How to Avoid Conflict Decorating Your Flat with Flatmates

by iROOMit Team
8 April 2022
4 min read

Your home should be a sanctuary. You know you can make it feel that way with a plush chenille sofa, tons of comfy throw pillows, and that neutral rug you’ve had your eye on for months.

But what if your new flatmate’s idea of a sanctuary includes lots of bold colour, kitschy wall decor, and structured bar stools?

You could fight it out in a battle royale of passive aggression and feeling uncomfortable in your own home (neither of which we recommend), or you could find a full-service storage company that serves Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and the greater Washington, DC area to store some of your things in a compromise.

You’ll find common ground, avoid unnecessary tension, and will create a haven that suits you both to a T.

Decide on a combined aesthetic

You’re more Neutral Bohemian, they’re more Modern Industrial. Find a way to make both styles cohesive in the flat.   For example, pair their stainless steel dining table with your wood and linen benches. You’ll create visual interest and showcase both of your personalities in one united space.

Shop together

This is the easiest way to ensure everyone under one roof is happy. Browse furniture stores and home decor shops, and discuss why you both like or dislike certain pieces.

You’ll be able to choose an ottoman that suits the mutual needs and style of the flat. Plus, you’ll establish a bond from the get-go that will set the foundation for an easier living arrangement overall.

You’ll find common ground, avoid unnecessary tension, and will create a haven that suits you both to a T.



The paper lanterns can hang in a corner so they’re out of the way, and the painting can be hung in a slightly-less-prominent area of the home (hallway, random nook). You’ll both get to showcase your belongings without one taking precedence over the room.

Split rooms

If your flatmate enjoys cooking and baking, and you’re more of a movie buff, opt to decorate the room that you’ll each be inhabiting most often. Let him/her outfit the kitchen in a way that’s most functional, while you can trick out the living room in a way that brings you the most joy. You’ll both appreciate the chance to customize a shared space, but won’t be stepping on each other’s toes.

Start that Fast and Furious marathon while they whip up some snacks, it’s Roomie Night!


Consider any physical restraints

A petite person doesn’t realize that a dainty loveseat isn’t conducive to lounging for someone super tall. Similarly, the nemesis of a person with bad knees is a low chair.

Keep in mind who you’re living with and what physical differences you have between you when choosing furniture. The flat should be comfortable for everyone.

Putting plates up on a high shelf might seem like a great way to store them out of the way, but we bet your short flatmate thinks differently.

Employ the shoebox rule

It’s important to vet large items — like furniture or TVs — through your flatmates to make sure everyone’s on board prior to purchasing. But smaller decor shouldn’t require permission, as long as they don’t take up an inconvenient amount of extra space.

Before buying an item, determine if it’s larger than a shoebox. If so, snap a picture and send it to your flatmates for approval. If not, consider yourself free to add to the decor as you please.

Worst comes to worst, you bring it home, no one can stand it, and it will still fit somewhere in your bedroom to enjoy for yourself.

Pick a colour

If matching furniture didn’t really matter to you, or coming to an agreement on a harmonious aesthetic just didn’t work out, see if you can at least see eye to eye on a paint colour.

A colour that complements your mismatched pieces will give the flat a sense of “accidental intention.” Whether you paint one accent wall or the entire flat, your shared space will feel much more complete. Store what you can’t show off

With everyone bringing in their collection of stuff from previous flats, dorms, and parent’s basements, you’re simply not going to be able to fit it all.   There’s no reason to fight over things like area rugs and goofy table lamps. Decorate your flat in a way that looks great while incorporating everyone’s personalities. A pleasant living environment is a sanctuary in itself.