The Do’s and Don’ts for Decorating With a Roommate
A lover of Scandinavian simplicity and a maximalist walk into an apartment. What happens next? Well, if they’re brand-new roommates, some tests of patience and understanding may lie ahead. Whether you’re cohabitating out of choice or necessity, sharing a space can be tricky—especially when you have wildly different tastes. The situation is fraught with challenges, and feelings often get hurt. To help, we’ve asked friends and coworkers, who survived their own roommate situations, for tips on how to make it work. Read on for all the do’s and don’ts to keep cohabiting friendly and conflict-free!
“Be clear from the start if you plan on taking the decorating reins. I lived with a roommate who had little to no sense of style (and I mean that in the nicest way possible—she really didn't care about design), so we agreed from the beginning that I would be responsible for decorating. It took expenses off of her plate, and I enjoyed it.” – Julia
“Be ready to make adjustments to accommodate your new roommate. The biggest thing for me was realising I can't have small, dainty furniture anymore (he's 6'4"). So making those changes really made him feel more comfortable, and forced me to get rid of some furniture that I didn't really need—like my freakishly small Lucite coffee table.” – Jasmin
“Don't go halfsies on pricier pieces if you can avoid it. It's fine to split the cost of things like bath mats and trash bins (items that probably won't have a life beyond your current living situation). But you should take turns buying bigger, more expensive pieces. That way, when you go your separate ways, you won't have to deal with the headache of trying to divvy things up evenly, or calculating the depreciated value of a sofa if someone wants to buy the other out. “ – Shannan
“It can be tempting to treat a shared living space as a temporary or transitional space. But the fact is obvious: This is your home, the place you spend lots of time. Respect it. This means treating it with love, care, and attention. Take the time to decorate. No one wants to live in a barren space.” – Natalie
Do you have any additional do’s and don’ts? Share them below!