Decorating with Roommates: Tips, Tricks, and Apps

We’ve helped lots of roommates find their dream apartments, and we know how great it feels to finally get the keys to your new place in your hands.

After the neighborhood search is complete, you still have to unpack and arrange all your stuff. Combining the furniture of two or more roommates can be tricky, especially if you care about how your place looks. Check out our tips to help you blend belongings and styling to make everyone feel at home.


Consider Color

Your couch is red, but your roomie’s chairs are turquoise. No problem. Colors can work together if you blend them with neutral pieces. For example, tie those pieces of furniture together by purchasing some matching throw pillows to use on all your seating. Medium grays and tans will work with almost anything. Add a goes-with-everything sisal rug and some bamboo blinds and no one will be able to tell your furniture wasn’t bought as a set.


If you’re feeling more daring, try creating your own designer color palette together with an app like ColorSchemer. Start by snapping a photo of your stuff and choosing the existing colors, then work together to click and drag colors from the wheel until you settle on something that everyone loves. Head to the store for accessories in your new colors and you’re all set.


Settle on Style

Settling style differences can be difficult. If your housemates are a little bit country and you love your furniture sleek and modern, you’ll have to negotiate the common areas. Each roommate should get veto power on shared items in the living room and kitchen. For example, if you can’t stand the floral couch, veto it (or, better yet, chip in for a more agreeable slip cover). Just remember that your roommate has veto power too, so your avant-garde metal bookcase may have to stay in your bedroom.



The good news is that the best interior designs rely on contrast: soft pillows and hard metallic edges, textured fabrics and smooth glass. If you aim for balance of the things you each love and space them evenly throughout your apartment, you’ll find that many things work well together in unexpected ways.


Love the Layout

Don’t be afraid to try several furniture arrangements. It’s a good idea to let each person have a go at arranging the room, then discuss the best aspects of each plan before settling. Instead of lugging your furniture around the apartment, try an app like Floorplanner to map out your ideas. You can work together to arrange and rearrange your stuff until everyone agrees–without having to lift a finger until you’re ready to commit.



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