Sharing a house with college roommates can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it can also come with a few challenges in the decor department. People can have wildly different tastes and unique choices for their ideal digs, and the only way to ensure that everyone’s happy is to share ideas and decorate as a team.
With some teamwork, a few compromises here and there, and plenty of creativity, you can transform your shared space into a comfortable home. All you need is a willingness to communicate, but that’s easier said than done if you do not know your housemates.
It’s tough to know where to start when everyone has their own preferences, so we’ve come up with a few handy guidelines to help you make the most of your shared living experience, leaving you with a house that’s as cozy as can be.
Plan the layout
Before you decide to make any changes, it’s best first to plan the layout of your house as a team. What you want might not be ideal for someone else, so you have to collaborate and make decisions to maximize your home’s potential.
Planning together allows everyone to understand where shared spaces are and agree on how they should be furnished. You can also decide on color schemes and decor items like plants, paintings, and other decorations.
Everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, and you must be willing to compromise, especially when there is a clash of opinions. Keep an open mind when it comes to suggested ideas, aiming to make the space comfortable and easy on the eye. If being economical is your priority, it’s worth noting that co living Los Angeles and other major cities will always be the best choice for good value.
If you can, shop together for all shared items and furniture. Everyone gets a say in the process this way, and the experience tends to be a fun way of getting to know your roomies and the budgets they’re working with.
When you’re shopping for shared items, consider the group’s needs and cater to preferences when possible. Everyone in the house will use furniture and other things like couches, kitchen appliances, or a dining table, and dividing up the cost will allow you to get more for less, with the bonus of everyone having a vested interest in keeping the house clean and tidy.
Are you going for a cohesive look? Pay attention to detail and only buy stuff that fits the style you’re going for. Even cutlery and glassware can add or detract from the harmony of a room, and you would be amazed at the impact these minor items can make.
Form follows function
If making everyone feel at home is the end goal, focus on functionality first and aesthetics second. The purpose should be the starting point for any design, and your choices should prioritize comfort rather than looks or price.
Communal living means more traffic in shared rooms and passageways, so any furniture you choose must be durable enough to withstand frequent use. Ideally, these items should be easy to clean and covered with suitable protection, whether a removable couch cover or a tablecloth you can wash regularly.
From an aesthetic point of view, you can either go vintage or modern. Vintage items can add character to your space but can also be fragile and prone to wear and tear. If you decide to invest in vintage pieces, protect them from damage as much as possible.
Clutter and dupes
Avoid unnecessary clutter and duplicate items. It’s easy to accumulate a lot of random stuff in a shared space, but having too many things around can make your home feel cramped, uncomfortable, and disorganized.
It’s best to keep things organized and streamlined. For instance, having multiple versions of the same item is a good use of space and resources. To keep your house tidy, set up designated areas for shared things like board games or art supplies, and keep personal items away from communal areas.
Another way to reduce clutter is to go through your belongings regularly, selling or donating items you no longer need. It can be hard to let go of things you’ve collected, but not everything is a keepsake, and keeping your house functional and comfortable is more important.
You might be living in a shared house while you’re at college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own space to feel safe, relax comfortably, and unwind from the day’s stresses. Privacy is integral to being at home, but boundaries need to be established with mutual respect and understanding.
That said, staying cooped up in your room all day also will not do you any good. If you can help it, try to balance time on your own and socializing with your housemates. Getting to know the people you live with will make things easier in the long run.
Set up areas for activities that everyone can enjoy together, whether movie and game nights or a bookshelf where you can all trade novels. Not only will you have a comfortable place to call home, but you’ll also be able to build stronger relationships with your housemates and make lasting memories.