BEFORE: 268 Flinders Street Melbourne, mini studio makeover

We’ve been talking about real estate in Melbourne and even tweeted about a mystery mini studio makeover on Flinders Street for a while, where did it all begin? What’s the marketing problem with this studio? Why did the studio flat need a makeover? All these answers and more will be answered below.

We know the owner of this rental studio apartment on 268 Flinders Street Melbourne, who has been sharing with us his increasing concern for the competitiveness of his investment property when there’s going to be an oversupply of apartments in the next few years with new skyscraper apartment towers holding over 1000 units springing up all the time. He’s concerned that his mini studio apartment will be ignored by renters who have so much more choice of accommodation options in Melbourne CBD than 5 years before. So we’ve decided to lend him a hand as we think that marketing can provide him with solutions.

Before we could assess his property, our online search already revealed that the building and its many tiny studio apartments, one of which belongs to our contact, have received some bad press in the past.

The Age - Micro living in the big city is not for everyone

The above is an extract from the news article, “Micro living in the big city is not for everyone”, The Age, 19 August 2013, Marika Dobbin. Looks bad, isn’t it? Less than ideal press, very mediocre interior decor, tiny floor space, it’s a tough challenge marketing the benefits of living in these studios. We looked into the studio further and here are the specifications:

The building:

A heritage listed facade, 13 storeys high with 300 units comprising of furnished studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. It started out as a building for student accommodation, then converted itself into a hotel/service apartment, short term lease accommodation in recent years.

 

Home Flinders Street Empire arcade

Most of the units still retain that student, dorm look/set up that’s increasingly looking very tired and not a reflection of the creative vibe that Melbourne is known for as the world’s most liveable city year after year.

Location:

On 268 Flinders Street facing the iconic Flinders Street station, it’s well positioned in the heart of Melbourne CBD.

Dimensions:

The bulk of the studio units are no more than 20 sqm, they’re really tight spaces, so it’s usually hard to find long staying tenants beyond 6 months and to command a high rental return. Here are the BEFORE pics of his studio: apartment.

268 Flinders Street Melbourne Studio entry view

Solution:

After assessing the overall situation, we’ve come up with the following actions:

  • Ditch the student/dorm look
  • Reconfigure the layout of the studio apartments to maximise light, movement, functionality and storage.
  • Restyle the studio apartments so they’re more hip and aligned to current interior decor trends to improve the desirability of the apartments. Use prints, patterns and colour, mixture of materials, steel, wood, mirrors, plastic to add more texture and visual interest in the small space.
  • Improve the overall ambience with additional lamps.
  • Position the studio apartment as best value aka budget accommodation; compact in space but big on lifestyle.

268 Flinders Street Melbourne Studio furniture

268 Flinders Street Melbourne studio desk cupboard bed

Result:

We want to help the owner transform his studio into the MOST stylish, comfortable and desirable studio apartment in the block so those who are considering taking residence in the building will have his apartment on the top of their minds.

Look out for a later post to see what we’ve done to transform the studio apartment and address the above issues. You’ll not believe how small changes can make a big difference to a very tight and challenging space.

P.S. The studio apartment has been made over and launched as our #ConceptStudio on 17 October 2014. Visit www.ideasdispenser.com.au/conceptstudio to see the final result!

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