We’re hiring! Think you’d be a good fit for our team? Visit our careers page for open positions.

Refreshes & Renovations of Multifamily Properties

Multifamily Remodel & Repositioning

Creatively refreshing older buildings and multifamily communities to attract modern residents.

The greenest new project is an existing building or development reimagined. This is especially true in the Greater Seattle area, where demand for housing is at an all-time high, but there is little undeveloped property.

Rather than tearing down and starting new, a refresh allows a project to compete with newer developments at a fraction of the cost of a new build.

Repositioning multifamily buildings is an art. Making the numbers pencil is essential and adherence to the budget is paramount. For the investment renovation to pay off, every move must positively impact your position in the market and attract your target resident. Design choices must reflect the vision for the refreshed property, speaking to its residents. Personality is key.

But, not all multifamily renovations have the goal of repositioning properties. The Seattle area is notoriously short on condos, and many of them are showing the wear of time. Staying on budget is just as essential, but rather than designing for future residents, design can focus on current owners’ desires, needs, and lifestyles.

Whether we are working with investors repositioning a property, or a condo board refreshing their building, we relish the challenge of breathing new life into older multifamily developments.

A mosaic mural composed of salvaged cassette tapes reads,
Cassette Tape Mosaic Mural

Behind the bar, a large mosaic mural — by artist Sarah Robbins — is composed of salvaged audio cassette tapes. Jack Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Cassette Tape Mosaic Mural

Behind the bar, a large mosaic mural — by artist Sarah Robbins — is composed of salvaged audio cassette tapes. Jack Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A lounge amenity area in a remodeled multifamily apartment building.
Reinventing a Room without Starting from Scratch

When possible, repurposing existing furniture into new arrangements (augmented with new pieces) not only helps stretch a budget, but also prevents unnecessary waste. Jack Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Reinventing a Room without Starting from Scratch

When possible, repurposing existing furniture into new arrangements (augmented with new pieces) not only helps stretch a budget, but also prevents unnecessary waste. Jack Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

The Eden Apartments Amenities Refresh – Board & Vellum – Multifamily Interiors
Dramatic Accent Wall

Though it’s actually wallpaper, the ”just rolled up this paint“ look of it is a casual counterpoint to the more buttoned-up details of the lounge space. The Eden Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Dramatic Accent Wall

Though it’s actually wallpaper, the ”just rolled up this paint“ look of it is a casual counterpoint to the more buttoned-up details of the lounge space. The Eden Apartments: Amenity Refresh | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

The Eden Interiors – Interior Design and Staging for Apartments – Board & Vellum
The Eden Interiors

The Eden Interiors | Photo by Cory Holland.

The Eden Interiors

The Eden Interiors | Photo by Cory Holland.

The Eden Interiors – Interior Design and Staging for Refreshed Apartments – Board & Vellum
The Eden Interiors

The Eden Interiors | Photo by Cory Holland.

The Eden Interiors

The Eden Interiors | Photo by Cory Holland.

Navigating complex design scope with experience and a unified team.

Investing in the future of an older — even historic — property comes with plenty of unknowns. With years of experience with this project type, we are skilled at navigating these challenges, including complex permitting issues, or the need to consult outside collaborators, like engineers, or ADA specialists. When we do encounter the unexpected, the combination of our experience with our interdisciplinary studio is an incredible asset for your project.

Multifamily remodels often include a broad swath of scope, from interior renovations — like refreshing individual units with new finishes and fixtures — to exterior upgrades, including landscape design, signage, and improving overall street presence.

One scope element, in particular, that is best served by a multidisciplinary team is the reinvention or addition of amenity spaces to align with popular preferences and modern lifestyles. No matter where they are located on a property, amenity spaces often feature a blend of indoor and outdoor spaces — from top-floor club rooms opening to roof gardens to ground-level lobbies and resident lounges opening to pool decks, trail loops, or dog parks.

We approach the design of lifestyle amenity spaces as an integrated team of in-house interior designers and landscape architects: it’s our not-so-secret recipe for creating amenities not only attractive to prospects, but also actively used and loved by current residents.

Design at its best is a collaborative, iterative process; we often hit on great ideas along the way that could be missed by a siloed team. So, even though most of your scope may fall under interior design, when we discover an opportunity where an architectural or site design intervention could really elevate a project, we have a colleague at the next desk who can jump in with answers.

Scout Apartments – Board & Vellum Multifamily Remodel and Repositioning
Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments – Multifamily Repositioning and Remodel Design by Board & Vellum
Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments – Multifamily Remodel – Board & Vellum
Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments – Board & Vellum
Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments – Board & Vellum
Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Scout Apartments

Scout Apartments | Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Capture the imagination of your future tenants.

Successful refreshes are not only new finishes, they are new visions.

Writing the next best chapter for a refreshed multifamily building or community means not only understanding the current market paired with your target resident profiles, but knowing how to craft the storyline to attract them.

Our holistic visioning process not only looks at the what, but dives deep into the who and the why. Understanding each neighborhood and its current and future residents means we’re able to develop a project that is exciting, contextual, and desirable. We research current trends and tactics to meet your brand objectives so the design will project the right vibe and messaging.

Beyond the finishes and fixtures, we provide model unit staging: fully outfitting a model unit with all the accessories, nuance, and articles of life that will speak to your potential residents. It’s one thing to create a vision for a property; it’s another entirely to create a space where residents can’t help but envision themselves already living there, like they’re already home.

Rendering of the remodeled multifamily amenity spaces of an apartment complex.
Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Rendering of the remodeled multifamily amenity spaces of a refreshed apartment complex.
Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Rendering of the remodeled multifamily amenity spaces of a repositioned apartment complex.
Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Cooper Apartments

Cooper Apartments | Rendering of proposed project.

Comprehensive design teams create cohesive projects.

Interior design, landscape architecture, and architecture at-hand when you need it.

As a multidisciplinary firm, our projects benefit from the individual perspectives and feedback of our diverse team, yielding purposeful, beautiful, and functional designs. We engage deeply with our clients to tailor our services, working with you to identify priorities so we can go beyond the basics to find dynamic solutions that feel true to you and your target residents, and meet your budget.

Having multiple disciplines in-house means we can customize a suite of services for a project in a more nuanced way, without adding additional overhead.

Even if you don’t opt to include services beyond a single discipline, all projects benefit from access to the perspectives of all three of our disciplines — we never know when a casual chat in the office will provide new insight into your design. To ease the process of refreshing a property, our in-house procurement services can handle purchasing, tracking, and storage of furniture, fixtures, art, and accessories ahead of installation.

We can also tap into our community of local makers to add meaningful art and accents to your project. Local muralists, lighting designers, metal fabricators, furniture designers, installation designers, and more can add a personal touch to a design while supporting the local creative community.

All in all, we offer an experienced, holistic view of every element of your project — from individual units to shared amenity spaces, indoors and out — and are deeply focused on how they all work together, ensuring your property’s distinct identity in a crowded market.

We look forward to building a dynamic team with you to reinvent your property.

Here are some highlights from our portfolio of multifamily remodel & repositioning projects.

No matter the type or size of project, we design buildings and spaces to please residents, owners, developers, and the larger community.

Cooper Apartments Amenity Refresh – Multifamily Remodel & Refresh – Board & Vellum
New
Reinvention of Indoor & Outdoor Amenity Spaces

Cooper Apartments Amenity Refresh

Transforming an apartment complex’s indoor and outdoor amenity spaces for the competitive Seattle market.

A mosaic mural in the Jack Apartments is composed of salvaged cassette tapes reads,
Interior Design with FF&E for Multifamily Amenities

Jack Apartments: Amenity Refresh

This redesigned apartment complex on Capitol Hill gives off a nostalgic vibe inspired by Seattle’s music scene, featuring a mosaic mural composed of salvaged cassette tapes.

Dockside Apartments Renovation, Furnishing, and Staging of Amenity Spaces and Model Unit – Board & Vellum
New
Amenities & Model Unit Reinvention, Furnishing, Staging

Dockside Apartments Renovation

Reinventing the amenity spaces and model unit of an apartment complex with a modern lakeside design concept.

The Eden Interiors – Interior Design and Staging for Apartments – Board & Vellum
Interior Design & Model Unit Staging

The Eden Interiors

With all new interiors, these apartments give off a classic-yet-current vibe designed to attract their target client: young professionals with an eye for Instagrammable spaces.

Sigma Kappa Mu Interiors – Board & Vellum
Furnishings for a Sorority House

Sigma Kappa Mu Sorority Interiors

A modern refresh (with a hint of glam) for the formal living and dining rooms of a historic Tudor sorority house at the University of Washington.

1819 Exterior Refresh – Site Design & Landscape Architecture – Board & Vellum
Site Design for an Apartment Building

1819 Exterior Refresh

With earthy materials — steel, natural wood, gravel, concrete, and green foliage — this apartment complex from the 1980s has a refreshed, modern street presence.

Or, perhaps you would enjoy a couple of helpful blog posts.

Our blog isn’t written for other architects and designers. It’s designed to be a helpful, approachable resource for you.

Why Lobbies in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It – Board & Vellum

Why Lobbies in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It

Lobbies in multifamily buildings like apartments and condos are worth the investment — these shared spaces offer a moment of pause and community engagement.

Amenity spaces in multifamily buildings (like this rooftop lounge) are key to attracting renters.

Why Amenity Spaces in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It

In a competitive market, without well-designed common spaces, your whole building may end up an afterthought to a potential renter. Invest in the design of amenity spaces to attract happy renters.

Spending design time and money on corridors in multifamily buildings is worth it.

Why Corridors in Multifamily Buildings Are Worth It

Corridors in multifamily buildings are often overlooked, considered areas to pinch the budget, but here’s why that’s the wrong idea and it’s actually worth it to invest in corridor design.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

Get in touch.