7 Small Apartment Building Design Ideas For 2024

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • The world is full of “small but mighty” things:

    • Tiny bees that pollinate 80% of our crops 🐝
    • A 4’8″ Olympic gymnast 🤸‍♀️
    • A diamond that can cut through steel 💎

    Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and that also applies in real estate. You don’t have to build a 40-story high-rise apartment building to find success in property development. Starting small with a lower up-front investment can have huge payoffs in the long run.

    We’ve put together seven small apartment building design concepts from across Pinterest to help you gain inspiration for a new small but mighty apartment building in your community.

    1) Limitation Fosters Creativity

    As demand for housing in bigger cities increases, all while available space decreases, you definitely have to get creative with how you design your new apartment buildings. We love how this apartment design packs a big punch with limited space.

    By stacking the units and thinking “up,” this apartment design even has room for a top-floor community space or luxury penthouse. When your capabilities are limited, you’ll be surprised at just how creative your designs can get!

    2) Think Outside the Box

    In this Parisian apartment design, the addition of boxes attached to the apartment facade makes more room for living space. Plus, they add visual appeal! Modern apartment designs don’t need to be boring rectangles just because that’s what everyone else is doing.

    Building apartments with visual intrigue like this one make it easier to rent out the units. Curb appeal applies for renters as well!

    3) Mixing Materials

    More traditional materials like brick and stone, unfortunately, don’t make many appearances in modern apartment designs due to their higher price. But many renters are still drawn to structures with these classic materials.

    One way to keep brick and stone modern is to pair them with other materials. In this ultra-contemporary apartment design, brick veneer is mixed with sleek black materials and glass. We love how the tinted glass outdoor railings are such a simple addition that really elevates this design.

    4) Black Is Back and Here to Stay

    We’d say that all-black exterior and interior design is a new trend, but that’s simply not the case! Black has been a sought-after color for many years at this point, but since it’s still a popular choice, we feel confident claiming that it’s here to stay.

    The black exterior radiates a moody elegance, while the large picture windows in this design scream “luxury.” With a small building like this, you can maximize your investment by installing luxury items, such as:

    • High-end appliances
    • Granite countertops
    • Large, energy-efficient windows
    • Community spaces

    With perks like these, you can charge higher rent prices, making your investment incredibly worthwhile.

    5) Play With Angles

    Even the most simple design choices can really bring an apartment to life. In this small property, the designer adds a modern spin to a classic multi-level apartment. While the interior floor plans in this building would be relatively straightforward, the exterior has visual intrigue thanks to the unique angles.

    Adopting a design like this is an easy way to elevate a traditional layout.

    6) Prioritize the Outdoor Space

    According to 63% of construction experts, outdoor living areas are a bigger priority to renters and homeowners than before the COVID-19 pandemic. You can accommodate outdoor spaces for your tenants with:

    • Communal rooftop patios
    • Courtyard spaces
    • Individual patios

    In this small apartment design, each unit has an individual patio. However, this design is more unique than others you may see while driving around your city. Each patio has an open view, but they are also designed at an angle with privacy walls. This ensures that each tenant gets to enjoy their own outdoor space while still getting the benefit of privacy.

    7) Modernize the Fourplex

    Fourplexes are an incredibly popular investment in the real estate world. They have a relatively low up-front investment and can produce significant financial gain when fully rented out.

    Traditionally, fourplexes are not particularly visually interesting. They often look like simple boxes without any interesting design features. However, if you’re interested in building a new fourplex, you can take the opportunity to execute a modern design.

    We love how the architect of this design played with levels, layers, and textures. This design teases almost-perfect symmetry, which makes it easy to execute the same four floor plans inside.

    How to Bring Your Small Apartment Design to Life

    If you have big plans to build a new apartment building in your community, it can be tricky to know where to start. Your best bet is to either work with a general contractor and architect or with a design-build contractor.

    Many property developers enjoy the convenience of working with a design-build contractor. In this arrangement, the same firm handles the design and execution of your apartment. Alternatively, you can select a general contracting firm or architectural firm first, and they likely have plenty of connections they can refer you to for the other services.

    Working with a design-build firm will help you solidify your design, budget, and timeline.

    APX Is the Contracting Partner You Need

    We don’t know about you, but we’re certainly feeling inspired by all of these modern designs for small apartment buildings. As both a general contracting firm and a design-build firm, APX Construction Group has helped real estate developers across Minnesota and the Midwest bring their visions to life and accelerate their careers.

    Don’t put your dream on hold any longer— contact the helpful team at APX to get started today!

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