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Apartment Decorating with a Roommate

Many renters share an apartment with a roommate, and for good reason! It can be fun to live with a friend or a practical way to save money. But, when sharing a space with another person, how can you individualize your space while still respecting your roommate’s tastes?

Plan to have some areas of compromise If you have a specific color or pattern you really love and want to incorporate into the apartment, run it past your roommate first. Maybe they share your tastes, but if not, settle for some small but meaningful accent pieces such as throw pillows, lamps or end tables, or table settings. Don’t forget to also ask your roommate about their decorating preferences and maybe you can even collaborate on a look together.

Personalizing the Walls

With or without a roommate, it is important to add some sentimental or comfort items to the walls to make you feel more at home. It is perfectly appropriate to add some tasteful favorite photos of friends and family, or a select piece of artwork or two. Just leave space and expect that they will want to do the same.

Sharing a Small Kitchen Space Sharing a kitchen can be tricky, especially if you and your roommate have different habits with food prep and storage, have numerous appliances or different expectations with kitchen cleanliness. A good rule of thumb when apartment sharing is that you should always clean and put away your dishes after each use, so the kitchen is ready to use for the next person. Since counter space can be sparse, it can be a good idea to talk to your roommate and gauge which appliances you both may use on a regular basis. This way you can share the space and perhaps each buy different appliances that you both agree to share. Blenders, toasters or microwaves are all great examples.

Having a roommate can be a great experience when mutual respect is practiced. Communication, basic cleanliness habits and an interest in making your shared apartment comfortable and cozy for each of you are key. Don’t hesitate to add small touches that make your space feel like your own, but just remember that they should feel welcome to do the same.

You may even learn some new decorating tips or get some new style inspiration that you didn’t know you loved!


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