living room


renter advice



City Chic Decor


The Do’s and Don’ts of Living With a Roommate



Welcome to your home for budget-friendly design, renter solutions, and small-space solutions.




Visit the Shop

Get My Book

Get my first book, Rental Style

And keep an eye out for my second book, Shut the Front Door, releasing this Fall!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I just released a book (a post about the book is coming on Sunday!) I’ve recently been kicking myself in the foot about all the things I wish I included in it (seriously, I have a huge bruise!). Maybe this is a sign for a book #2??

Today, I want to discuss the VERY relevant and important subject about living with roommates. I’ve sprinkled upon this subject in previous blog posts, but I’ve never created a dedicated post for it. As much as I LOVE talking interiors with you all … sometimes it’s nice to take a break and discuss good ole’ fashion logistics.

Whether you’re living with a romantic partner or just a friend, these go-to tips will help you live as seamlessly as possible  … especially if you have different interior tastes!

1. NEVER split the cost of furniture.

Whether you live with a close friend or someone you just met, I suggest [yourself] purchasing half the items and the other 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.

2. If you have different interior styles, stick to neutral bases …

… and add character through small pieces of decor like pillows and decorative accents. Neutral tones like grays, whites, and tans can be mended to any interior. 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. You can ALWAYS make it work.

3. 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 (that’s a whole other blog post ?).

4. My 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! BE FLEXIBLE with your roommate. 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 5 weeks from now or in 5 years, it’s not worth worrying over. 

5. Be respectful of each other’s work schedule

When I used to live with a roommate, we alternated times to work in the living room. There wasn’t space for a dedicated office in our apartment, so we used a folding table as a makeshift desk (BTW: I wrote a whole post about how a folding table is an item everyone needs in their apartment). I needed space where I could edit video and she needed a quiet space to study.

6. Be respectful of who you bring over 

Ok so short story: my first roommate in NYC had a guy come over one night and I woke up with him in my bed. He was drunk and thought my room was her room. It was an honest mistake … but dear Lanta, I hope that NEVER happens again. ASK your roommate if it’s ok for a certain person to come over and HOW OFTEN they should be allowed to come over. My second roommate was a doll (miss you, Erica!) and had her boyfriend over a MAXIMUM of two nights every week just to respect me.

And there you have it! Those are my go-to tips for living with a roommate. I am sure there are more tips I could have discussed, but these are the main ones. Do you have any go-to roommate tips? Or will you try any of these out? Let me know down below!

XO, Chelsey

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 +

Leave a Reply

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.

as seen in:

READ          LATEST


follow @citychicdecor

If you're into interior design, amazing thrift finds, or are a history buff that loves the meaning behind certain items - You've come to the right place. 

Follow along →

Let's get casual →

I'm real into Pinterest →