Marson Place is Folio London’s latest Build to Rent development. Nestled in the heart of Central London it is a short walk away from Elephant and Castle. It offers 99 flats ranging from 1-bed to 3-beds, all furnished by Base Furnishings. It is a pet-friendly development that has an on-site medical centre and library, as well as a roof terrace. It is a part of the Elephant and Castle rejuvenation project, undertaken by the Borough of Southwark and aiming to create more than 5000 new homes by 2025. The area is going through massive change and residents at Marson Place will be at the forefront of it for the years to come, setting the foundations for the future community spirit of Elephant and Castle.
Folio London is one of the largest BTR providers in the UK. They manage over 3000 homes in the Greater London area and focus on providing high quality housing with exceptional customer service and other perks. They are a part of Notting Hill Genesis – a large housing association which provides more than 66,000 homes in London and the south east. All of Folio’s operating profits are reinvested into social housing through their parent company.
We were approached by Folio with a brief about the project asking for a show flat, feature walls that were to be painted in all flats and furniture that would represent the feel of the place and its target demographics. The target tenants they wanted to resonate with were: young professionals, key workers, couples and graduates. The interior design was intended to make the new residents feel welcome and at home, while also providing them with a sense of pride in their development.
Our Interior Designers used this information to create a mood board and 2 design concepts for the development’s show flat. They used Folio’s branding as inspiration, incorporating their colours into the design schemes. They sourced bespoke furniture in vibrant green and terracotta upholstery which gave the development the youthful look that Folio was looking for. The final design was a mixture of the 2 concepts that focused on curves and earthy tones.
We spoke with Folio and agreed on a timeline for the project and a set of contingencies which ensured we would meet it even if there were major setbacks along the way. We used our experience in delivering projects for the BTR sector to make sure all deadlines were met and the process of furnishing the flats was smooth and seamless.
Once the building works were complete our painters would come and paint the feature walls of each apartment. Then our delivery team would come and inspect the premises, forming a plan on how to make the delivery as efficient as can be and marking any narrow points and areas when care needs to be taken when carrying in large furniture. They would unpack and assemble the base furniture at a rate of 20 units per week for a total of 5 weeks, as per the brief. We are capable of doing faster deliveries as well, depending on the requirements of our clients. Once the showroom was ready for viewings our marketing teams would work together to produce high-quality images and videos of the unit for a sales campaign when the flats go to market.
Interior design is an important part of people’s lives and makes a huge difference when they make the decision of whether to move into a property or not. We approached the design with Folio’s target residents in mind. We pictured their lifestyle and drew inspiration from it. Young professionals are busy, active individuals and they seek out homes which accommodate for these aspects of their life. We used biophilic design to make the flats look friendly and inviting. We incorporated Folio’s branding colours to create accents of green and terracotta around the rooms. We placed plants around the show flat to make it look fresh and healthy. We used furniture with “timeless” design to improve the longevity of the flats and make them look stylish and contemporary for future tenancies as well.
Space played a big role in our decisions. All the flats on offer have open-plan kitchens that offer a lot of space to be utilised. Keeping the target tenants in mind we opted to go with curved furniture, which kept the rooms feeling open and spacious. For the bedrooms we provided half-moon headboards upholstered in green velvet to provide a focal point that stood in contrast with the bedsides.
The flats came with large floor-to-ceiling windows which let in heaps of natural light. We used mirrors and the neutral-coloured sofa and rug in the show flat living room to emphasise this selling point. We interspersed lights and candles around the flat in order to keep the place bright and cosy at night.
Since this is a pet-friendly BTR development we made sure to choose upholsteries which are scratch resistant and have a high Martindale count. The soft round curves of the furniture also play a big role in this, preventing the pets from getting hurt if they’re playing or running around.
The blocks are fully accessible via elevators and have a few flats set aside in each to be used by people with disabilities. These flats have wider corridors and larger bathrooms to accommodate wheelchair users. When formulating the layout of these homes we made sure the furnishings were positioned in such ways as to maximise the open space to facilitate the manoeuvrability of a wheelchair.
We worked closely with Folio to provide welcome packs for all the flats. They would be given to new tenants upon moving in to make them feel welcome from day one. We used items such as water bottles, umbrellas and jute bags – everyday essentials – labelled with Folio’s logo and branding colours. The items emphasised the idea of sustainability which is an important issue for the demographic. They were tangible examples of the steps Folio had taken to make sure Marson Place is as environmentally friendly as possible, building a housing development that the residents could feel proud of.