With the current surge in property demand in the Dubai market, developers are starting to realize that the criteria upon which a customer is choosing to invest in a property is rapidly changing.
Potential customers are becoming savvier and are more aware of the need to ask the right questions before they decide on a unit. One area in particular customers are becoming more conscious of is interior design – it is now becoming a key point of focus when enquiring about a property. Some of the most popular questions now being asked include:
‘What is the floor finish?’
‘What is the brand of the kitchen?’
‘Will this living room fit a 4-seater dining table and the living room set?’.
Such questions indicate that the customers are now becoming aware of the ‘added value’ which interior design can add to their property. As such, here are some key considerations worth noting in relation to the interior design of a unit you may be considering, and how that adds value to your investment.
These days the most popular and highly sought-after residential units in Dubai are those that pay close attention their level of interior design ‘detailing, branding and finishes’. Here you might ask ‘What is Interior design ‘detailing, branding and finishes?’ Well, there are three parts. Firstly, ‘interior detailing’ – as the name suggests, is any intricate or refined detail which makes a property stand out and makes you feel like ‘this property has been thought through and designed properly’. For example, how many times have you walked into a stunning property, only to find that the bedrooms are compromised by the swing of a wardrobe door? or that your beloved sofa must be reduced in size because the balcony doors are being obstructed? These are all ‘very real’ scenarios, where customers, may stop and possibly reconsider an investment.
So, using the wardrobe scenario as an example, ‘design detailing’ can be how a wardrobe has sliding doors instead of swinging shutter doors, because that can offer an opportunity to create a more efficient bedroom space. It can also be the thought process behind the design of a unit’s layout, where mostly all the kitchens are designed to be open plan kitchens to allow the customers to still be able to enjoy the marina views and indulge in larger living room spaces.
Secondly, we have ‘interior branding’, which refers to all the branded elements in the property. This can be anything from the brand name of the kitchen cabinets and electrical sockets on the wall to the brand name of the kitchen appliances, such as Miele for example. The latter being one of the most refined details a developer can employ to add value to the property.
Thirdly, ‘Interior finishes’ are all the materials which are used in the property and their unique selling points. For example, in high end developments, stone countertops for kitchens and bathrooms, are all specified as a ‘quartz’ based material. Quartz is a manmade product with higher specs than a natural product. The reason, behind using that in the kitchens, was to ensure that the water absorption and heat resistance, for the countertops, were at its highest possible specifications. This means that at no point, as a customer, will you find your countertops in your property changing color from water absorption or even cracking under the heat of the cooking pots.
What is your lifestyle like? And can the interior design of your property help you enjoy it as a customer? This question plays a huge rule behind the design process employed in designing the properties that will hold their value for investors in the long run. Studies are conducted, to ensure that the interior design, the interior layout and the color palette – unique to each development will appeal to customers with a forecasted lifestyle.
For example, the color palette used for a tower that appeals to young, modern working professionals is different than the color palette used for high end luxury residences. The reason being that if certain apartments follow a concept of urban living with efficient living spaces, light colors and neutrals are a must. Whereas the apartments that promote a different concept such spacious luxury living, offer an opportunity for the color palette to be possibly darker with denser materials like stone and natural woods.
Another way the interior layout and finishing can benefit you as a customer, is when you attempt to rent out your property. You shall find that these elements will define the lifestyle of tenants who will be interested in your property. Some customers will be looking for all white and neutral colors, while others will want the opportunity to have a contrasting interior with large balconies and floor to ceiling window glazing. Hence, the interior design will be acting as a major indicator for how accurate you can set your rental rate. Subsequently, this will assist you in predicting your ROIs for your investments.
Finally, it is crucial to discuss how trends evolve, and why the need to constantly raise the bar in terms of the added value and unique selling points when offering a property to its customers, is vital. One of the more uncommon approaches in the UAE is to offer end users the opportunity to purchase a fully furnished unit in premium developments. There are multiple benefits for a customer to purchasing a fully furnished and ready to move in apartment. Starting with the idea it presents the chance to immediately rent out the unit if it was purchased from an investment perspective. It will be furnished with quality fittings and accessorize that represent the overall quality of the unit itself. Nobody wants to rent a top tier unit, that has cheap, ill fitting furnishings in situ.
Furthermore, it removes the need to spend hours and days searching for the “perfect piece of furniture”, as everything that comes with a fully furnished unit has been considered in every detail in order to maximize the space, comfort and appeal of any layout.
Mennah is a Senior Interior Designer who joined Select Group mid-2016 to lead and evolve the design culture within Select Group’s development team. Driven by her strong believe that the strength of a successful developer lies in their dedication to their customers, Mennah continuously strives to implement the most innovative and distinguished design solutions in each development.