When space is not just yours...

When space is not just yours...

Two roommates, a minimalist and maximalist decide to co-habit an apartment in a big metro. What transpires subsequently? For starters, a test of patience and deep-rooted understanding, especially if you’ve only just met! Anyhow, if you’ve decided to share out of necessity or choice, it may be a slightly bumpy ride in the beginning, particularly if your new roommate has tastes crazier than yours.

Many co-workers and friends have survived the aftermath of a roommate situation because of some of these simple tips and tricks listed below. So, read on to discover how to keep your co-habited space peaceful and war-free.

Divvy up your decor areas

It’s easy to bring out your individuality in the home when you live independently. But when living with a roommate, you have to be ready for some amount of compromise. You can still lay claim to some sections in the apartment to resonate your personality. Start by accessorising the refrigerator doors or your kitchen and bathroom walls to personalise your space. Just remember to talk it out and maintain a balanced colour scheme and style. After all, personal space should not interfere with collective harmony.

Set up a partition

Even if you have to share bedroom space with your roommate, you can still create some amount of privacy that does not affect the overall construction of the room. This way, you can also individualise your space. You can try curtains or bookshelves as room dividers. Alternatively, tall plants and mirrors can craft an impression of a partition in the room. But whatever you choose as your room divider, make sure it isn’t permanent and it doesn’t affect the room’s structure.  

Build a reading or music corner

Even if you have one empty corner in your apartment, you can create a cosy reading or music nook from it. Ideally, it should be in front of a window. But even if you don’t have one, it is fine. You can design the den even in the middle of a common room. Just add an interesting chair, some of your private collection of books, music albums, a fuzzy floor rug and a nice floor lamp. Your personality can be re-created just about anywhere!

Make your bed reflect you
“Irrespective of the size of your apartment or the number of roommates you will be sharing your home with, there is one spot that you can call your own bed. Even if you can’t create a room partition, you can always create personal space out of your bed. So cosy it up, if you will,” says Arnab Saharoy, co-founder of Homefuly, an online home design start-up in Bengaluru.

Buy beautiful bed linen, cushions and duvets. Extend your bed with a study table and chair, and line the table with your personal choice of books, CDs and frames. In the end, your bed should be the one place you go to when you wish to eat, sleep, relax or watch your favourite sitcom.

Adorn a nice bed cover

It is quite a tall order to try and emphasise your personality in a room that serves as a lounging bay, a sleeping bay and a storage bay all in one. But rather than overdoing your personalisation with minor accessories and decorative items, concentrate your efforts on one personal item like your bed cover. Your bed will
always gather the most attention in the room, so decorating it with the right hues and textures will set the mood for the room, even when the rest of it is basic. Choose colours and patterns that will reflect your individual style. Go for neutral colours to bring out a soothing mood. Else, go for bright hues that will energise the room.

Trade your sofa for chairs

Although a sofa is highly recommended in any living area, if maintaining personal space is at the top of your charts, then switch to individual chairs and make it your own. This adds yet another layer of individuality when sharing a room.

Make space for cushions & throws

If your private bed serves a dual purpose of a lounge area and sleep area, then it’s possible that your days and nights will seem like one. But worry not, for there is a hack.
When you want to use your bed as a lounging bay in the day, decorate it with cushions in unique patterns and design. You can have a mix of solids and textured cushions. Also, you can use a throw over your bed to make it look loungier. In the night, your bed should be cushion-free and bare.

Organise your storage

“If you have one roommate, then your personal space is all of 50%, so make sure it counts. Discard all your non-essential items to charity and pack your possessions to the bare necessities. By clipping your assets, you will have added room to create your little microcosm of individuality as well as the ability to live in tranquillity amongst your room’s occupant,” adds Parul Amla of Antrik Design Studio, New Delhi.
Even storage can be made to blend in with the rest of your room’s decor. Invest in interesting storage baskets made of jute or fibre. Stack these boxes under the bed and it will look like another happy addition to your home decor.

Decorate your floor space

While renovating your floor is almost close to impossible, there are minor hacks that will help solve issues of staining and unattractive floor beds. Rugs are a simple way of tackling these issues while also packing your individual personality. If your home seems a bit too cluttered, then go for rugs that are neutral in colour and design. Jute rugs are great in hiding stained floors.

In case you’re looking for something bolder and visually interesting, then switch to rugs in geometrics prints. This will add structure, design and organisation to your space.

As overwhelming as it may seem to share your home with another occupant, if you follow these simple tips and tricks, you will feel at home in no time. Remember while growing up, our teachers and mentors taught us that sharing is caring. When you’re sharing an apartment with a roommate, you can afford to rent a bigger home in a fancy location all because your costs are split into two.
So, before quibbling with your roommate over differences, you can learn to
compromise and enjoy your space with them.

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