Designing HMO Kitchens and Bathrooms: Practicality and Style in Shared Spaces

Surya Yadav

In the modern era of urban living, shared living spaces, such as Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), have become increasingly popular. In such buildings, where unrelated and unacquainted folks share essential facilities like kitchens, bathrooms, and communal areas, creating an environment of harmonious coexistence between property tenants is paramount.

Now, how do you achieve this harmony through the design of living spaces while still maintaining functionality and aesthetic appeal? We intend to get you all caught up by the end of this article. Let’s delve into the art of designing kitchens and bathrooms for HMO buildings.

Why Planning Efficient Shared Kitchen and Bathroom Spaces is Necessary.

 Creating efficient communal spaces, especially in kitchens and bathrooms holds great significance in an HMO building plan. Because these areas are built to accommodate multiple families, it is essential that they are spacious, durable, and ergonomically curated. The challenge lies in seamlessly merging practicality with impeccable style, creating shared spaces that cater to the diverse needs of residents while exuding a sense of elegance.

You can circumvent this challenge by utilizing any or a combination of helpful guidelines we’ll be sharing here. With these, you can provide your tenants with an area for cooking and convenience that meets contemporary standards while maximizing available real estate space.

Tips for HMO Shared Space Design

  • Transform Space Constraints into Opportunities

Designing for shared kitchens and bathrooms necessitates ingenious space utilization. To achieve this;

  • Consider opting for sleek, streamlined cabinetry that provides ample storage solutions while maintaining an uncluttered atmosphere.
  • Integrate innovative features such as pull-out organizers and hidden compartments to optimize every inch of space.
  • Install artfully designed islands and countertops that double as dining or work areas to serve as multifunctional focal points.

By transforming spatial constraints into opportunities, any shared space can flourish with practicality and style.

  • Use High-End Materials

In houses with multiple occupants, durability is an important consideration, this can be made easier with an experienced HMO architect. Aesthetic appeal and resilience go hand in hand, so embrace materials that combine beauty with robustness. Countertops made of quartz or granite not only exude elegance but are also highly resistant to scratches and heat.

For bathroom surfaces, porcelain or ceramic tiles are time-tested and renowned for their resilience and ease of maintenance. By selecting high-quality materials, shared spaces can withstand the rigours of everyday use without compromising on aesthetic allure.

  • Employ Thoughtful Layouts

Dedicating considerable time to planning HMO communal spaces go a long way in attaining efficiency and comfort. Crafting thoughtful layouts is imperative to organizing shared kitchens and bathrooms with seamless functionality and comfort. It is also important to ensure the design of the communal spaces allow for the tenants to follow HMO rules and regulations.

Designing ergonomic work triangles in the kitchen, with efficient placement of the stove, sink, and refrigerator, can ensure occupants’ effortless movement between key areas. In bathrooms, you could consider separate zones for bathing, grooming, and storage to accommodate simultaneous usage. Such thoughtfully arranged fixtures and ample counter space can help foster an environment of tranquillity and efficiency.

  • Use Lighting as an Expression of Ambiance

Lighting is a transformative element, elevating living spaces to new heights of sophistication. Install task lighting above workstations and vanities to provide focused illumination, enhancing functionality and visual appeal.

Subtle ambient lighting fixtures, such as recessed or elegant pendant lights, can contribute immensely to an inviting atmosphere, enveloping residents in an enchanting environment.

  • Unify Elements with a Harmonious Design Palette

Achieving design coherence in shared kitchens and bathrooms is instrumental in fostering a sense of unity among occupants. Select a design theme that resonates with the house’s overall aesthetic while allowing for personal expression.

Harmonize colours, textures, and finishes to create a visually captivating environment. Consider incorporating communal gathering areas, such as a breakfast bar or a cosy seating arrangement in the kitchen, as this can encourage social interaction among residents.


Designing kitchens and bathrooms for HMO buildings necessitates a delicate balance between style and practicality. By optimizing space, embracing resilient materials, implementing thoughtful layouts, employing artful lighting, and achieving cohesive design, shared spaces can transcend mere functionality, becoming captivating realms of refined living. These well-crafted kitchens and bathrooms not only cater to the diverse needs of residents but also elevate the house’s overall aesthetic.

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