Key Architectural and Interior Design Elements for HMO Conversions

In this video, I walk you through the second of our three HMO (house share) conversions that we’ve been working on since December. If you weren’t yet considering investing in or developing an HMO, this completed conversion will provide all the convincing you need.


Three HMO property developments may seem a lot to have knocked out in just a few months, but once you grasp the formula, you’ll see how you can simplify the process. Follow these HMO property tips and incorporate key architectural and interior design elements.

Layout considerations when converting to an HMO

This property was previously a single-family home, and we’ve converted it to a 6-7 bedroom HMO. The key to this conversion was creating en-suite bathrooms for as many of the bedrooms as possible. The conversion of the dining room into two bathrooms served this goal well.

Remember that the HMO rental market doesn’t necessarily expect a communal living area or dining room. In most cases, a large kitchen containing a breakfast bar will suffice. In this particular conversion, of the two bedrooms which are NOT en-suite (serviced by one separate bathroom), one or both could be repurposed as living areas.

Tailor your property to your target renters

Your top consideration for an HMO should be the type of tenant you wish to attract. In this case, our target renters are young professionals. Sleek, modern yet practical detailing incorporated throughout will help to attract tenants from this demographic.

Even though you need to be very mindful of your budget when converting an HMO, it will pay to pick out a few key details to elevate the interiors. Here are a few approaches we took.

Durable and attractive flooring

We’ve covered the flooring of the entire area leading to the stairs with a matt well in black. It may not be the most attractive of floorings, but it’ll go a long way towards protecting any other flooring surfaces throughout the HMO.

The ground floor bedrooms feature sleek laminate flooring. The stairs and upstairs bedrooms are carpeted in order to reduce upstairs-to-downstairs noise. The selected carpet is a thick, hard-wearing, yet soft to the touch. The grey-fleck pattern helps to conceal spills.

Staging the bedrooms

We opted for a neutral, sophisticated color palette of white, grey and chrome. Consider painting a feature wall in each bedroom; in this case, we’ve done so using the grey from our palette.

The bedrooms feature crisp white linens and a scatter cushion or two. Each room features a piece of modern art, as well as one or two other soft-furnishing items such as a plant. This helps to create a welcoming feel, like that of a nice hotel room. Glass-fronted built-in wardrobes are great for increasing perceived volume of the room.

Kitchens and baths
If possible, keep existing bathrooms as they are and upgrade the finishes and fixtures as needed. In the kitchen, we used white high-gloss paint, concrete-effect worktops and quality chrome fixtures and fittings. A breakfast bar serves as an optional sociable space.

Highlight a key feature
A key feature of this particular HMO is the large garden in which we’ve planted some extra trees. The kitchen area, as well as one of the bedrooms, has double-door access to the garden.

Final thoughts: keep your standards high, keep the property well-maintained, and respond quickly to any tenant issues. All of these best practices will ensure that you have good tenants for the long run.

If you are ready to complete your first HMO conversation project, book a mentorship call with me for one to one help to move your development site forward quickly and maximise your returns.