Student Housing Business

MAR-APR 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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INTERIOR DESIGN March/April 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 98 Creating a "Wow Factor" Interior design increases value through one-of-a-kind furnishings and spaces. By Lynn Peisner H How photogenic is your interior design? Does your accent wall look cool in a selfie? Is head- turning artwork or a unique piece of furniture prominently displayed? These are important questions, believe it or not. Marketing and demand value are often tied to moments on-property that are "Insta- grammable," an adjective that makes its way into many conversations with today's student housing interior designers. "Generation Z is unique in many ways, including that they are the first group to be digital from birth," says Sara Dement, CEO of Dallas-based Dement Designs. "It's been said that if it's not on social media, it didn't hap- pen. Rather than fight this trend, we embrace it. Our spaces need to have an Instagram- ready appearance and function." What makes a moment Instagrammable can be a matter of opinion. But for the most part, it tends to be a magnetic, attention-grabbing, one-of-a-kind curiosity. It's the secret ingre- dient that sets competitive properties and brands apart. "Differentiation among properties by spe- cialized design or branding is essential," says Stephanie Kirkpatrick, principal and director of interior design with Atlanta-based Niles Bolton Associates. "Twenty years ago, you could build housing and lease the property up without a lot of bells and whistles. Today, if you're not investing in the look and feel of the property, it will not be successful. Students today are very savvy when it comes to design, and social media has played a key role." More and more, say design experts, student housing owners are directing their design investments toward the kind of statement pieces that create this dif- ferentiation. This is especially the case as generational priorities shift and the student sec- tor increasingly embraces a wider variety of prod- uct types, namely urban communi- ties built close to campus. Design in Colors that pop are part of Sara Dement's palette of approaches to creating student housing design that makes for memorable impressions. Core Spaces' Hub on Campus in Madison, Wisconsin, features a music performance and practice space among its many other unique amenities. Core Spaces designs its properties with a focus on items and furnishings that are one-of-a-kind. SARA DEMENT CEO, Dement Designs

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