Sharing a space with a roommate can be tricky, whether you’ve known each other for years or found each other through classifieds. Unless you’re very lucky, the two of you are likely to have different tastes when it comes to interior décor – you might be a sworn Bohemian, while she prefers minimalist simplicity of Japandi. However, even this union of different decor preferences can work if you apply some of these tips. In the end, your effort could result in a more beautiful and eclectic space than you could imagine.
Invest in durable pieces
Sharing a space with roomies means having more people around all the time. This means that high-traffic areas such as entryways and shared bathroom will need more frequent cleaning, but also means more wear and tear on furniture and fixtures. For this reason, you should avoid budget furnishings and instead stick to more quality items. Although veneer coffee tables are affordable, they're likely to chip or show other signs of damage in the first six months. For roughly the same price, you can get a used real wood table in great condition, which you can then restore yourselves. While they may cost more upfront, durable furnishings last longer and age better, so consider pooling your money among yourselves for pieces that are worthy of investment.
Start with neutral palettes
While you may initially want to make your design taste dominant, especially if you own the place or you're the longest-present tenant, that approach doesn't always work with your roomies, especially if your tastes are a bit off-beat. So, instead of insisting on leopard print sofa throws and larger than life photo print tapestries, stick to quality pieces which are more neutral, such as pastel drapes and non-patterned, natural fibre rugs. From there, you and your roommate can work together in bringing details that add more personality and character to the space, without pulling in any of directions. This way, both of you will feel that you had some say in the décor, without being too pushy.
Your bedroom = your sanctuary
If your shared space has turned into an exuberant hodgepodge of styles and you want a patch of it to be your no-flight zone, the bedroom is the right spot, as it might be the only space in the house where you have full creative control of your décor. While your lease terms may not allow you to squeeze in a frameless shower stall, you can personalize the space with window treatments, furniture, and the choice of lighting. Don’t try to dismantle the existing light fixtures yourself. In Australia, for example, unlicensed electrical work is even subject to a fine, so renters and even homeowners would rather call a local electrician than install lighting themselves. This certified electrician in Campbelltown is just an example of what you need – gives fair quotes, provides reliable local service, and even operates a 24-hour emergency standby.
Don’t surrender function to form
When you live together, it's easy to lose composition when someone doesn't do their dishes or puts things where they belong. An organized, minimalistic design can partially put an end to those squabbles, but an even more effective solution is to provide a lot of public storage like shelving, dish racks, and trays for kitchen essentials that are easily cleaned and organised. If you have plenty of wall space, you can combine spice racks and shelves for cookbooks with utensil racks and hangers for cutting boards.
Embrace eclectic styles
Apart from being artsy and chic, a plant-rich bohemian décor is highly trending these days. Originating among hip, millennial urban dwellers, this style is easy to achieve and maintain when you have roommates, as it’s based on mixing and matching styles. The pieces that fit the bohemian décor may come from a wide array of sources, from thrift stores and flea markets, over your grandma's attic, to big-box retailers and garage sales. Going with an eclectic décor such as bohemian, allows you to harmonise common spaces – how can you otherwise have a reclaimed couch, IKEA coffee table, and a vintage heirloom chair sitting in the same room without it sounding like the beginning of a joke?
Sharing an apartment with roommates can be good for your finances, but not so good if you’re about to design the apartment of your dreams. As in all joint undertakes, honesty is your best tool, as without each of you expressing their wishes and preferences, you can go on tiptoeing around each other without ever achieving the look either of you loves.