if you don’t want to.

New Business Means an Influx of Younger Adults

Chicago’s seen some major coups on the business front lately. The announcement that Uber Technologies is moving into 450,000+ feet in the Old Post Office was welcome news. That one business brings with it 2,000 jobs in the freight industry.

That’s not the only big company reaching out to Chicagoans to find new workers. Amazon plans to hire 30,000 additional workers, some from Chicago. Those workers will join the more than 14,000 workers in the city who are already employed by Amazon.

As more businesses set up shop in Chicago, an influx of younger adults is imminent. Of the 2.7 million residents counted during the last census, it’s estimated that Millennials account for the largest percentage of Cook County residents with an estimated count of 850,000 people. They’re in the city because there are ample numbers of pubs, bars, and nightlife venues, public transportation is sublime, and jobs are plentiful. Uber Technologies and Amazon will only add to this.

What Draws Businesses to Chicago?

What makes Chicago such a popular spot for businesses? The proximity to two major airports and rail are all among the top reasons. Businesses can keep costs down with the proximity to rail, USPS, and airlines. It’s also a city that draws people to it. The culture, gastronomy, beautiful architecture, public art displays, and spacious parks are all main attractions.

It’s a city where there are four distinct seasons for people who love seeing the changes in nature. From spring’s blooming flowers and sunny, hot summers to crisp autumns with bright foliage and snowy winters, the seasonal changes also create a new selection of experiences. In Chicago, people enjoy water sports in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and so many other things in between.

Happy workers are productive workers. When the workday is done, workers have plenty of things to do and see that help them de-stress and enjoy themselves. Millennials who were surveyed on what they think of life in Chicago put the friendliness of people, restaurants, sports, and access to theaters at the top of the list. That’s all part of why Chicago is a popular place to live and work.

With an Influx of Workers Comes a Need for Desirable Housing

All of these new workers also bring a need for desirable housing. A First American Financial Corporation report from 2017 found a 2% increase in Millennials seeking housing in Chicago. While adults in this age room do have their eye on price – after all, they are leaving college with a lot of debt – they also look for modern, open spaces filled with the technological advancements that have followed them through their childhoods. They’re looking for homes in the heart of the city where they can easily access stores, restaurants, pubs, parks, and public transportation.

Today’s Millennials want homes that are visually pleasing with lots of natural lighting, clean designs, and minimal clutter or obstacles between rooms and views outside. Think open floor plans and access to public areas for socialization. They also want to have that home meeting their love of technology. Smart lighting, USB charging ports everywhere, security systems, smart thermostats, and building-wide Wi-Fi are all desired. Charging ports in furnishings like tables and chairs are appealing. Quick access to grocery deliveries and restaurant delivery are also important.

There’s one more thing Millennials look for. They’ve grown up seeing the damage past choices are causing to the environment. They want to minimize their carbon footprint. They want natural, sustainable materials going into their décor, furnishings, and flooring. They want to step away from PVC. They want to stop using CFL that contains mercury. High-efficiency heating and even solar power are considerations they think about. Designers and architects need to focus on natural, functional, cost-effective, and technology-driven.

Living spaces don’t have to be huge. One thing that’s trending in urban living is open community space. A bar area where neighbors can meet up. A coffee shop area for those who work from home but want to socialize. Large rooftop patios for social events, lounges for catching up with family, and outdoor kitchens for outdoor dinners are all trending. Even concierge services for walking the dog, arranging light housekeeping, and getting dry cleaning can draw younger adults to a specific community.

The Childs Dreyfus Group is one of the interior design leaders in modern, urban living spaces. Their designers have their fingers on the pulse of what today’s younger workers are looking for. We can make their dreams come true while making sure your urban residence entices them to move in and stay. Call CDG to learn more about today’s housing trends for Millennials.

Chicago’s Illustrious Architecture and Design History Should Give It the Nickname “The First City”

Chicago’s nickname “The Second City” is a subject of debate. Is it called this because the city became the second most populated city in 1890? Is it because Chicago is home to the nation’s second-largest skyscraper? Some feel it’s linked to the fact that Chicago had to be rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1871.

Despite its moniker, there’s one thing that Chicago boasts as a first. When it comes to architecture, Chicago is unbeatable. The first skyscraper in the United States, the Home Insurance Building, opened its doors in Chicago in 1885. Eventually, William LeBaron Jenney’s skyscraper would be demolished to make room for the LaSalle Bank Building/Field Building.

It’s the Great Fire that led to Chicago’s illustrious reputation as a leader in architecture. After the fire, the taller, stronger buildings popped up in the city. Before New York City had its first skyscraper, Chicago was well in the lead with five of them, all designed to be fireproof.

Explore Chicago’s Architectural History By Land or Water

Since the Home Insurance Building’s construction, Chicago’s streets have been lined with some of the world’s most stunning forms of architecture. It’s led to the foundation of the Chicago Architecture Center, a cultural organization that has saved history homes, offers tours, and provides residents and visits with a bounty of information about the city’s buildings. Since the Chicago Architecture Center’s foundation in 1966, the center has developed more than 85 city tours featuring architecture, a free Open House Chicago festival, and camps and programs.

One of those tours that locals and visitors cannot miss is the River Cruise. The 1 ½-hour cruise highlights some of Chicago’s greatest architecture from a luxury vessel. Guests see the Chicago Riverwalk, the London Guarantee Building, Merchandise Mart, and Tribune Tower to name a few of the highlights. Expert guides provide information into the city’s architectural features and history.

That covers the outside of a building, but what about the inside? Interior design is just as important to the look and feel of a building as the structural and architectural components. Chicago has also been a key player in trending interior designs.

Advancements in Comfort, Awareness, and Technology Drive Trends
in Architecture and Design

Since 1969, The Mart in Chicago has hosted The National Exposition of Contract Interior Furnishings (NeoCon). This convention brings top architects and designers together to showcase the industry’s trends. This pays tribute to The Merchandise Mart’s origins as a giant wholesale warehouse for home décor, fabrics, and furniture.

Some of the best interior design trends start trending after NeoCon. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed in 1993 to push for sustainable design and building techniques and created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system for certification. In 2000, the first LEED constructions gained USGBC certification.

As homes became tighter to prevent icy winter drafts in the Windy City, air quality also became a concern. GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certification came out in 2001. Concerns for the environment brought attention to building homes and businesses that were both energy-efficient and sustainable. That’s just one of the changes we’ve seen to interior design and architecture.

Technology is an important part of the Millennial and Gen Z lifestyle. Home designs that meet these needs are still trending. The number of people who work from home is increasing and with that comes a demand for apartments designed to be functional for both work and relaxation. There’s a movement towards designs that are aesthetically pleasing but offer conveniences like smart appliances, lighting, and security.

Today’s renter is looking for charging ports or charging pads in key areas. Kitchens, offices, bedrooms, and even bathrooms are ideal places for charging ports and pads. Furniture with built-in chargers is increasing in popularity. Lighting that reduces eye strain is vital.

Mixed-use developments are trending. Residents love the idea of having their own home with community areas like conference rooms, large public areas for networking and socializing. A bar area with pool tables for fun, areas set up for computers, and outdoor areas for family visits are all in demand.

On warm, sunny days, people want to be outside. Developments can cater to this with rooftop patios for gorgeous views, proximity to the city’s parks, waterfront, and entertainment district. Large windows for natural lighting also help with that feeling of being in the open.

Put it all together and architecture and design draw people. The Childs Dreyfus Group is a leader in all stages of planning and bringing your vision to life.

5 Futuristic “Smart” Trends That Are Impacting Student Housing Design & Planning Today

In a world where we are surrounded by technology, it’s no surprise student housing and generation Z students are demanding smart technology be incorporated not as an afterthought, but as a cornerstone of the design & planning phase.

Smart technology is shaping the very layout, structure, design, and functionality of new student housing.  Here are five ways these trends are impacting the market today.

Cashless Campus

Gone are bulky washers & dryers accepting quarters and old school vending machines.  Replacing them are sophisticated new technology units which accept credit cards, mobile payments, take up less space, and become a centerpiece in a room rather than an eyesore.

Student Security

With security at the top of everyone’s mind, technology is leading the way making campuses more secure.  Doors on campus are being designed to be integrated with mobile security access systems.  Layouts are more open by design, but also to increase the view of strategically placed security cameras.  Tech is shaping student security, and in a good way.

Constant Connectivity

Students today demand constant connectivity.  Designers are challenged with incorporating outlets in places never imagined before, WiFi hubs throughout all student housing to provide connectivity for more devices than ever, and replacing outdated technology like telephone outlets and even Ethernet ports with wireless charging bays, tables that charge your tablet while you work at them, and much more.

Personal Privacy

While social, students today also demand their private spaces.  Gone are the locker room style shared showers and bathrooms which are being replaced with individual personal bathrooms.  Technology is leading this charge enabling students to schedule time in key spaces which used to be shared and are now privatized.  And designers are tracking student behavior utilizing mobile devices, apps, and security to learn how to design the perfect student housing layout for tomorrow.

Going Green

Without a doubt, generation Z students demand everything be green.  From materials used to energy efficiency, everything about student housing is being designed and built to be greener.  Things like room occupancy sensors to turn on lighting, spray foam insulation to reduce energy on heating & cooling, and LED lighting to cut on electric use are being implemented to cast a green halo and attract to today’s new student.

These five trends are some of the most prevalent smart trends shaking up student housing, and require planning start during the design & planning phase and not once ground breaks.  Crossing these off your planning list will ensure a housing facility that students love for years to come.

Multiuse in Multifamily

According to Gallup, 43% of Americans spent at least some time working remotely last year, a four percentage point increase from 2012. Since technology has become readily available it has changed the concept of work being a stagnant place and demographics has changed lifestyle demands. While there are many multifamily trends to be watchful of in the Interior Design Business sector, one of the most important emerging is taking work needs into consideration when designing space. As the lines between work and home blur, technology creates opportunities to work from anywhere and people are doing just that.

Concierge space in your apartment building

Concierge-style services are the new amenity. From dog walking, delivery services, dry cleaning package handing, and laundry services to full-blown housekeeping, anything that will make the resident’s life easier and more convenient is where the real value lies. According to the NYdailynews, having concierge service has become so important, “most new condominium projects have some component of this in their program, and luxury buildings all offer such services.”  Concierge is here to stay as technology decreases wait times and attention spans and fosters speed, which is convenient for increasing out resident’s personal time.


The Chicago skyline will look a little different in the months and years ahead, in part because of the 44 high-rise buildings that are currently under construction in the Windy City. What can you expect from this building boom? Here are some of the most interesting projects—and trends—taking place in Chicago:

Condo Development

Although the condo market has not completely recovered from the recession, it is starting to show signs of life. One of the most interesting condo projects is the Vista Tower, which will actually consist of both hotel rooms and condos. The first 12 floors of the building will be allocated to the hotel, while floors 13 through 93 will feature luxury condominiums. Every unit is designed to take your breath away, but the showstoppers, known as “Sky Residences” are on floors 71 through 91. These residences will feature high ceilings, incredible views, and a hefty price tag. The top two levels of the building will be combined to form a duplex penthouse that is expected to list at $18 million.
Residents inside Vista Tower will have access to a fitness center, pool, private dining area, wine storage and tasting facility, and screening room, among many other amenities. All of these amenities are available on the building’s 47th floor and will be open to both hotel guests and permanent residents.

Retail Space

Most of the buildings that are being developed will feature rental units or office space, but there are a handful that will have plenty of room for retailers as well. The Hudson, which is will be located in River North, will consist of 240 rental units along with 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor of the building. This development is just a short walking distance away from a number of tech startups and established companies such as Groupon, so it will certainly be a desirable place to live.

The high rise that will call 465 N. Park home will also make room for retailers. The initial plans show the developers have allocated over 11,000 square feet for retailers and commercial space. Another project at the corner of Wabash and 11th Street will also invite retailers in, but only 3,500 square feet of this building will be spared for retail businesses.

Energy Efficiency

Green living has become more of a priority for today’s renters and buyers, and developers in Chicago have certainly taken notice. Many of the buildings that are still under construction will feature green amenities, but one of the most intriguing is the Solstice on the Park. The glass face of the building will alternate at 71 degree angles to increase the energy efficiency inside of each unit. How does it work? The glass is designed to alternate in a way that allows tenants to soak up the small amount of sunshine during the winter and create a bit of shade during the hot summer months. The result? In the summer, less heat will transfer into the building and in the winter, more heat will transfer into the building. This means tenants won’t have to crank down the air conditioner in the summer or dial up the heat in the winter to stay comfortable, which should lead to energy savings and lower utility bills.

Natural Amenities

Fitness rooms and resort-style pools are two of the most popular amenities found in high rise buildings in major cities like Chicago. Although these amenities will most definitely be included in these projects, developers have also found a way to transform nature into a desirable amenity as well. The highly-anticipated Riverline development is just one of the projects that celebrates nature. The 8 waterfront buildings that make up Riverline will be adjacent to over 3.5 acres of open green space and a landscaped walkway along the river. Tenants can either make use of the open space or find peace and quiet strolling alongside the river.

Several projects, including the Lakeshore LDS Meetinghouse and development at 625 W. Adams St, feature rooftop terraces where tenants can take in the scenic views and enjoy the outdoors.

Low Rises Into High Rises

Where did developers find the land to construct these new buildings? In many cases, the high rise buildings that are currently under construction will replace old low rise buildings. A 39-story tower will be constructed on a piece of land that was formerly occupied by Gino’s East restaurant, a small pizza place. CNA Financial will soon anchor an upscale office building at 151 N. Franklin that used to be home to a Walgreens and small parking lot. Take one look at the before and after pictures and you will be amazed by the transformation.

Entertainment District Development

The area around the McCormick Place Entertainment District is slowly beginning to take shape. The development located at 123 E. Cermak will feature three hotels, which are rumored to be Hampton Inn, Home2 Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn. There’s also the 1,206-room Marriott Marquis hotel, which will rise 39 stories into the air despite initial plans that showed the hotel would consist of 51 stories. These are just two of the projects that are slowly breathing life into the Entertainment District, which should be a major attraction for Chicago residents and tourists once it is finished. The district will also feature plenty of space for retailers and a modern arena to host events and conferences. Although it will still be quite some time before the district is complete, Chicago residents should be excited about what’s to come in this area.

Once these projects are completed, they will without a doubt inspire the rest of the developments still under construction in Chicago. If you are interested in collaborating on a future project, contact us today to learn how we can help.


Major cities across the United States have become more populated, and as a result, rental rates have skyrocketed, leaving many people unable to afford life in the city. In fact, it is estimated that about two-fifths of Americans are affected by the rental housing burden, which is defined as spending at least 35% of your monthly income on rent. In response to the outcry over rising rental prices, developers began to put their heads together to come up with a way to make housing in urban areas more affordable. The result? Micro-housing, also known as stack housing or apodments, are units that are around 350 square feet or smaller. This trend has taken over major metropolitan areas all over the country, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The Appeal of Micro-Housing

The thought of living in an apartment smaller than 350 feet may not sound appealing to everyone, but many find it perfect for their lifestyle. Renters who are eager to live in the center of the city are willing to sacrifice space in exchange for location. Micro-housing units are typically located in the heart of major cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, and Houston, among many others. The location makes it easier for renters to commute to work and visit popular attractions within the city, which is more important to some people than the size of their apartment. Most renters who are attracted to this type of home plan on spending a lot of time outside of their apartments, so they don’t value the size of the apartment as much as other people.

But, not everything in a micro-housing building is small. Many of these buildings make up for the small apartments by increasing the size of common areas. For example, universities have started to build micro-units instead of traditional student housing. Each student is given a small unit with enough space to study, sleep, and cook small meals, but if they need to use the restroom, stretch their legs, or lounge on a comfortable couch, they have to make their way into one of the common areas. These student housing buildings, along with many other micro-unit buildings, encourage tenants to socialize with others in the common areas instead of spending all of their time in the micro-units. This is one more reason why tenants—especially young, single renters—are attracted to the idea of micro-unit housing.

Micro-housing has also been called a more energy efficient way of living in urban areas. How does a micro-unit save energy? In standard multi-family buildings, each tenant will have a unit with a refrigerator, dishwasher, and other appliances that use a great deal of energy. However, micro-housing buildings typically have several community kitchen areas, but don’t have much space in each individual unit for kitchen appliances. This means there aren’t as many appliances in the building and less energy is used overall.

Some renters choose to live in micro-units because they want to live a simpler life. One renter who was interviewed by USA Today said he prefers living in these smaller apartments because it prevents him from holding onto material possessions and becoming a hoarder.

As rent prices increase, not only does it make rental properties more unattainable for many people, but it also makes it harder for these people to work towards owning a home one day. Why? The more they spend on rent every month, the less they have to put aside in savings for a down payment. This is why some tenants choose to sacrifice space to live in micro-units so they can pay lower rent and save up for a down payment on a home. For this group of people, living in a tiny space is a small price to pay to achieve their dream of owning a home.

Design of Micro-Units

Choosing the right location is crucial if you are in the early stages of developing a micro-unit building. Micro-housing must be located in an area where rents are unaffordable, otherwise developers will have to compete with other affordable units that may be larger in size.

When planning a micro-unit building, it’s important to pay extra attention to the community areas. Because the individual units are so small, potential tenants will be determining which building to live in based mainly on the community areas. The community space should include an area for preparing food, dining, watching TV, studying in groups or alone, and socializing.

Micro-unit developers should also cater to those who work remotely. Remote workers will
probably not be able to stay confined to their micro-units during working hours, so they will need a place to work within the common areas.

Many developers believe micro-units are perfect for recent college graduates who need to live in the city for work, but aren’t financially ready to rent a larger apartment. Developers may want to consider targeting areas with large universities so they can appeal to recent college graduates who may be interested in a micro-unit.

The Future of Micro-Units

Even though micro-units were initially designed to deal with the overcrowding and affordability issues in large cities, the trend is slowly making its way into smaller areas. Des Moines, Iowa and Kalamazoo, Michigan are just two of the more rural areas that will have micro-housing units available to potential tenants. This could mean that micro-housing isn’t popular because it solves the problem of the rising cost of rent, but rather that it is what today’s tenants want from a multi-family building.

Micro-housing may be seen as more affordable to renters, but it’s still profitable to developers. A micro-unit in Seattle can rent for between $500 and $1,000 per month, and because developers can fit more units into each building, they can easily profitable off of this tiny trend.

Interior Architecture Firm The Childs Dreyfus Group (CDG) Introduces Vice President Of Interior Architect/Design And Vice President Of Operations/Business Development

CHICAGO, March 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Childs Dreyfus Group, an interior architecture/design firm located in Chicago, Illinois, had a great 2016 and is positioned perfectly to see additional growth and success in 2017. The growth created an opportunity to enhance the leadership, talent and culture, specifically, with a new Vice President of Interior Architect/Design and Vice President of Operations/Business Development.

Christina Bidegain joined the leadership team as Vice President of Operations in mid-2016, and brings a mix of leadership, inspiration, operational experience, and design background to the position. She will work together with the rest of the leadership team to drive the company’s growth and enhance customer service, business development and efficiency.

The firm’s new Interior Architect, Amir Al Abosy, joined The Childs Dreyfus Group in late 2016, but he has been in the industry since 1990. Over the past several decades, he has occupied high-level positions in architectural firms all around the world, including New Zealand, Jordan, Iraq, and the United States. He is well known within the industry and belongs to various professional organizations, including the American Institute of Architects. Amir is also a LEED accredited professional and has been certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He brings a diverse and impressive skillset to The Childs Dreyfus Group that will help the firm surpass all of their clients’ expectations.”

“In total, we have hired six highly qualified, LEED and REVIT certified new team members who we feel have greatly improved our already impressive staff as a whole,” says The Childs Dreyfus Group’s CEO, Rene Pabon. “We have experienced rapid growth over the last 12 months, and are excited to bring these team members aboard to help us continue to grow our business and provide exceptional service to our clients.”

Spotlight on Community: The Residences at Two Liberty

Located in one of the tallest residential buildings on the east coast, these high-end, luxury high-end, luxury condominiums occupy the top 30 floors of a re-purposed 67 story office building. The units embody a European style and details like European kitchens cabinets, marble baths, built-ins, hardwood floors, custom mill-work, and floor to ceiling windows. The dramatic, full floor-ceiling windows offer spectacular views of downtown Philadelphia and the removal of the interior walls create areas of detail and functionality created with through the intricate mill-work.

Continue reading at

Multifamily Design Trend Predictions for 2017

Childs Dreyfus was recently a contributor to an article on Dwell, a website dedicated to housing, real estate, and building trends.

Multifamily interior designers look forward to the beginning of every new year because they get the opportunity to predict design trends and find a way to incorporate them into their work. What should you expect if you plan on moving into a multifamily building this year? Here are the trends designers are expecting to see throughout the year.

To view the full article, visit 

Student Housing Trends: The Past, Present, and Future

Prospective students look at much more than just what programs a school has to offer before enrolling. These days, students want to know what kind of life they will be living if they choose to attend the university, which means they are looking closely at on campus and off campus student housing. How has this shift in priorities affected current student housing trends? What can students expect to see in the future? Take a look at the past, present, and future of student housing:

The Past

When you think of student housing, visions of concrete walls and flat, uncomfortable beds may come to mind. Students used to have fairly low expectations for student housing, but that’s all changed now. In the past, students expected modest rooms either on or off campus that were available at a low price. Students didn’t have much space, so besides sleeping, they did most of their activities outside of their living area. Dining took place in the campus dining halls, and studying was done in the libraries.

In both on campus and off campus housing, amenities were limited. Students typically had access to basic common rooms with seating areas and televisions, and standard sized pools and fitness rooms.

In the past, off campus apartments were not designed with students in mind, which is why they didn’t have the same atmosphere and amenities that today’s housing options offer.

The Present

Today, student housing has become much more luxurious, so prospective students no longer have to dread moving away from home to begin school. In fact, they can look forward to it! Many student housing facilities now offer resort-style amenities, including yoga studios, spacious fitness centers, saunas, basketball courts, tennis courts, and of course, pools with covered cabanas and lounging chairs. Developers have also started to include more places for residents to socialize together, such as on-site coffee shops or snack bars.

What do students want inside their apartments? The majority of college-aged students want large bathrooms, vast study spaces, plenty of storage space, and easy access to a washer and dryer. Today’s students are also more eco-conscious than previous generations, so they will be on the lookout for green features inside their apartments. Think smart home features such as Bluetooth integration and eco-friendly lighting that allow students to reduce their energy usage and still be technologically forward-thinking. Students will also appreciate units with green materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood, and even recycled glass countertops, which have recently made a comeback because of their sustainability and unique look. Even though college students want eco-friendly living spaces, they may not understand what LEED certification is, so promoting a building using this term may not be effective.

Technology is also an important part of today’s student housing. Students need fast and reliable internet access that they can use regardless of where they are in the building. Common areas should also have places to charge smartphones, tablets, and laptops, in case study sessions run longer than expected. Because both students and parents value security, student housing with video screens that show you who is at the front door have also become popular.

The Future

Students living off campus want to stay close to school so they don’t have to travel far to go to class. But, there is a limited amount of real estate available near campuses, and as a result, developers have started to build high-rise apartment buildings to accommodate more students in the limited space.

Another trend in off-campus student housing is micro-housing. Instead of having traditional rooms with two beds, dorms will feature one bed, along with a small space to study and prepare food. Students will be able to sleep, study, and eat within their rooms in a micro-housing design, but they will have to venture outside of their space to use the common restroom or lounge in larger living areas. Micro-housing frees up a lot of space so schools can focus on expanding the size of common areas while still giving each student the privacy they need. Common areas will be large enough to have separate places to watch TV, socialize with friends, or meet with a tutor for help with homework.

In fact, common areas will be incredibly important in future student housing designs. Classrooms are becoming more collaborative, which means students are being sent home with group projects and homework assignments that they must work on together. Both on and off campus student housing should have multiple study rooms to accommodate this growing trend.

Some industry experts believe that hybrid projects will be popular for on campus student housing as well. A hybrid project puts student housing and classrooms, student unions, or libraries in the same building. Essentially, students would be able to live and attend class in the same building, which makes student living more convenient.

Student housing developers will choose modern, edgier architectural designs to appeal to the younger market. Luxury will still be a main selling point, as well as sustainability. But, as more developers begin to incorporate luxurious amenities into their designs, new buildings will have to go above and beyond to differentiate themselves from the competition. More unique amenities, such as recording studios or built in retail shops and restaurants, will begin to appear in higher end, off campus student housing.

Of course, developers will have to find a balance between staying competitive by offering desirable amenities and remaining affordable to the average student. Students—or their parents—will pay more in exchange for luxury and security, but they will still be working within a budget.

When designing student housing, it’s important to incorporate elements of the present while also looking towards future trends. This way, you can create a building that will remain appealing to students for years to come.

What Does The Rental Market Look Like Today? Who Are We Designing For?

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, there were over 110 million renters in the United States in 2015. At Childs Dreyfus Group, we design living spaces for these renters on a daily basis, and one of the first questions we ask ourselves is “Who are we designing for?” Take a look at who today’s renters are:


A large percentage of today’s renters are in the Millennial generation. Many industry experts believe Millennials are forced to rent because student debt makes it impossible for them to save for a down payment, but this is not necessarily the case. Many Millennials are in rental properties by choice. This generation prefers having the convenience of having someone to handle these items without inconve- niency them. Moreover, they’re driven by job offers, mobility and being able to quickly change jobs and move when needed – making renting a perfect proposition for this group!

Living in an apartment or condo also allows them to live in a trendy neighborhood without breaking the bank on an overpriced home. If they rent, they can be close to all of the hottest restaurants, fitness studios, and entertainment venues that they may never be able to live near if they were to buy a home. A community that is within walking distance to these attractions is extremely appealing to Millennials.

Of course, cost does play a factor in why Millennials choose to rent over buying. Some Millennials rent so they can free up more money that can be used to enjoy their lives on fun experiences, while others are renting as they save for a down payment. Regardless of the reason, interior designers and architects must pay attention to this generation since so many of them are currently renters.


Believe it or not, Generation Z has now officially entered the renter’s market. This generation is shaking things up with their unique set of needs and desires. Most of Gen Z will not be interested in traditional amenities such as a fitness center or swimming pool. Instead, this generation gravitates towards amenities that help them reach their entrepreneurial goals, such as rooms where they can socialize and network with other residents, or craft spaces where they can learn new skills or get a new hobby. Much like Mellennials, a typical Gen Zer has grown up with a smartphone glued to the palm of his hand, so he is used to speedy delivery and responsive customer service. Apartment communities that can quickly repair maintenance issues or respond to questions or complaints will also be very appealing to this young generation.

This generation has a deep appreciation for the sharing economy, so they think of privacy in a very different way than other generations. They often view common areas in a residential space as an extension of their private home. They won’t fuss over small living spaces in their individual units as long as there is plenty of space for them to work, live, and collaborate with others in the common areas.


A large chunk of today’s renters are Baby Boomers. In 2005, there were 10 million renters in their 50s and 60s, however that number grew to 15 million by 2015. According to the Housing Studies of Harvard University, this generation accounts for more than half of the country’s renter growth over the last decade and the growth is expected to increase over the next few years.

Members of this generation tend to own a home throughout the majority of their adult lives, and then decide to go back to renting once their children have grown up and moved out. Baby Boomers who make this decision are interested in downsizing and simplifying their lives so they no longer have to keep up with repairs, landscaping, and other maintenance that is required when you own a home. Baby Boomers will be looking for rental properties with updated appliances and high-end finishes that they won’t have to worry about replacing or repairing.

But just because they want to simplify does not mean they aren’t looking for luxury. Baby Boomers are choosing to rent so they don’t have to live in a quiet home in a suburban neighborhood. When they move into a rental property, they want to live somewhere that offers community events so they can meet and connect with other people. They’re also interested in luxurious amenities that allow them to live a life they never experienced while in a single family home raising children. What kind of amenities? Think high-rise views, a fully equipped fitness center, and other amenities that simply aren’t feasible in a single-family home.


In the last decade, there has been a huge increase in the number of single-family home rental properties. The overwhelming majority of people who rent out these single family homes are married couples with children. However, just because small families are renting out single family homes does not mean they account for a significant percentage of apartment or townhome rentals. In fact, married couples with children only made up about 9% of apartment renters in 2015.

Based on this small percentage, communities should not choose amenities that cater to this population, such as playgrounds for children. Instead, interior designers and architects should focus on Millennials and Baby Boomers, who have very different wants and needs than married couples with children.


In 2014, it was reported that over 70% of renters owned at least one cat or dog. This is a very important statistic for interior designers and architects to pay attention to, as it could impact how they design communities. For example, these renters will most likely be interested in communities that offer dog parks or dog grooming stations on-site. This makes life much easier for them since they won’t have to transport their pets anywhere in order to let them play or get them groomed. If it’s impossible to add a dog park, make sure you have plenty of walking trails—and don’t forget to add stations with plastic disposable bags so owners can pick up after their pets and keep the community clean.

But, the outside of the community is not the only place that should be pet-friendly. Choose building materials that are durable and won’t be easily damaged by pets. For example, pets can easily cause stains and rips in carpet, but other flooring material is much more durable. Keep this in mind as you design the interior of units in a pet-friendly community.

When designing rental properties, think back to this profile of the average renter in the U.S. so you can choose amenities and interior design features that will appeal to today’s renters. Of course, the average renter will vary depending on the location of the community, so it’s important to consider these tips along with the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods before making any decisions.

How The New, Younger Senior Is Affecting Amenity Options And Interior Design Decisions

Although many people are under the impression people begin to slow down after they retire, there is a new trend of younger, active seniors that are disproving all of these stereotypes. As the needs and wants of this group change, so should the housing that is designed for them. Take a look at how the physically active and vibrant group of seniors is affecting amenity options and design decisions – they have high-expectations and are looking to continue a lifestyle of Lux-living…just in a smaller, easier to manage home.


Younger seniors are drawn to living facilities with LUX living….that allow them to enjoy the great outdoors, so nature must be incorporated into both the design of individual units and the community amenities. Communities should have outdoor walking trails that wind through the scenic surroundings so residents can stroll through nature when they need some fresh air. There should also be outdoor gathering spaces with plenty of comfortable seating centered around a grill, outdoor kitchen, or fire pit. This allows them to relax and experience nature even when they’re not in the mood to be physically active.

But, you shouldn’t have to walk outside in order to experience the outdoors. Natural materials such as wood should be used to warm up interior spaces and make seniors feel more connected to the outdoors. Designers should consider using it both on the floor and as ceiling beams. Windows in each unit should be large and directed at a flower garden or cluster of majestic trees.


A lot has been said about how the Millennial home buyers and renters are on the hunt for greener living spaces, but the same can be said about baby-boomers and active seniors. Perhaps inspired by their love of nature, seniors are becoming more curious and willing to take an interest in sustainable living. In fact, many senior living facilities are beginning to use sustainable features as a main selling point when attracting prospective tenants.

What green features are seniors looking for? Think Energy Star appliances, sustainable wood and other building materials, and energy efficient lighting. Design the layout of each unit to allow natural light into the space so seniors don’t have to rely on electric lighting. Make sure you promote these features when trying to attract new residents, and explain how they benefit the environment so seniors don’t have to make the connection on their own. Incorporating these features into your senior living facility will help tenants feel like they are living in forward-thinking, eco-friendly community.


Becoming more interested in health and wellness, and they now want a community that allows them to enjoy this active lifestyle. Instead of offering residents a standard gym, offer them group fitness classes where they can meet other people in the community and try new workouts. Communities should also consider inviting a personal trainer or wellness coach into the facility for a certain number of days every month. This gives residents the chance to meet one-on-one with someone who can help them achieve their health and wellness goals without the facility having to pay for a full-time staff member.


This age group is very comfortable with technology, so living facilities should make an effort to become more tech-friendly. Wi-Fi should be available throughout the facility so seniors can connect to the network wherever they may be on the property. Lights, blinds, and the thermostat inside their units should be remote-controlled so they can conveniently adjust the lighting or temperature with a little help from technology. Interior designers should also think about including charging stations for smartphones and tablets in the gathering areas so seniors can charge their devices without having to return to their home. Some facilities have even started to use keyless entry so seniors just have to swipe a card or key fob in order to get inside their unit.

Sophisticated technology is a must. Technology makes life easier and more enjoyable while our more active seniors enjoy things like travel, fine-dining and community engagement.


They don’t want to give up the comfort of feeling like they’re at their past home….most likely, a luxury, high-end style with plenty of space and bells-and-whistles. So it’s imperative that their down-size or right-size venture hits all their desires. These extra amenities make seniors feel as if they didn’t sacrifice any of the luxuries they enjoyed at home by moving into a new, sometimes, smaller space.

To satisfy this need, interior designers have to focus on fitting all of these features into a unit without it feeling cramped. But, they also don’t want to feel like they’re living in a space that is too big for them and their belongings. It’s difficult, but interior designers have to be able to find a balance that appeals to seniors. If you are able to offer seniors all of these amenities within their own living space, they will be even more attracted to your community.

The needs of seniors are ever changing, and interior designers must remain flexible in order to create beautiful living spaces that appeal to this generation. The first step in doing so is forgetting about all of the stereotypes that negatively portray seniors. People in this age group are no longer sitting back and watching life go by, but rather jumping right into the action and making the most out of every moment.