How to Create Flow in Your Properties

When designing a HMO, it can be hard to know where to start.

You want to create a property that will stand out against a crowded rental market but still feel like a home that tenants want to stay in for as long as possible.

It’s a complex task, but we are here to lend a hand!

This blog looks at how to create flow in your HMO! But before we dive in, let’s first discuss why we should bother.

Why is Creating Flow Important?

When each room in a HMO belongs to a different tenant, we must create a flow between each room and communal spaces.


The reason is that it helps the whole property feel like one large home. It also helps to lead people’s eyes through the various rooms and spaces and gives the home a sense of identity.

Pick a Set of Neutral Colours

One of the easiest ways to create flow throughout your property (which applies to any property) is to maintain a set of neutral colours. 

It can be tempting to make each room utterly different from the next so that you feel as if you can flex your interior design skills. However, it’s best to consider how the entire property will look as a collective unit from the get-go. 

View your neutral colours as one set for the whole property. For example, I typically choose 2-3 neutral colours I will use throughout. 

Your lightest neutral colour will work great in a kitchen or bathroom. Your middle colour is perfect for bedrooms and living areas. Your darkest neutral can then be used in the hallway, which helps to make the rooms leading off feel brighter and larger!

Tip: Don’t be afraid to use a darker neutral, especially in a room with little natural light. Sometimes it is worth “leaning into” the natural darkness of a room and using it as a feature rather than trying to lighten the room with light colours. Enhancing the darkness is sometimes the best solution!

Picking the Right Accent Colours

You may choose to have a different accent colour in your HMO rooms. This is great for marketing, as you’ll likely appeal to various tenants and can help tenants feel their room is unique. However, it can cause a headache to ensure the whole property feels like one big home.

When choosing your accent colours, try to ensure the colours compliment each other from room to room. You can do this by picking colours from the same palette or choosing completely different colours with the same ‘tonal weight’ as each other. This can create more harmony and ensures that your colours work well together. You should avoid choosing a dark, dramatic colour in one room but a light and airy colour in the next. If you stand in your hallway and look out towards each room, you should see harmony with each other, even if they are entirely different colours.

If you have a room with multiple functions, such as a communal area, you may choose to have one overall colour scheme with 2-3 accent colours. Again, you can use the colour scheme slightly differently in each of your zones (each function of the room should sit in a different zone within the space), but overall, the room should harmonise. This will again help the whole room flow.

You can also use an accent colour to create flow by having one colour that features throughout the home. Take blue, for instance. You may choose a pink and blue scheme for your bedrooms, a green and blue scheme for your living room/area, and a monochromatic blue scheme for your kitchen or dining room. Using blue throughout the home will bring all of those schemes together. 

Don’t Forget Your Woodwork

Let’s not forget the woodwork. This is another simple way to create flow throughout your HMO.

You can choose to do lots of different things with your woodwork. For example, you might decide to keep it the same colour as your walls (this works great in shorter rooms), or you might choose to paint it white. You could even use your woodwork as a feature, e.g. slightly darker neutrals work superbly on woodwork.

Whichever way you decide to go, remember to consider the home as a whole when choosing your woodwork colours. The simplest way to create flow is to choose one colour for your woodwork for the whole property, whether that’s white, grey or an accent colour.

Unify With Your Hallway

Finally, whatever you decide to do with each room, you should always ensure the colour in your hallway compliments the other rooms. This helps to bring everything together and create a finished look.

If you want to use a neutral colour, try your darkest neutral in the hallway. Or, you could have a colour in the hallway that is then used as an accent colour in your other rooms.

If you’d like to learn more about colour and how to create the best colour schemes for your project, check out our Free Colour Scheme Guide! Or, if you’d like us to take the pressure off and create the perfect scheme for you, then book your free discovery call with us today!

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