Living With Roommates: 5 Expert Tips For Decorating On A Budget
Living with roommates doesn’t mean you can’t get a fun look for your space. With the right strategy and a few smart buys, you can decorate your space in a way that makes everyone happy—and keeps your budget in check. Give your shared home some personality with these easy interior design tips.
Living with Roommates: 5 Expert Tips For Decorating On A Budget
1. Share an Entry Strategy.
Keep your place tidy and minimize mail clutter by working with your roomie to create an organized entry. Set up a console table with a tray for each of you to keep your papers, a shared bowl for keys, separate hooks for your coat/bag, and a shelf or basket for shoes. When you collaborate on the solution, you will be more likely to use it.
2. Focus on the Walls.
It’s hard to invest in furniture and upholstered pieces when you aren’t the only one using them. Will they get stained/scratched? Will your roommate be as careful as you are? Instead of sweating the small stuff when decorating on a budget, invest in statement art for the walls. Wall décor like large canvas prints, tapestries, and metal plaques aren’t likely to get scuffed, and they add visual “wow” factor to your interior design without costing a fortune.
3. Add Plants.
Bring life, fresh air, and organic sculptures into your space with greenery. From a vase of bamboo to a pot of crawling ivy, plants will be more likely to survive and thrive in a space where there are more people who can remember to water them!
4. Spill-Proof Synthetics.
Many of my clients with roommates are afraid to commit to rugs. What about spills? Guests who don’t take off their shoes? This is where you should take a risk; to get a homey look, you need a rug. But opt for a synthetic one made of acrylic or polypropylene. The artificial fibers are easy to wipe up and spot treat, and they are much more affordable than their wool counterparts. When decorating on a budget, I get fabulous synthetic options at Overstock.com and Wayfair.com.
5. Add Your Personality With Pillows.
Living with roommates means that each member of the household should get a say in the interior design choices. Still, you need a cohesive look. Collectively decide on a color palette, and then have each roommate select a couple of pillows that bring in textures and patterns they prefer.
About Betsy Helmuth
Betsy Helmuth is the owner of Affordable Interior Design and a nationally celebrated interior designer. She specializes in transforming modest spaces into beautiful environments on a budget. She’s appeared on the TODAY Show, HGTV, DIY Network, CBS, NBC, and in dozens of magazines and newspapers. She is the author of the popular DIY design book, “BIG DESIGN, SMALL BUDGET, Create a Glamorous Home in Nine Thrifty Steps” (Skyhorse), and hosts a monthly home decorating podcast (syndicated on iTunes) by the same name.
Betsy also provides online classes and a weekly Facebook Live chat where she dishes out design wisdom for free. Check out her website here, and head to her Instagram for some interior design #inspo!
All photos credited to Dov Plawsky and John Ha.