No matter if your roommate is a lifelong friend, or a new acquaintance you met through Instagram, creating a combined living space is a delicate process. You’ll need to take everyone’s budget, aesthetic, and lifestyle into consideration. But once it’s all said and done, sharing a home can be a truly memorable experience.
But before you start making trips to Ikea, you’ll want to chat about living arrangements. Compare personal styles, discuss cleaning schedules, and find out who is supplying the household coffee maker. When it comes to cohabitating, communication is a must - and to make sure you don’t forget any major planning points, read on for how to best navigate decorating your shared apartment.
Brainstorm FirstBefore moving in together, take time to get on the same page as your new roommate. Hit up your favorite cafe or happy hour, and get to know each other’s living preferences. You’ll want to figure out what items you already have, pieces you’ll need to purchase, and the style in which you want to pull it all together. By laying out the groundwork ahead of time, you’ll learn one another’s preferences and boundaries, causing less hiccups along the way.
Budget & RecordYou’ll need to take into consideration both parties financial situation before beginning your home decor journey. Discuss how much each person plans to spend and what is most important to buy for your apartment. Also, consider making separate purchases to avoid confusion down the line. Rather than splitting the cost of a new sofa, maybe one person buys the couch and the other invests in the kitchen table. This clear approach keeps things simple for when you eventually go your separate ways.
Get OrganizedLiving with extra people means having extra stuff, and being organized will make all the difference. Incorporate additional storage into your design plan, and find systems that work for everyone involved. Add a basket specifically designated for mail and memos, or hang some shelves in the bathroom to accommodate excess beauty products. Creating systems early on will help clarify personal boundaries and insure that everyone feels at home.
Embrace VarietyWhen two or more people live together, there is going to be a blend of personal styles. So rather than panic about a mismatched decor, create a home that allows for flexibility in design. Consider a more bohemian or eclectic styled apartment. This will give everyone involved the ability to contribute to their environment, without fear of disrupting a specific aesthetic. Why waste time fighting for your cherished piece of art to be the living room centerpiece, when you could create a beautiful gallery wall!
Accept CompromiseWhen it comes to sharing a space, everybody is different. There will be a clashing of design preferences and lifestyles at times. So it’s important to know how to handle these conflicts. When possible, work to find a compromise. Otherwise, flip a coin and leave the decision to fate.
Cherish Your BedroomYou’re going to have to make some compromises when it comes to decorating with your roommate (see above). That’s just part of the process. But your bedroom is the one area that you can have total control over. So make it special! Take the time to design a space that is a true reflection of your personality.