Living with roommates can be tenuous; even if you get along great and enjoy hanging out together, there’s no telling how you may weather the dreaded “decoration discussion.” However, research indicates that differences in decoration taste don’t have to doom your compatibility. Here are three ways to navigate this minefield successfully and compromise to find a harmonious decor aesthetic that works for everyone involved:
1. Find Common Ground
Let’s face facts; your apartment is a shared space. So start with the interests or experiences you share. Pop culture fandoms, travel destinations, sports teams, and music groups are all great fodder to start building inspiration for a communal space. Even if the only thing you have in common is your current geography, you can still use that as a cue; why not cater the design of your space to your town’s local flavor?
As Psychology Tomorrow Magazine put it, “Many objects and elements inside a house can have a significant impact on one’s mood,” so be sure to select items that evoke positive memories and cheer you up when you get home.
2. Agree to Disagree
If finding commonality in your interests is a dead end, focus instead on dividing up the space evenly. Assign each roommate a “blank canvas” area to do with as they see fit. You’d be surprised how often seemingly disparate styles can combine into a delightfully eclectic tableau. You won’t know until you try, and even if the styles do clash a bit, you each have your own space to enjoy and feel comfortable in.
3. Take a Timely Approach
Interior decoration isn’t a tattoo; there’s nothing inherently permanent about committing to a certain style. If you’re concerned about (metaphorically) painting yourself into a corner, why not try a more dynamic approach? Take reference from upcoming holidays or seasonal styles and adapt your decor to match. Alternate between more natural light and airy colors in the summer months and darker earth tones and cozy textures as the weather cools. As the months go by, you’ll never get bored in your space.
There’s no guarantee that you and your roommates will agree on everything when designing your shared space. By keeping common ground in mind, giving everyone their own opportunity for self-expression, or maintaining an ever-evolving decor throughout the year, you’re bound to make your space feel more like home for everyone.