Waterside Tower, Imperial Wharf
Refreshing the decor reaps dividends at Imperial Wharf, London
An apartment that's tired and outdated won't attract a high calibre tenant - and won't achieve the best rental. It's a classic problem, one that was shared by a client recently who asked us to update his rental apartment in the Waterside Tower at Imperial Wharf in Fulham. The apartment was less than seven years old but had been rented out for four years and needed a little 'tlc'. So despite having stunning river views, our client had been settling for less than the market value of £575 per week rent for the two bedroom, two bathroom property. The solution was relatively simple - redecorating the apartment created a bright and modern feel and at this stage, our client's letting agent showed round a prospective tenant. However, the tenant was unsure as he couldn't see himself living there. The letting agent asked to him to come back in 24hours once all the furnishings had been added. The tenant came back the next day and loved it - the furnishings helped him to visualise himself living there and he made an immediate offer for £650 per week, an increase of £75 per week.
"New décor and some stylish, contemporary furnishings were all that were needed to transform the apartment. A simple refresh like this is something we would recommend every two or three years," reports Amar Tufail, head of refurbishment at InStyle Direct. "First, we painted the apartment throughout, adding a feature wall in the reception room and master bedroom to give a really contemporary look. We fitted new oak flooring and also carried out some general maintenance work. The kitchen and bathrooms were still in good order so these didn't require any work. We find it's helpful to keep kitchens and bathrooms simple and neutral so they don't date."
"We felt our Exclusive range was right for this luxury property as it reflects the calibre of tenant our client was hoping to attract," comments Max, taking up the story. "In the reception room, we kept to sophisticated, neutral tones and used a lovely, corner sofa from our new range. It's a soft khaki colour with chocolate brown piping and fits the space perfectly. We used a mix of black oak and walnut furniture to keep the look warm and inviting."
"In the master bedroom, we used a natural yet luxurious feature wallpaper from Romo's Folia collection, dressing the upholstered bed base in a glazed fern colour and crisp white bed linen. Then in the second bedroom we injected a splash of colour to the plain, grey colour scheme with bright citrine lamps and a beautiful moss stitch throw to add texture. Black and white framed prints complete the room perfectly. We didn't need to replace any of the window dressings as they were in good condition and their neutral colours meant they still looked smart and contemporary."
When the letting agent showed the apartment to a corporate tenant after the initial refurbishment, the applicant still couldn't decide whether it was for him. So after the property had been furnished, the tenant went for another viewing and when he saw it, he made an offer on the spot for the full asking rental of £650 per week. Of course, you won't always be able to achieve an increase in rental after a refresh in décor and furnishing, but it will help you attract a tenant quickly, minimising void periods and increasing your rental yield.