Minimal interior style
Interior Design

How design is critical to improve property returns

Written by Maddy Tickner

If you’re looking to rent out your property to short, mid or long-term tenants, or build upon or refresh your existing portfolio, taking time to consider the design elements can be hugely beneficial for your property returns.

A well-designed property will elevate the appeal to renters, optimising your portfolio’s yield and improving property returns. 

Max Skipworth-Button, Investment Director at property development company Leufroy, outlines his design team’s priorities when it comes to perfecting design: “At Leufroy, we aim to create spaces that feel like home as soon as you enter them. Whilst we treat every project differently, we always create spaces that are practical, yet meticulously designed. We start with the end in mind and think about everything; from planning lighting and furniture, to fixtures and fittings to ensure our homes are functional from day one.”

If you’d like professional advice, take a look at our design consultancy service. Otherwise, find our top tips on elevating the interior style of your property below.

Avoid fads and think neutral

Although the interior design of your home should of course express your own personal tastes, when it comes to creating a property that will be easy to rent and generate good returns, it is a good idea to play it somewhat safe. 

Bold patterns and clashing colours have their place of course, and can even create a property that successfully catches the eye and draws people in, but stick to accents and soft furnishings, rather than the overall design when it comes to your rental property. 

Try to avoid fads and anything too on-trend as these schemes can age very quickly and look tired. You won’t want to spend time and money redecorating too regularly, nor do you want to alienate tenants with a dated interior style. Focus instead on creating something classic, using high-quality materials. 

Consider your rental property’s target market

Is your flat ideal for a business traveller? Or perhaps you have a cosy terraced house, perfect for a family? Either way, your target market should be considered when planning design. Any financial investment made in a redesign should be in line with your expected return, therefore careful consideration is needed. 

The type of tenant you’re looking for will affect storage, special features, and finish among other things. If necessary, the layout itself of your home can be altered to suit your target market. For instance, rooms can be reconfigured or repurposed, and extensions and extra partitions could make a huge impact on the value and appeal of your property.

Well-designed, modern bathroom

Upgrade bathrooms and kitchens

In terms of return on investment, updates to the interior style of  your bathroom and kitchen are likely to have the greatest impact of any room in the house. Even small changes like re-grouting or replacing tiles can make a big difference to how tenants will perceive the room, the quality of the property overall, and its rental value. If you are interested in an up-to-date and immediate valuation, click here.

A modern, well-designed bathroom can evoke spa-like qualities, with mirrors and lighting adding a luxe feel and adding to the appeal of your home. Similarly, ensuring you have a power shower, and even a bath where possible, will reassure tenants about the quality of their experience at your property. 

Tidy decorative shelf


When renting out your property, making sure it is free of clutter and clear of personal items is really important. Even in the case of a short-term let, a clean, minimal space where guests can make themselves comfortable for the duration of their stay is ideal. 

A clear space will evoke a sense of calm and order, and incorporating this into the design elements is a good idea too. We’ve already mentioned a neutral palette, but clean lines and an abundance of effective storage can also work wonders. 

Be inventive with your space and get clever with spare nooks and crannies, aiming to use any spare or wasted space for cupboards, drawers and wardrobes.

Investing in a few baskets, crates or fabric storage boxes can be really helpful for guests to fill with their own items and easy to clear out when it’s time to leave. IKEA have a fantastic range of affordable storage options that are worth checking out if you are looking for additional storage.

Sunny interior with a dog

Make the most of natural light

When planning design elements and interior style of your home, taking sources of natural light into consideration is hugely important. Any windows that offer views of gardens and nature should be taken advantage of, and glass should be considered wherever possible to encourage a healthy flow of natural light throughout the property. Glass partitions and doors are a great way to open up the space in a non-invasive way, but will come at a significant cost if they have to be custom-made. 

To brighten up areas lacking natural light, such as hallways and rooms with North-facing windows, use warm, light paint colours. Utilise artificial lighting effectively, with lamps,  spotlights and illuminated cabinets creating cosy and ambient spaces.

Mirrors can be really useful in reflecting all available light and making the space feel larger. Plants and foliage that can survive with no direct sunlight can also transform a space and distract from the lack of natural light and create an illusion of bringing the outdoors in, and if there is no natural light at all, artificial plants can be a perfectly acceptable replacement. 

Don’t forget the details

While it can be tempting to save costs by cutting corners, putting as much care and attention into the details as into the larger design can ensure spectacular results and really elevate your property to the next level. 

Even light fittings, door handles and plug sockets are worthy of attention, a matte finish can be a simple and cost effective way to create an attractive feature that demonstrates that design has been taken into account throughout. Other small details that are worth considering include door handles, curtains, soft furnishings and any other touch that could add a luxury feel to the interior style of your rental property.

If you’d like to find out more about maximising your rental income, click here. If you have any further questions, or would simply like to chat to a member of our team, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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