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From small town to the city life, rentals can be daunting to tackle alone especially if you’re still in university or warming up to face the real world. What do you do, then? Find a roommate to share the bills with and of course, the space.

A shared apartment certainly is a great deal for your budget. While having a roommate can be exciting since you’ll get to share wonderful moments together, a shared space can bring utmost nightmare and can be a source of drama. One of which can be decorating and designing.

Photo source: Decorilla
Whether it be with a friend or a stranger, there’s a large possibility that you don’t share the same taste in home styling. Here are ways you can fix, if not compromise, your decorating issues. Pass this to your roommate/s so you all can come into terms.

Dilemma: Which furniture? Hers or mine?
Scenario is: Your roommate brings in a hand-me-down furniture from their parents or grandparents however, you envision an eclectic-style type. What do you do now?

How to deal: Furnitures are the make or break point of each homes. Sure you live in a rental but at the end of a tiring day, you lay relaxed in your rental — your home. You can still make it feel homey even if it’s a rental, and shared with a roommate.

Even if you have different styles, you’ll find a palette where your interests and tastes intersect which will allow you to make the space cohesive.

Stick to neutral furnitures and emboss each your own personality and style through throw pillows and other accessories. Or, make an agreement favorable for both ides. For instance, your roommate gets to bring in the couch; you can make a deal that it’s your call on accessorizing the living room. Just be sure to find a common ground.

Dilemma: She’s messy
People are all different and we all have our own standards — this applies in terms of cleanliness and organization. What’s tidy and neat to them can still be messy and cluttered in your eyes. 


This will be one of the recurring disagreements you’ll have with a roommate — cleanliness and the state of your room. It can be a headache often times but this is one of the dilemmas that’s easy to fix.

How to deal: Raise your concern to the person and speak to them kindly. Tell them that if you both want to breathe the same fresh air and neat space in sight, you both need to keep things clean and organized on a regular basis. 


Set a day for purging and cleaning; do it regularly and stick to it together. Disseminate chores and other tasks equally, if need be, compromise. Don’t let the problem go on, keep your communication open.

Dilemma: Different decor tastes
You’re into eclectic while your roommate’s more into the nordic side of style. You want to bring upcycle and repurpose old furnitures and unusual objects while your roommate would rather purchase one from the home depot.

Worst of all: your roommate want total control to decorate the apartment — but you despise her taste.

How to deal: This is one of the primary conundrums people with shared living spaces face. Still, the best way to deal with this is compromise and keep the communication at bay.

You can have a deal with your roommate on which space you both get to decorate solely (i.e. kitchen, living room). You can also offer the idea of switching decors every few months. It’s an easy and affordable way to upgrade the space from time to time.

Moreover, start from scratch. Discuss your likes and dislikes from the get-go then work your way from there. Soon enough, you’ll come down to the decor and design you both agree with. This serves as a fun bonding activity as well.

Dilemma: We share an open space
An open space can be overwhelming and having someone to share it with doesn’t make the situation less stressful.

This is especially hard to deal with if your rental is a tiny abode that’s suited for only one tenant. Having to share that little space with an open floor plan takes away your privacy.

How to deal: You need to work on setting up boundaries. In addition, it’s more convenient and ideal if you furnish your home in a way that separates the socializing area to the living and privacy area.

Expect to have little to no privacy in a shared open space however, there are a fews ways you can instill this nonetheless. Find creative ways in which you can give the illusion of dividing the space into their respective areas. You can use curtains, book shelves, furnitures and the works as standing dividers.

Are you living with a roommate? Were there instances of stepping on one another’s decorating tastes? Share the experience and any tips you know with us!


Chie Suarez is a passionate writer for PAAL Kit Homes, a company that manufactures and supplies steel-framed kit homes that help Australian families build their dream home. Chie has a deep interest in home design and decoration.