DESIGN DILEMMAS YOU FACE WHEN YOU HAVE A ROOMMATE
…And how to solve them.
FURNITURE, BUT YOU HAVE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TASTES
Nothing makes a space cohesive like a coordinated color scheme, Mahoney says. Sure, you have different styles, but chances are you can find a palette that you both like.
Furnishing an open space can feel overwhelming. Our experts suggest choosing furniture that divides the space into separate areas for living and socializing. For Mahoney, that means a large, L-shaped sectional, for Coral Harper, shelves or étagères that are finished on all sides will do the trick. Area rugs also make it easy to define bedroom and living spaces, while seating options that can move easily – such as small benches, ottomans, and hassocks – make it a breeze to entertain when company comes over.
ROOMMATES ARE CONSTANTLY HAVING PEOPLE OVER. HOW DO YOU CONCEAL CLUTTER
Designate a spot – like a serving bowl on your entry table – where you can throw keys and mail when you walk in the door. It will look more organized to have this sort of space in your entryway than if you were to just let things pile up somewhere else, Mahoney says.
For larger items, baskets are your best bet – and can easily hide messes before your guests arrive.
“If your roommate wants to display her décor in your shared living space that you don’t like, you can offer up the idea of rotating smaller pieces every few months. This can be done very easily and affordably, by swapping out items like throw pillows, blankets, and even décor,” Mahoney says. “This way, you can make it seem like you want to keep your apartment fresh instead of making it sound like you dislike her design choices.”
“The other option is to talk about the design choices you don’t like from the get-go,” Mahoney adds. “Discuss how you think bedrooms are the best place for personal mementos, and offer that the two of you can start from scratch in your shared living spaces, by finding fun pieces together that you both love. This switches the attention from you not liking her décor, to doing a fun, bonding activity together that you’ll both enjoy.”
Who takes it? If you can, have this discussion when you buy the couch, so you know from the start who’s walking away with it, Mahoney recommends.
In an ideal world, you end up in a situation where one of you wants to keep it and the other doesn’t care as much. If that’s the case, make sure the roommate who doesn’t keep the sofa gets their money back or another big-ticket item.