How To Decorate When You Live With Roommates
Figuring out how to decorate when you live with roommates can be challenging. When you room with your best friends, it is so much fun to always hang out and cook together. Still, when it comes to hard decisions like choosing furniture and wall art, the conversations can get tough. To make the common spaces match everyone’s tastes, there are some things to consider. If one person doesn’t feel comfortable in the space, it will affect the whole apartment’s mood, and no one wants a sad space to come home to!
Discuss Your Vision.
When choosing how to decorate, the first step is to discuss with your roommates about their vision for your apartment or house. Before you can do any decorating, everyone should have a say in what they want the space to look like. It’s essential to be flexible when you talk with your roommates about decorating. If there are things that you really don’t like or that would bother you, make sure you bring them up in this discussion. If you already have furniture or accessories, show your roommates before you move in. This is especially helpful, so you don’t have to move things you won’t use.
Pick a Color Scheme.
It’s sometimes easiest to stick to neutrals, but let your space inspire you. If you have pink tiles in the bathroom, let that influence the shower curtain and rugs you choose. If someone has a beautiful, large piece of art for the living room, you can choose pillows and other accessories based on the artwork’s colors. Just remember your own room that can be your oasis, decorated in whatever color you want. So if the common spaces aren’t going to be decorated with your favorite colors, that’s okay. It’s best to choose just a couple accent colors. Some combinations that go well together are blue and green, a bold red, blush, and grey, or earth tones. I’m sure you’ll each have an opinion. Create a Pinterest board of inspiration images ready to show your roommates so you can sell them on the color scheme you like best!
Choose The Larger Pieces of Furniture.
This is usually the next step because the larger pieces like a couch or a dining room table aren’t always cheap. Often you or your roommate might have something from your parents or a couch you bought a couple years ago and have moved with you. Either way, the bigger pieces will influence the space, so those should always be picked out and placed first. If you have hand-me-down furniture, that’s okay! Just design your space around them so that everything fits well together. Coordinate with your roommates on these items before moving in because that will make moving day a lot easier! If you have to buy some of the items brand new, I would recommend dividing things up. This way, you won’t have to decide who gets to keep the chair or the table once you’re no longer living together. If you know that you want to have a comfortable couch and your roommate might not have as big of a budget, offer to buy that item. This way, you know you’ll like it, and you’ll get to keep the item once you move out.
Once the larger pieces are in place, then the fun begins! Add end tables, lamps, artwork, and rugs to bring the whole space together. Maybe it’s best to split up and have one person decorate the living room, another the bathroom, and the other the kitchen. Or have fun with it and collaborate! That way, everyone’s voices will be heard, and no one feels left out on any significant decisions. Plus, chances are you each have a little bit of everything, so making it all work together is the end goal. Don’t feel like you have to have everything done the weekend you move in, either. Designing is a process, so just enjoy how the space slowly comes together. Or, set yourself a date to be finished by and throw a housewarming party! It can take a lot of time for everything to feel complete. Especially if you’re tackling projects like a gallery wall or building new furniture, having a goal might be nice.
If your roommate wants to hang a sentimental painting from her grandma, let her. This is precisely what it means to be a good friend, and then you won’t cause any unnecessary drama in your house! Sure, some things might be non-negotiable for you, but if your roommate really cares about having something in the space, try to be kind about it. If you can have honest conversations about the decorating, then it will be easier to live together in general. You will have an open dialogue going already; open communication is vital. Then, if other issues come up (like the dishes, or how often the bathroom is cleaned), you will already know how to approach these conversations with your roommates. So, if there’s a throw pillow your roommate can’t part with, or a photo she wants to hang, just let it happen. Plus, if you have something you want to contribute that your roommate might not like, now you’ll have some leverage because you let them do what they want!
Refresh Each Time The Seasons Change.
It’s always lovely to rearrange things when the seasons change and add any decor for whatever holidays are coming up. In the winter, try layering rugs and adding extra blankets to the couch. When summer arrives, keep things light and hang artwork that reflects the feeling of summer. During the holidays, choose an evening to put on a Christmas movie or some festive music, and decorate together! I’m sure everyone will have some decorations of their own. So it’s fun to be able to make your house or apartment look holiday-ready with all the new and combined decor. Even better, if you’re planning to have a holiday party, you can make sure the place looks really festive. To make things cozy, try adding string lights and candles.
Learning how to decorate with roommates becomes easier once you have conversations and work together to make the space beautiful! Comment your own tips for decorating with roommates below.
Featured Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbaoNCXhNkp/
Images via @theartfuleveryday on Instagram.
Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.