Case Study: First-time Bristol HMO with interior renovation

A property in the up and coming Greenbank area of Bristol was the ideal location for property newcomers Helen and Dan Brown to complete their first-time HMO design revamp. 

They chose the district in the north east of the city for several reasons: its large, young population, excellent train links and walk-ability to the city centre. Not to mention its fiercely independent vibe.

The house's navy painted exterior


Day to day Dan runs a welding and fabrication business, whilst Helen works in IT. The project was their first HMO, having previously refurbished two of their homes, one of which is now a private rental. The other boasts a loft conversion. 

Interior redesign 

Helen and Dan say they looked to Instagram taste-makers such as Abigail Ahern for design inspiration when renovating the property. ‘I like to keep things simple and reuse where I can,’ says Dan.

The couple say that the use of deep earthy hues throughout the property was influenced by a ‘love’ of dark colours in their own home and an awareness of the palette that would complement this particular property.

Redesigned bedroom with grey walls

The redesign was based around warming navy and grey interior walls set against light wood flooring. Statement furnishings such as orange beanbags and yellow throws add splashes of bold colour into the rooms.

The property’s garden is particularly striking, the navy providing a vivid contrast to the green turf. The benches, composed of breeze blocks and wooden posts, give the space a minimal, industrial edge.

‘I love the simple garden benches that were minimal cost but totally in keeping,’ says Dan. 

Navy garden walls contrast with the green turf

Local touch 

Although delighted with the results of their first-time HMO design project, in the future they say they would like to retain more of Bristol’s independent spirit in their renovations, by sourcing more materials from local businesses. 

‘We sought a local business for the sink unit, but not the kitchen cupboards,’ they explain.

‘Though stretching to the Bristol pound might not be a goer for our business,’ Dan jokes.


The light and airy kitchen

The duo bought the Greenbank HMO in November 2017 for £282,000 and following the renovation, the property was revalued at an amazing £370,000 this June. The development costs reached £65,000 and the couple have taken £80,000 back out, giving them a 26.4% ROI. What’s more, their top room rents out for an outstanding £650 a month. Not bad for a first-time HMO design revamp. 

Investing in co-living 

The lounge

Despite only being their first venture into HMOs, the project has been such a success that they now have 3 more HMO-style schemes in the pipeline. They recently purchased a large 3 bed detached house with a separate garage in the Bristol suburb of Brislington. They plan to convert the property into a 6 bed co-living space and add a new-build smaller HMO on the plot. They’re also working on establishing their Habibo brand, under which their current project is being developed. 

Keep track of Helen and Dan’s latest projects on Instagram: @Habibo_Homes 



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