London is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Yet, most people renting a property in England’s capital accept that they might end up living in a compact space that's short on storage. High rental demand and protected land mean that square feet are in short supply.
Although large properties come with a premium, landlords can use space-saving solutions to turn their snug buy-to-let apartments into clutter-free homes. A versatile rental property that feels spacious and provides plenty of storage is sure to be a big hit with renters.
So, what can landlords do to create storage and maximise space in their London buy-to-let in order to stand out in a competitive rental market? In this article, we'll provide top storage hacks that will increase your property’s appeal.
Having an open mind is key to utilising space. It will help if you happen to have the floorplans on hand so that you know the exact measurements of the apartment. Even if you don't have plans, it's important to really visualise when examining your floor space.
Choose furniture that compliments the space, rather than trying to fit items in because they look good on showroom floors. Think about the design of the apartment too. London is full of period building exteriors with modern interiors, with most successful rentals incorporating a modern look on the inside.
Keep the interiors bright and light, which will create a sense of space. Staying consistent in each room will also create uniformity that helps coordinate the apartment. Once you have the layout figured out, you can look at how to maximise storage.
Bare walls are some of the most under-utilised spaces in apartments, but there's a fine line between creating more storage and adding wall clutter. Yet, thinking vertically can help you add storage options that will come in handy for tenants in your buy-to-let apartment.
Wall space offers functional benefits that don’t compromise aesthetics, as long as you stay away from bulky overhead cabinets. Instead, consider pegboards. These make excellent space-savers and allow you to keep items like keys and chargers in place. Hooks, rods and built-in shelving units all increase storage while making the property feel extra spacious.
Dividing space into sections can help create more storage solutions around your buy-to-let property. Items like folding screens are easy to move around, and they don’t take up much visual space around the home. Expedit shelves can also separate spaces in small apartments, in order to provide more privacy.
You can also create layers with built-in storage. Having different levels can make your buy-to-let feel more spacious and open up new areas of the apartment. Also, mirrors can enhance the look of the space. While they won't create more storage, they will create the illusion of the apartment being bigger. This trick might let you get away with adding an extra storage container or two.
Using built-in storage is one of the most popular ways to hide clutter. It offers a tidier solution, keeps a small apartment looking spacious and can even blend into the walls or the existing furniture. Built-ins can also function in all room types, from living rooms to bathrooms.
Examine each room separately and decide on the type of built-in storage solutions you would like to utilise. Blank walls can transform into built-in bookshelves, while kitchens cupboards can double up with storage racks built right into the doors.
Landlords looking to maximise space should incorporate multi-purpose furniture in their buy-to-let apartment to increase their storage options. It can double up as added storage space, which provides tenants with extra options for storing their belongings and helps with the overall look and feel of the apartment.
Popular multi-purpose furniture options include:
Multi-purpose furniture enhances efficiency around an apartment, creating more space while adding practical and sleek furnishings which add another dimension to the home. It's also one of the easiest ways to implement a more minimalist look into your property.
Dead space might seem like an unlikely scenario in a small apartment, yet there are many occasions where even the tiniest spaces have it. It's those awkwardly shaped or hard to reach areas that usually create dead space, where it might look like the area can't really be utilised.
However, dead spaces can be ideal spots for adding more storage options. For instance, using items like magazine racks or small boxes or cubbies to fill the space. Even if you're not specifically thinking about storage, dead space can still work as somewhere to keep essential items like lamps (the long cord will make it easy to operate from anywhere).
Ultimately, you need to be imaginative. Depending on what you store, or what you think your tenant will need, come up with ways to maximise unused space while still making sure the apartment doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Meanwhile, you also need to think about keeping all aspects of the property (including dead space) neutral in tone, as the apartment needs to appeal to a broad range of renter.
Just because a property is small, it certainly doesn’t mean you need to skimp on style. The majority of your tenants are going to be young professionals who desire fashionable and functional spaces to call home, no matter the size of the property. Style can also tie-in to creating more storage around the property.
For example, explore the idea of utilising a breakfast bar with stools in the kitchen. This can be a countertop, and somewhere to eat meals - while removing the need for a dining table and chairs. Some breakfast bars even have concealed storage underneath, which is especially helpful in open-plan living areas where everything is visible.
While storage is of the utmost importance, creating living areas that feel comfortable and spacious is also vital. Using artwork as a centrepiece of the room or opting for thin, translucent curtains might not add more storage, but they will help to make the home feel spacious.
An attractive feature wall with funky wallpaper can also help make the apartment seem larger. When decorating, avoid large, dark items and bold geometric patterns, and instead go for horizontal stripes and lighter colours.
Naturally, tenants have a wide range of tastes when it comes to looking for a home. Everyone wants something different. One thing they all share in common, however, is a desire for more storage and space in their home. Regardless of if your buy-to-let apartment is a studio or a three-bedroom flat, you can always optimise the space and add storage options to make the property more enticing.
Alternatively, you can take a much more hands-off approach. Letting your property to Blueground means sitting back and simply collecting a passive income. Landlords don't need to worry about designing their buy-to-let flats or even finding renters.
Instead, Blueground acts as the ideal tenant, paying owners rent even while the flat is being prepared for the next guest. Our interior design team ensures your property is fully-furnished and completely equipped with high-quality furnishings and top of the line amenities.
For tenants, the properties are available for a minimum of 30 days and come completely move-in ready. The spaces have been designed with our tenants in mind, and have standalone storage spaces added around the property. Clutter is kept to a minimum in our furnished apartments with all of the housewares and cookware carefully chosen to suit our travellers’ needs, stored optimally in their new home. All that's left is for Blueground tenants to show up with their suitcase, and start living.