2019 Design of a High End HMO

I thought this might of interest to Buildhubbers. I have been sent this as material to inform the redecoration / minor makeover of a student house in the summer.


It is some pics of a recent 'Co-Living' (= HMO for Professionals) development designed by Comfort Lettings, one of the most forward thinking Lettings Agencies in Nottingham. It shows how these developments are evolving. It is a careful refurb of a largish terraced house roughly 15 minutes walk from Nottingham City Centre.


There is nothing here that is particularly expensive to do, although some of the items are probably "dressing" for the (professional) photos. I do not see, for example, mini-cacti for the dining table / bathroom, or duvet covers, being supplied as part of even a Furnished Let.


There is more information on the  original page.


Of note are:

  • Greater variety of tones in the room design than 7-8 years ago.
  • "Feature walls" incorporate materials with an 'industrial' feel. "Scaffold plank feature wall', for example.
  • Textiles on walls.
  • Good use of mirrors.
  • All rooms Ensuite (this is interesting, as it is possible for "rooms with facilities" to be individual units taxable as "Band A" dwellings. That is just one of the complexities with which Landlords have to deal.)
  • A " large leafy plant" (a bit different from a "French Widow") in every room.
  •  Everything inclusive, including Bills, Council Tax, and 300Mb broadband.
  • Included fortnightly professional cleaner.
  • An EPC number of D67 - a good move to manage those inclusive bills, and within a shower-waste-water-heat-recovery-device or two of getting a "C", as may be required for 2030. The basic fabric of a renovation such as this will last 15-25 years, even though redecorations, carpets etc may be redone after 5-7 years.
  • All rooms are double bed, unless there is a very good reason not to do so.
  • Typical rents are approx. £500-550 per room per calendar month, with the package described.


It is interesting to see that they are already addressing the Tenant Fees Ban which comes in from June 2019.


Whilst it is clear that this is done to a budget, it looks good. The main effort of design is in careful choice of unifying themes - here I make those common themes to be:


  • Monochrome vs contrast.
  • No longer 'soopa-doopa-white-and-pale-scandi' - for those who will admit to knowing their Abba, I'm tempted to call the new version an Annifrid-inspired palette rather than an Agnetha-inspired version. It's a bit more folksy-hipster.
  • Industrial and 'natural'.
  • Exposed materials .. eg bed frames, tables, basket chairs, wire shelves, textiles.
  • Geometric patterns.
  • Consistent use of these elements.


Photos (from Comfort Lettings website):





















For me this is an interesting parallel to @puntloos' question about a "next level" vs a "finekitchen" design. The evolution of design feels similar - the finekitchen option seems like a "2010-ish" high-end HMO design, whilst the one featured here shows some similar features to the "next level" version.






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