Dot’s Head of Interior Design, Ruta Danilevicute (ex Yoo, Foster and Partners), shares some tips on how to turn an average rental property into a beautiful residence.
Start with the property selection
A great place to start is by finding an interesting property that has character perhaps through a specific or original feature. It could be cool architecture, a great location, an amazing view through the window – essentially anything that makes the place stand out from other similar properties.
Dot handpicks each of its apartments and is always on the lookout for properties with an edge. For example, Millington House is a former industry house converted to residential use. It was developed in 1913 and has strong deco era features such as big windows, high ceilings, and a symmetrical layout.
Dot’s design team had a strong narrative to work with for the interior concept, and converted a once dark and poorly designed apartment into a very light, luxurious and sophisticated townhouse in the heart of Manchester.
Develop a concept
Good interior design requires a story or big idea behind it. It may be inspired by the history of the location, the people or businesses that were there, art that was created locally, or it can be anything that relates to the place.
Roper Court, our first property at Dot had a strong industrial theme in the architecture and surroundings of the building. Dot interiors carried on with the industrial stylistics for the space using oversized high shine chrome pendants, rough and natural finishes such as brick wallpaper, unfinished effect timber flooring, and metro tiles.
Ensure the space works well
Having a good layout is key to a functional and convenient home. It’s probably the most important feature above all the design aspirations, as there is simply no greater pleasure than living in a functionally well designed home, where everything is in the right place.
It is important to keep a good mixture of built-in and loose furniture. Every piece needs to have a clear function and be convenient to use. Dot never place an object simply for decoration, for example it may look like a cool stool from the first impression, but it also serves as a side table, a footrest and a storage container too!
A place to call home
One of the most important things to remember when creating interiors for a rental property is that it’s got to function as a home. It should be light, cozy, liveable and attractive. Many rental properties are designed to be practical with hard wearing materials, dark colour walls and sturdy furniture.
Dot aim to make our interiors homely and welcoming, like at Britannia Mills. We take advantage of soft colours, natural light, use lots of home furnishings to soften up the space, and love natural plants. Collectively this creates a beautiful space to live in.
Be flexible and adaptive
We create our interiors in just a few layers. Our key pieces are very good quality, timeless objects in neutral colours that form a base for the interior. We then layer them with up to date, brighter accessories, home furnishings and artwork. These are relatively inexpensive items that are easy to change should you wish to keep up to the latest trends.
Interiors need to be fun and original. Dot’s design team picks accessories, artwork and even room planting that are a bit unusual, are non high street, and geared towards creating an interesting space rather than simply a formal or luxurious place. Dot homes are not trying to be too serious, but are always aiming to be cool, interesting and original.
Moreover, we are taking it to another level in the rental home market by mixing quality interior design with top quality brands and partners. Whether it’s sound equipment from Sonos, boutique body care and home products from Malin + Goetz, or mattresses and pillows from Eve Sleep, Dot deliver homes that residents love to live in.