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How to Decorate a Space You & Your Roommate Both Love



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The best years I had living in NYC were the ones where I was living with my roommate. Seriously, living with a roommate can be so fun and definitely has its benefits. Cheaper rent and a buddy to watch movies with to name a couple. However, living with a roommate also has its challenges.

The most important one would have to be sharing almost everything inside of your home.

Sharing a space with someone else can be even more difficult when your roommate has a completely different interior taste to your own. Here are a few tips on how to decorate when living with a roommate:

Don’t split the cost of furniture

Whether you live with a close friend or someone you just met, I suggest purchasing half the items and your roommate purchasing the other half. Do not split the cost of everything. This will cause controversy once someone moves out because there will be confusion and possible confrontation on who keeps what.

If you have different interior styles, stick to neutral bases

Your bases are large items of furniture such as the sofa, rug and wall color. You can add character through small pieces of decor like pillows and decorative accents. Neutral tones like grays, whites, and tans can be blended to any interior.

Split up assets

TAKE TURNS and split up who is choosing what decor for the living room. For example, one roommate can have art dibs and the other can have decor dibs. This way, you BOTH have a say in how the living room looks. And BTW – it’s OK to mix two interior styles as long as there is an even amount of both in the space [photo will be here to mimic blending interior styles with a graphic tip on it- similar to Rental Style].

Leave the personal photos out of the common living areas

Art and photography are perfectly fine in a common living area. However, personal photos should be left for the bedroom and personal areas. (This mostly applies if you live with a roommate and not a significant other!) I personally don’t like decorating with personal photos in general.

Use the 5-5-5 rule

Have YOU heard of the 5-5-5 rule? Probably not, since my mom was the one who taught it to me! It means BE FLEXIBLE with your roommate. Think to yourself: Is it worth it to pick a fight over a lamp? Will this matter 5 days from now, 5 weeks, or 5 years? If it won’t matter in 5 weeks or 5 years, it’s not worth worrying over. 

Will you be trying out any of these tips in your home? Let me know down below!

Living with a roommate or a boyfriend? Living with your best friend or someone random? No worries! These tips will help you survive living with someone else … especially if you have different interior tastes! These tips will make living with a roommate easier and will create harmony between you when decorating your apartment together! Decorating with roommates can be a struggle … but these tips will help!

Read the Comments +

  1. Joni+Ryder says:

    Great article Chelsey. Love the photos. Love you

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Hi, I'm Chelsey

I’m an interior decorator, author, and “heirloom hunter”, discovering and returning lost family artifacts along my search for home accents. I'm also a dog mom, and very well aware there are some people who just follow me for him.

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