If you had a room of your own when you were living with your parents, you’re likely used to getting your own way when it comes to decorating. Boy band posters or Sports Illustrated centerfolds on the walls, with rugs, trinkets or other accessories suiting your style and taste strewn around the room. Your room was essentially your own space and get-away.


Now you’re in a CBC Commons apartment and you have a lot more space to work with. Sure you have your own private bedroom, but there’s also bathrooms, living spaces and a kitchen to think about. These spaces can be made your own…unless, of course, you’ve got a roommate.


When you have a roommate, or even more than one, in an apartment, you have to think about their own tastes and desires when it comes to decorating the living spaces that are shared. You can do whatever you like with your own bedroom, but more public areas require a little bit more discussion. What are you supposed to do when you buy some kitchen goods that are one style and color, and your roommate buys some too – but they clash and duplicate, leaving your kitchen looking like a styling travesty?


Keep calm. If you care about your apartment aesthetic and want to make your CBC apartment look like home, here’s how you can talk to your roomie in order to keep the peace.


First, discuss your tastes.


Consider the living room. CBC apartments are fully furnished, but we also leave room for occupants to add in personal touches. This kind of customization makes an apartment feel homier and allows for tenants to be at ease in their new living arrangements. There’s room for rugs, vases, decorating accessories, paintings and photos for the wall and more.


Talk to your roommate about their desires for the living room. Do they like minimalist, elegant design or are they into a homey, comfortable feeling? Are they into decorative centerpieces or sports memorabilia? Figure out where there taste points lie, then try to meet in the middle.


Second, pick who gets what.


If you’re thinking of making a grocery list for home accessories, consult your roommate as well. Is there a particular room they’d like jurisdiction over? How about certain items they already have that they want to incorporate into their living spaces?


For instance, offer a compromise – they can decorate the kitchen if you can decorate the living room. If you’re not trying to make your apartment look like the cover photo for an interior design magazine, create an eclectic blend. If they have some photos they’d like to hang, give them one space while you choose another for some homey trinkets.


Third, consider your schedules and comfort zones.


If your roommate is training to become a chef, doesn’t it make sense to let them handle the kitchen decorating? If you camp out in the living room more often, doesn’t it seem reasonable for you to stake your claim to this decorating space?


Talk to each other about the areas you use more often. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time and effort decorating an apartment area that you don’t personally use. Discuss this with your roommate and see if you can come to a compromise based on who uses which rooms more.


In general, think about how vital communication is to this scenario. Talk with your roommate and above all else, don’t make any design decisions without them. Also, if you have an apartment and get a roommate later on in the semester, consider letting them have a space of their own even if you’ve already laid claim to everything. After all, every student in CBC Commons deserves to feel like we’re home sweet home away from home.