Beyond Four Walls: New Age Luxury in Multifamily Housing

New age luxury living prioritizes convenience and restoration by anticipating residents' needs and designing for them.

Apartment buildings are no longer simply a space to hold your belongings and lay your head – they are an extension of your lifestyle and a wellness tool to use in the race against the clock in your hectic everyday life. Now more than ever, renters seek spaces that offer convenience in and around their building.

If their home was designed as a toolkit that made everyday decisions easier, food options healthier, and downtime more restful, then residents would be able to live their lives more wholly – and in a world as hectic and time-stressed as we’re in today, what more could you as a renter ask for than a space to find peace from it all?

In recent years, trends and research show many working-professional renters tend to work later, run jampacked days around their respective cities to fulfill their calendar’s demands, and feel mounting pressure to have everything in order by dinner time when returning home at the end of their day. This, in turn, offers multi-family residential developers an opportunity to give renters back valuable hours missing from their day by adopting a shortlist of thoughtful adjustments to their amenity and unit designs.

Delivery Management

Grocery delivery storage is not glamorous, but we see it becoming an essential amenity for renters in the coming years. Grocery stores are daunting and no longer a ritual part of the week as pre-made meal preparation, and grocery delivery services become more popular.

The need for delivery services has significantly increased during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This demand will likely continue to grow as consumer behaviors become accustomed to this time-saving tradition they’ve integrated into their routines. To meet the needs of future working-professional tenants, luxury rental buildings with chilled delivery rooms could very well give back to their communities and encourage more local deliveries as well, like florists and weekly farming vegetable drop-offs.

We already see companies meeting these needs, with Parcel Pending, for example, a package maintenance system that has released Refrigerated Lockers. And as more companies like Parcel Pending are emerging with creative ways to simplify people’s access to nutrition and daily needs, our buildings need to evolve with them.

For instance, Cameo in Orange County, CA, a recent project designed in collaboration with Toll Brothers Apartment Living, provides residents access to a vending machine-like grocery cabinet called a Stockwell. Everyday essentials from laundry detergent to flavored seltzers are available for purchase through an easy-to-use smart app, which helps prevent a grocery store trip when renters are in a pinch. The Stockwell machine can track the data of what users buy and how frequently so that they can adjust the stock to meet the needs of its users, therefore taking the guesswork out of the hands of the property management team and maximizing usefulness to renters.

For food delivery services, a building could include easily accessible parking spaces for delivery drivers and a designated receiving location for secure food delivery drop-off. The drop-off location could be a chic decorative wall unit with alphabetized shelving in view of a leasing agent, a back-of-house heat lamp area to keep the food warm, or perhaps, a more secure locker system merging the original Automat food dispensary concept with amazon prime lockers.

16106 00 The Kendrick N60

A “typical” amenity, such as a mailroom, can be given a more dynamic purpose in a prominent location and accompanied by other amenities such as a coffee station or a pub with various games to encourage social encounters, as seen in Toll Brothers Apartment Livings' The Kendrick.


In addition to delivery convenience, the need for low-effort healthy, environmentally-friendly food options is emerging as a competitive amenity in the multi-family housing market. With constant reminders of the damage that processed food can cause to the body, people are making more thoughtful and sustainable decisions about what they eat and the impact their decisions have on the environment.

In response to this growing need, an on-property vending machine that provides healthy, locally sourced small bites and meals would offer more flexibility and comfort for renters of all ages and incomes. Making a good decision these days requires a fair amount of research – Is the product sourced locally? Is it organic? Is the packaging recyclable?

Taking that effort off your renter’s shoulders is an element we see in the new-age luxury.

Companies like Farmer’s Fridge in Chicago are setting an example by providing locally sourced, healthy vending that could work seamlessly within the amenity space of a multifamily building. Renters can grab a yogurt with fresh blueberries on their way to work in the morning or a salad for lunch if they work in the building’s co-working lounge for the day. Alternatively, a Sweet Green outpost could be set up to receive fresh salads delivered for multiple renters at the same time daily without a delivery fee.

In-building amenities like a community garden or CSA membership can greatly improve the quality of food residents are consuming by bringing it to the forefront of their minds and encourage them to get to know their neighbors in the process. Programming healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition workshops with local experts or restaurants can help renters learn how to use their building resources better while also creating a sense of belonging and loyalty to their neighborhood and fellow residents.

17171 00 Osprey N16

Refreshments are available to Toll Brothers Apartment Livings' Osprey's residents at the community juice bar.


When the services above are properly executed, your renters will hopefully have more downtime in their day for well-deserved relaxation. Today’s reset takes many forms – a break from Instagram, a breath of fresh air, a manicure, or a calm evening to prepare for a good night’s sleep.

While spas and similar rejuvenation spaces have begun popping up on multifamily properties across the US, it is important to ensure that they are genuinely usable and offer wellness to the tenants within your building. These areas should be visually calming, built with natural materials, and flooded with natural light. Relaxation spaces do not have to be as intricate as an ice-bath room with saunas; they can just as easily be a soundproof meditation space with floor cushions or an interactive rock garden. Tranquility can even come in the form of digital detoxing, as the presence of WIFI may start to become a nuisance in coming years. Amenity rooms capable of blocking WIFI signals or the wiring of units to allow their tenants to turn off their WIFI at night could become a new amenity that renters look for.

Rest is also sought after through the art of pampering – for both renters and their pets. Pet spas are designed into many multifamily buildings these days and can be used for travel grooming. Still, glam rooms for renters with hairstylists or manicurists can provide in-home pampering is a next-level amenity that we predict we’ll start to see in new buildings. Many apps are already geared towards these on-the-go spa services - like Glamsquad, which allows you to hire a stylist to provide beauty services at home, and Zeel, a common in-home masseuse hiring app. At this point, we have the technology; all that is missing is designed spaces that will allow renters to enjoy these apps in their building.

16106 00 The Kendrick N40

Outdoor amenities spaces like the featured roof deck at Toll Brothers Apartment Livings' The Kendrick can be shared or used for private functions upon request, allowing residents to host social events beyond the confines of their units.

As residents continue to lose time working and living their lives to the fullest, convenience will become the gold standard for luxury-rental buildings in the future. Any thought or task you can take from your renter’s mind and solve for them will play a crucial part in the sought-after amenities of the future.

After all, what is luxury if you don’t have time for it?

17171 00 Osprey N57

Residents of Toll Brothers Apartment Livings' Osprey can reset and unwind with an urban living experience grounded on research about its neighborhood and an understanding the surrounding community's interests and desires


Trending now

Next Stop, Freetown: Creating a Black Heritage Tourism Hub through a Sustainable Transportation System
A program of the Architects Foundation and administered by AIA Communities by Design, Design Assistance Teams (DATs) bring together architects and other multi-disciplinary experts to collaborate with the residents and stakeholders of communities that struggle to grow equitably and sustainably to envision brighter futures and build the strategies to realize them.
2023 09 19 Quinn AI Graphics 09
Pixel and Mortar: AI is Optimizing the Design Process
In the ever-evolving realm of architectural design, the traditional brick and mortar mentality surrounding creative design processes are being challenged by artificial intelligence.
2023 08 24 SCUP Followup 12
How to Better Foster Belonging for Students Through Inclusive Campus Planning and Design
Understanding student success requires campus leaders to learn how best to meet the growing needs of students around mental health, wellbeing, and belonging.
Kamryon Bergmeyer HHAC experience
2023 Bergmeyer x Hip Hop Architecture Camp Scholarship & Internship Experience
During the spring of 2023, we introduced the second awardee of the Hip Hop Architecture Camp x Bergmeyer scholarship and internship program: the incredible Kamryon Johnson from Detroit, Michigan. In July of 2023, she had the opportunity to spend a fully funded week in Boston, immersing herself in our design collaborative and gaining hands-on experience.
Artboard 9 copy
A Diverse Housing Ecosystem: Preventing Housing Collapse
The current methods of housing development, mainly focused on single-family tract homes and large apartment buildings, are insufficient tools to address housing supply.
Embrace the Thrill of the Unknown
Embrace the Thrill of the Unknown
When was the last time you did something spontaneous or indulged your curiosity? How can brands leverage curiosity as a marketing technique to set themselves apart?
2022 CD Retails New Horizon
Retail's New Horizon
How can retail brands seize the moment and reinvent themselves?
Artboard 9 copy
2023 Bergmeyer x Hip Hop Architecture Camp Scholarship x Internship Winner: Kamryon Johnson
Our 2023 recipient of the HHAC x Bergmeyer Scholarship/Internship program is Kamryon Johnson of Detroit, Michigan!
Artboard 9 copy
Mentorship in Design
Q&A with Emily Bowers, Associate Principal, Design Practice Leader, and PAVE 2022 Rising Star Finalist
2023 06 19 Pride Graphics 11
Design for All: Why Inclusive Design Matters - PRIDE 2023
To celebrate PRIDE Month 2023, we asked our "Bergies" to define their personal concept of inclusivity, and more specifically, inclusivity behind the design lens.
4 x 3 ID Bill License
Why License Interior Designers?
The passage of the House and Senate bills titled "An Act Relative to Advancing the Profession of Commercial Interior Design" would license the practice of Commercial Interior Design in Massachusetts.
Artboard 9
Multi-Family Housing and The Metaverse: Opportunities Await in the Virtual World
Conversations with leaders in the multi-family real estate industry led us to consider ways the Metaverse could act as a supplemental layer or extra dimension of multi-family housing and real estate marketing in the future.
Artboard 9 copy
Maria Montas Named A 2023 Ones to Watch Rising Star by New England Real Estate Journal
This spotlight by NEREJ recognizes multidisciplinary professionals who have made notable contributions to their company and industry as a whole.
2023 Design for Mental Wellbeing Web
Designing Mindful Spaces: Seven Concepts that Support Mental Wellbeing
Designers have a responsibility to create environments that meet a client’s needs. Moreover, we possess a remarkable opportunity to exceed design standards by offering solutions that foster mental well-being.
2022 CSR Report Web
Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2022
As an organization, we are committed to practicing with a clear focus on equity, inclusivity, sustainability, and civic engagement.
Office to Residential Opportunity City Center Web FINAL
Unleashing Opportunities: City Centers - Office to Residential Conversions and Mixed-Use Environments
The current oversupply of office space and chronic under-supply of housing in the U.S. represents the first time we have seen market conditions that make office-to-residential conversions a realistic housing solution and opportunity for downtown revitalization by reintroducing mixed-use environments at the urban core.
2023 Future of Sustainable Design Euro Shop web
The Future of Sustainable Retail Design
The predominant takeaway from EuroShop 2023 is that the future of design is rooted in sustainability.
4 E414 A79 8 ACF 4538 BAEA 1491 EEC94 D17
Inclusive Venue Design: Creating the Ultimate Visitor Experience
Guests expect a venue experience above and beyond the events they pay to see.
2023 Women's History Month: Q&A with the Women of Bergmeyer
In honor of Women's History Month and to commemorate the courage and achievements of the women who came before us, we’ve shined the spotlight on ourselves to share the thoughts and messages of our very own Bergies. These influential women inspire, pioneer, and break the bias of gender inequality in their everyday lives.
Tik Tok Gen Z web
How Gen Z and TikTok Created a Consumer Revolution
One of the most prominent present-day marketing challenges a business can face is capturing a target audience’s attention and keeping them intrigued for the long haul.