6 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Student Accommodation Design

| Riccardo Del Bello | Serviced Accommodations

Have you ever found yourself in the position of having to justify the additional expense for an interior design service? Or trying to convince someone about the importance of getting some interiors properly done by a professional?

Reading articles around the internet, the ‘selling points’ proposed are often very similar and quite easily identifiable. I could say things such as it is worth hiring an interior designer because he/she will make the space more beautiful and use it in a better way. Or I could add that an interior designer is experienced with materials and look & feel. Thus, he/she will naturally pick the best furniture and finishes to obtain the desired result. Though very true, there is actually a lot more to it.

So, this time I tried to dive a little deeper while looking at the bigger picture. I identified more indirect advantages and perks that an interior designer’s work can bring. Let’s have a look…

Advantages to students’ health and focus

biophilic invest in interior design

As stated in our previous article 5 Top Materials for a Sustainable Interior in 2020, there is a huge body of literature about Biophilic Design. Its positive effects of plants and natural elements in an interior are well known. Expert Oliver Heath quotes numerous case studies about their beneficial effects for concentration, professional performance, and mental health.

I’m very passionate about this topic as well. The more I learn about it, the more I believe Biophilic Design should be applied in every interior!

Having an interior designer focusing on this aspect means getting also a more ‘strategic’ layout and use of space. Placing specific materials and plants in the right spots can literally benefit the students’ life and career.

The positive effects of such interior design can also reflect on a wider scale. Attention to sustainability and the latest trends in carbon-neutral materials are important for the environment in these difficult times. They can have a second unexpected consequence though that leads me to the next point…

Free Advertising

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A well-designed interior makes not only an impact on the residents and potential clients but also on insiders and enthusiasts’ community.

An innovative concept, a surprising refurbishment of an old space, or (to connect with the previous paragraph) careful consideration for developing trends like sustainable and biophilic design can attract the attention of specialised magazines and professionals.

Having a Student Accommodation’s interior published on the internet or on a magazines as an example of innovation, style or vision, will outright increase the space’s appeal to potential residents but also put the brand itself in a positive light. This is in fact the core of my third point…


Here, a distinction is needed. This is something that does not concern residential design (if not the Interior Design firm itself). But the story changes completely when it comes to commercial design and especially Student Accommodations or shared living schemes.

The importance of consistent work from a professional designer for a commercial brand cannot be stressed enough. There are already numerous examples of co-living, co-working, and PBSA managers and firms that developed a strong and immediately recognisable presence in the market. This gave them more visibility, the possibility to set themselves completely apart from the competition, and even sometimes become proper trendsetters.

This is obtained through a combination of good design, segment knowledge, and attentive evaluation of the target customers' needs and preferences. Something that, as an interior design studio, we managed through our work paired with the study of the sector and close collaboration with our clients’ marketing department.

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worth investing in interior design

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As described in our article How to Align Interior Design with Branding. An example of how interior design can support brand identity. The concept that we developed for all the Nido reception areas which are bespoke to the specific sites but also consistent in key elements.

Saving money in the process

During the development, an interior designer will follow the construction site and can help save lots of money here as well. Especially in the Value Engineering phase, an expert Interior Designer can liaise with builders and suppliers to find alternative and more cost-effective solutions.

Nobody likes Value Engineering. But if it becomes necessary, the Interior Designer is the right person to strike the perfect balance between damages limitation and preserving the initial design vision. Doing it without guidance or a specific plan might result in an even worse outcome.

We touched on things that can go wrong in an Interior Design, also due to budget issues, in our previous article Student Accommodation: Expectations Vs Reality.

The suitable solution for Gen Z and young Millennials

gen z invest in interior design

The next point I would like to discuss regards exactly the target audience to which PBSAs are aimed at.

The fast development of this segment and more in general the shared living market is fairly recent. The two main reasons being the raising prices of rents in large cities and the evolving preferences of younger generations for spaces that offer more than a simple bedroom. Thus, developers look into adding a varied range of spaces and activities that promote well-being and a sense of community to match the current students’ expectations.

So, an interior designer can not only ensure to develop a beautiful space (biased opinion again). He/she can also dedicate special attention to such needs, making the space more appealing for students.

And here I reach the real focus of this paragraph. There’s plenty of research showing how young millennials and Gen Zs buy more via referral than any other generation. Referral marketing has become a proper branch of the discipline.

So, having a good-looking and properly planned Student Accommodation (along with the right referral marketing strategy) can mean a higher diffusion and popularity on social media.

Flexibility and Future Proofing

private cinema room

On the developers’ side instead, the initial additional costs of hiring an interior designer can easily be offset by two major consequences of a good design job.

The first is thanks to the prerogative of a professional to be able to create a more flexible space. One example is the solution we adopted in numerous private cinema rooms for our Student Accommodations. The bean bags ensure the possibility to free the space to organise different activities. Something that would not be possible with the more traditional cinema benches or rows of seats common in many private cinemas.

Secondly, a good design work does not blindly follow the current aesthetic trends. It looks at the future and at the building’s life cycle. A trained eye can create a space that is refined, stylish but also more versatile and future-proof. Meaning that in a few years’ time it will probably save the developer from having to completely refurbish the Student Accommodation, which would happen instead with an interior going out of style and losing its appeal.

A similar thing would happen with the wrong materials. For instance, using lower-quality carpeting or vinyl floor might save money initially. After around three years though, during which they will have faded or formed bubbles underneath, they will most likely need to be changed.

This is it. I hope you liked my shortlist of reasons why you should hire an Interior Designer to develop a Student Accommodation, and found it enlightening. Do you agree? Or maybe you thought about more reasons why it would be worth to collaborate with an Interior Designer. If you’d like to, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts through our social media. I’m waiting to hear from you! Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Also, If You Got This Far, A Little Update: The Blog Has Been Shortlisted For The Amara Interior Blog Awards 2020 In The Company Blog Category!

If you’d like to help me please vote for A Designer at Heart’s Blog HERE

Riccardo Del Bello

Written by: Riccardo Del Bello

Riccardo is the marketing manager and partner of A Designer at Heart. He is in charge of the development and brand definition of the company for its marketing activities.


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