Got a roomie? Having someone to split the bills and chores with could really make renting and condo sharing a pleasurable experience. As an added bonus, you also have someone you can have late-night banters and binge-watch TV series with. Whether you are high school friends, co-workers or found each other online, roommates can give you the best of times (or the worst).
Living with a roommate can also be tough. Hell, living with a significant other can be tough, too. Based on a survey by rent.com, 45% of renters admitted to having pet peeves with current and past roommates. The top three pet peeves are roommates who are messy, fail to pay bills on time, and use things without asking. Another survey by the leasing website found that 17% of renters actually moved out because of roommate-related issues.
Red flags do not come as easy as compromise. When you spot a good condo for rent, you envision having control of that space, until a roommate tells you he hates your style. Decorating with roommates can be a challenge. You see, most condos for rent in the Philippines are practically bare, giving you the chance to personalize and transform it. But if you like soft colors and your roommate wants to paint the walls black—you know, for self-expression—then things start to get messy.
You will encounter a lot of advantages and disadvantages of having a roommate along the way. Decorating is one of them. But no need to worry because for as long as both of you are determined to sort things out, you might even come up with the best decorated nest ever.
Talk and listen
Before you can even agree on anything, make sure that you start on the same page. It is important to ask your roommate what she likes or what she doesn’t. Make sure that you are paying attention because that will make the other feel that you care about her style preferences. Orlando Soria, creative director of Homepolish, encourages roommates to sit down and talk: “Ask your roommate what they like and what they hate. The most important part is that your roommate feels like you’re listening. The more sympathetic you seem to their design needs, the more willing they will be to listen to what you want.”
Take this chance to also make expectations clear. Lay down restrictions in terms of budget, terms in the contract, and preferences that may not be compromised. While you’re at it, you may decide to start and share with each other your own Pinterest board so that you can both have a grasp of how both of you envision the place.
Take on design projects
There are people who are crazier about how a bathroom looks and do not care at all about the living room. So if you can’t agree creatively on how to design the whole space, take on separate projects. You take the kitchen and your roommate will handle the bathroom. In this case, you can marry your hybrid decorating styles minus the needless arguments and without making the entire place look like there’s been a tug-of-war of design preferences. Assigning yourselves areas of the house to decorate would also give each one a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Blend and unify
The one condo design mistake renters make is thinking that design is all about matchy-matchy. Monotonous pieces can be painful and using the same tones all throughout can be agonizing for the eyes.
There are many ways to blend two disparate styles. With the right inspiration and creativity, you can unify contemporary and traditional, rustic and romantic, sweet and dark. For all you know, opposing styles can just give the most satisfying results. An article on Houzz said that when decorating styles collide, it is best to simplify, look for common elements, edit old pieces, and use extremely unique pieces and ideas in such a way that they create wonderful tension in the room. The key is to agree to a merger that works for both of you.
Embrace your personal space
Usually, it is the bedroom that is untouchable. It’s your own personal space. If you are renting a two-bedroom condo, this should be a given. Make sacrifices and compromises in shared spaces but no one should be allowed to tell you how to design your bedroom. So pour everything you’ve got in there.
However, if you are renting a one-bedroom or a studio unit, and you share a bunk bed or have two single beds in one space, then this could be a problem. Fortunately, there are condos, such as DMCI condos for rent, which are bigger than what is out there in the market. One-bedroom condos offered by DMCI Leasing are approximately 40 sqm. With this space, you can put stylish dividers to give you a semblance of personal space.
Be ready to compromise
Living with a roommate means you have to be ready to make compromises, day in and day out. In fact, decorating with roommates is just the tip of the iceberg. Compromise is your best friend. If you don’t like your roommate’s bean bag but she is willing to live with your grandmother’s coffee table, then be flexible. Do not hang on to something just because it is yours.
Keep the peace
It is unusual for two different people to agree on everything. But what you can both agree on is this: respect, compromise, and always try to work things out, no matter what. If you have to flip a coin, do it. At the very start, acknowledge that decorating with different design viewpoints will likely cause problems, even tension. Anticipate it and be ready for it. Make a decision to strive to keep the peace at all times.
Decorating with roommates is not going to be easy. If both cannot make comprises, consider this a dead end. But if roommates agree to put peace, harmony, and friendship over pride and stubbornness, then merging two different styles together might just strengthen your bond and make the best roomie out of each one.