Great design is at the core of any great apartment; it makes a difference from the moment you step in the door. And while a beautiful space’s effect is all-encompassing, it’s the tiny details that often make the biggest differences. This is especially true when it comes to roommate living. In an apartment that’s shared by multiple people, spaces need to comfortably serve many purposes — typically at the same time. When sharing isn’t considered in a space, “home” can become a place of frustration instead of peace.
At Common, our in-house team of interior designers and architects work with developers at every stage of the process to create apartments that meet the needs of today’s renters. Our new home, Common District in Washington DC, is no exception. Take a look inside and hear from Steven and Jessie, Architectural and Interior Designers at Common, on how the space came together.
Designed for community
Crafting the perfect coliving suite is no easy feat, even with dozens of homes under our belts. Each home has its own unique benefits and challenges. And while Common District certainly feels spacious, the small square footage of a restored space forced our designers to find the balance between communal living and comfort.
As a solution, our designers selected furniture that could both accommodate our members spending time together without feeling cramped, “We try our best to always have large enough settings where all the members of the suite can gather — whether that be watching a game on the TV or cooking a meal. Modern style furniture tends to be more sleek, streamlined, and smaller, which allowed us to fit the appropriate amount of furniture so that all the members could share a space at the same time.”
Thoughtful amenity spaces
Space also provided a unique restraint in the building’s amenity spaces, namely the lobby and the outdoor lounge. Outdoor space is a must have amenity for many renters who came to appreciate the outdoors during the pandemic — not only does it provide an additional gathering point for members, but allows them to enjoy a change of scenery from their apartment (without changing out of their sweats.)
With a multitude of uses, the space’s furnishing had to be both comfortable and flexible, “The strategy here was simple but adamant. We chose furniture that looked and felt very inviting, comfortable, and had a variety of situations so that members would want to spend time on the terrace to lounge, work, or to host a dinner.”
Even the lobby, an often overlooked space in residential buildings, was carefully considered. The furniture had to work well within the small space and still feel welcoming. “The final selections were based on the colors of the walls and floor and we wanted to ensure that the furniture could be open enough for people to feel comfortable sitting there as they waited, but not too long as to treat it as a lounge.”
Great design is certainly about function, but artful elements can also make a space feel more like a home. At Common District, members can take a glimpse of the building’s history through the remaining brickwork in Unit 203. While our team would have normally covered up this wall, the brick’s great condition and ties to the building’s history made it a must-have for our team.
The original brickwork mixes well with the home’s modern interiors, as well as its other artful detail: a lighting installation by artist Annesta Le, “Each floor includes artwork by the artist Annesta Le which adds a contemporary feel to the hallways and lobby areas. The lobby includes a collection of blue neon light sculptures and each floor includes one neon sculpture, each a different color used as a floor identifier.”
Each suite also features its own selection of art work, carefully selected to contrast the modern finishes of the home without inflecting a certain style on its residents, “For the art, we went in a colorful direction. A lot of the furniture is neutral colored, and we wanted to contrast and balance out the grays and blacks with color to bring more life into the space.” The end result is a living area that feels warm and cozy, with plenty of room for members to add their own personal touches.
Discover the power of great design
If you’re sick of splitting a 2-bedroom 4 ways, we couldn’t understand more. It might be time to check out a coliving home and enjoy the benefits of roommate living without the hassles that typically come with sharing. Common District is now leasing, with private bedrooms in fully-furnished shared suites starting at $1243/month. Head to our website to explore the neighborhood, take a 3D tour fo the spaces, or book an in-person tour.