Renting an apartment with your best friend can be one of life’s greatest adventures. You are both on the same page when it comes to music, food, fashion, what is funny and what is last season (although you are still trying to make ‘Fetch’ happen). However, when it comes to home decor styles, you can often have very different tastes and ideas.
If you are planning on renting an apartment with your bestie, it is important to compromise on certain things. You might prefer cute quilt bedding to snuggle up in while watching TV but your friend might think that modern monotone is the way to go for blankets. Read on below for tips on how to decorate an apartment while renting with your best friend.
Start on the same page
Being best friends does not always mean you are on the same page as one another all the time. However, when you move in together, you will need to ensure that you are on the same wavelength when it comes to decor, a colour palette, furniture and (of course) rental payments.
Sit down together to brainstorm, coming up with a few words each to describe your styles and see if any of these words correlate. You might feel that your style is vintage-chic, while your bestie is more modern monotone. These two styles can cohesively mix but for common areas, it is best to have one style as the focal point. Set aside a budget for the decor and be sure that both of you stick to it.
Coordinate your colours
The chances are that your bedrooms are going to look vastly different to one another, but in common areas such as the lounge, dining room and kitchen, there needs to be cohesion with colour and style.
Coordinating your colours is an effective way to create a cohesive common area, and you are sure to find a palette that you both like. It is best to stick to the neutral end of the spectrum if you cannot decide on one colour, and add pops of different hues in the form of cushions, quilts and wall art. Go to a paint store together and look at the swatches of colours to find one that you both like and won’t mind looking at. If you are allowed to paint your walls, look for paint now but a paint store has a diverse range of colours to help you choose a palette for your decor and furniture.
Split the difference
If you have decided on a colour palette for one room but the other rooms are still undecided, you could split these between the two of you and decorate a room each. If your roommate feels very strongly about how she wants the bathroom to look, let her take that on as a design project while you work on a room that you are passionate about.
Once you have decided on which rooms you will be decorating, it is important to get together and show each other your design ideas. This can be in the form of a Pinterest board, magazine cutouts for inspiration or Instagram posts that caught your eye. If you do not agree, then you can compromise on elements of her choices that you think will work. Remember, you both have to be comfortable in your new apartment.
Consider physical restraints
Shopping for furniture and deciding where everything should be placed in your apartment should take into account your different heights, weights and physical constraints. A small loveseat might be great for a petite person, but if your bestie is taller then she won’t find it as comfortable as you do.
Similarly, if you stack dishes high up in the cupboard to keep them out of the way, a short person will not be able to reach them easily, causing frustration for everyone. The apartment needs to be comfortable for everyone, so when you are looking at decor and furniture, it is important to take into account your roommate’s height and your won to choose the perfect fit for you both.
Try an accent wall to combine tastes
If you have a small apartment that does not allow much room for decor, you could try having an accent wall in a common space. This is done by hanging a collection of art on one wall after it has been painted or wallpapered. If you cannot paint the wall, ask for permission to apply wallpaper or vinyl wall art.
An accent or feature wall will allow both of you to showcase your favourite art in a cohesive manner. If you have colourful quilt bedding in your bedroom, you can bring out some of this quirkiness in the prints you enjoy, such as folk art or traditional African prints. Your friend can hang up some of her modern artwork too, so both of your personalities and tastes will be on display and you will both enjoy the look of your apartment.