Leaving only harsh overhead lights takes away from the warmth of the space. It could also make the lobby interior feel more like an office building — not a cozy residential building.
Not to mention it's not very functional.
Several lights varying between ambient, task, and accent lighting will create the perfect mood.
Start by changing any strong overhead lights out for warmer bulbs. Putting ambient lighting on a dimmer allows you to dim them during the day if your lobby gets a lot of natural lighting.
Next, you'll need what's considered task lighting to light up specific areas.
If you have a seating area with tables in your lobby, table lamps make the perfect addition. Put these lights in spots where light is essential such as mail areas, front desks, and near elevators.
Accent lighting brings a punch to any areas or features in your lobby that you want to highlight.
Wall sconces are a great example of accent lights. They're perfect for hanging alongside artwork, elevators, or architectural designs to add a little something extra.
Not only are they extra lighting, but they also double as decor.
Choose Reliable and Convenient Flooring
Lobby flooring needs to be able to stand up to heavy traffic, be non-slip, and look great.
These three qualities may bring carpeting to mind because of the warmth it brings. But carpeting suffers a lot of wear and tear in areas with plenty of foot traffic and requires more frequent cleaning and replacing.
Hard flooring that's easier to clean and doesn't wear as fast is often the best choice for high-traffic areas.
The Best Types of Floors for Apartment Lobbies
Hardwood and laminate flooring is an affordable option that can stand the test of time if you take care of it.
Stone flooring looks luxurious, but that's because it costs a pretty penny.
Stained concrete is a style all its own and stands up to wear.
While these options have pros, most people agree that tile flooring is one of the best choices for apartment lobbies. Tiles are budget-friendly and easier to find. They also come in various colors, patterns, textures, and finishes, so no two lobby floors are the same.
Tile stands up to traffic and is easy to keep clean.
Stay away from pure white or black tiles that show dirt. Instead, opt for a medium color to hide dirt and debris between cleanings.
Add Mats and Rugs
No matter what type of flooring you go with, mats and rugs are pretty much non-negotiable.
A large mat in front of the door catches dirt and water on people's footwear as they come inside. Mats will keep your floors cleaner, keep people from slipping, and add to the style of your lobby.
Rugs are also crucial to creating a warm and welcoming feeling in your lobby.
An area rug under your seating area ties all the furniture together. But, of course, it also makes the place feel cozier, bringing more style and color to your floors.
When picking out mats and rugs, go for higher quality with colors or patterns that match the rest of your lobby. Even functional pieces should blend flawlessly into your design scheme.
Fix it Up With Furnishings
For larger lobbies, incorporate a seating area for your guests and residents to use while they're waiting.
Modern furniture is sleek and creates a more open space than chunky traditional living room furniture. That's especially true if the walls have mirrored surfaces.
Yet, if your apartments are in an older building or your theme is vintage, classic furniture will suit it better.
Go for good-sized, comfy chairs instead of couches to make people feel like they still have a sense of privacy while they socialize.
If your lobby space is too small for a proper seating area, even two chairs for guests to wait in is better than nothing. They're more likely to feel welcome if they have the choice to take a seat rather than stand.
The small details are just as impactful as the big ones when it comes to making your apartment lobby warm and welcoming.
Think of the decor as the jewelry on top of a fabulous outfit.
It brings everything together and gives it that little extra push it needs to feel like a place you can call home. Even a few items placed on the walls make a big difference.
Mirrors and Artwork
Mirrors are great for smaller lobbies, hallways, and elevators because they offer the illusion of size.
Artwork is a big favorite for lobby walls. Make sure it ties in with the colors you choose for the room, whether you decide on landscapes or something more abstract.
Are you having trouble choosing artwork?
If so, you can always feature local artists and change the artwork out every few months so that your residents have something new to see.
Indoor plants — real or fake — bring a natural feel to a lobby. Plants have a calming effect, reduce stress, and lower anxiety.
Decor is a great way to bring in accent colors and metallic accents to add pops of color and make the room feel more welcoming.
Keep Your Guests Entertained
Lobbies aren’t always the most exciting places to visit.
Residents may hang around waiting for their guests to arrive. Guests might sit down and wait for a resident to come down. Or a potential tenant could spend a few minutes in your lobby while waiting for a tour.
There are a few great ways to make everyone feel more at ease by keeping them entertained.
For instance, you can install a speaker to play soft background music throughout the lobby. Much like elevator music, it’ll drown out any awkward silences.
Or mount a TV on the wall that’s playing the weather channel on mute. Or include a charging station where anyone can charge up their devices while they’re waiting.
Keep It Clean and Updated
One of the best ways to make your lobby feel welcoming and warm is to make sure it stays clean and uncluttered.
Everything in your lobby should have a purpose. Likewise, there should never be trash or anything else sitting around that doesn’t belong there.
This also means cleaning the floors, changing burnt-out bulbs in the chandeliers, and removing any stains on the walls.
Your lobby’s appearance needs to remain up to date, too. That could mean changing color schemes, switching furniture, or updating the flooring.
Of course, there’s no reason to follow trends that change like the wind.
But if your furniture starts to look a bit scruffy or the walls are getting dingy, there's nothing wrong with a fresh update. Even small changes can transform the look from depressing back to warm and welcoming.
If you have staff attending to your apartment lobby, such as a front desk receptionist, concierge, or a doorman, have them greet residents by name.
While simple, this greeting helps residents feel welcome and at home when they walk through the front door.
It's small touches like this that show people you care about them while they're living in one of your apartments. Nothing could be warmer and more inviting than that.
Putting some thought into the feeling of your apartment lobby can mean the difference between a good or bad first impression. And that can make a potential resident's decision for them before they even see any apartments.
Investing time, energy, and money in your lobby now is putting an investment in your residents for the long term.
Everything from the shade of the walls to the wall decor will affect how your lobby looks and feels. It's not something you can throw together last minute.
Yet, with a bit of care (and a little browsing on Pinterest), you can design an apartment lobby that makes everyone feel warm and welcome.
Now that you have the perfect lobby, it’s time to fill the rest of your units with residents who will enjoy it!
Schedule a LeaseLeads demo to learn how adding our 24/7 virtual leasing agent widget to your website can fill vacant units with great tenants.