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How to reach interior design decisions when you have shared housemates

17 May 2024

Reach interior design decisions with housemates

Navigating interior design decisions in a shared living space can be a tricky task, especially when balancing the preferences and needs of multiple housemates. Achieving a cohesive look that satisfies everyone’s taste, while adhering to the rental rules in Australia, requires communication, compromise, and creativity. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you and your housemates reach interior design decisions harmoniously.

1. Open Communication

Start with a meeting to discuss everyone’s preferences and expectations about the living space to avoid conflict. It’s important to establish what each person values in their home environment – whether it’s a minimalist design, vibrant colors, or perhaps a focus on sustainability. This conversation should also cover budget constraints and how costs will be divided for shared items.

2. Create a Shared Vision

Once preferences are on the table, work together to create a shared vision. This could involve creating a mood board that includes colors, textures, and furniture pieces that everyone likes.

Tools like Pinterest can be helpful for compiling and visualizing ideas that capture the collective style of the house. This not only aids in visualizing the space but also ensures that everyone feels their input is valued.

3. Understand Rental Alteration Rules

In Australia, making alterations in a rental property comes with its own set of challenges, so it’s very important to understand rental alteration rules in Australia.

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants must generally seek written consent from their landlord before making any modifications that alter the premises. This includes painting walls, installing fixtures, or making changes to the flooring.

However, recent changes in some states, like Victoria, have made it easier for tenants to make minor modifications. Tenants can now make certain changes without landlord consent, such as installing screws or hooks for picture frames, replacing curtains, and adding child safety gates. For more significant alterations, written permission is still required, and it’s wise to provide detailed information about the proposed changes to increase the chances of approval.

4. Choose Flexible Design Options

To minimize conflicts with landlords and the need for permanent changes, opt for flexible design options. Removable wallpaper, adhesive hooks, and furniture that divides spaces are great examples. These can dramatically change the look and feel of a room without permanent alterations.

5. Delegate Responsibilities and Make Decisions Collectively

Assign tasks according to each housemate’s strengths and interests. For example, someone with a knack for budgeting could handle the finances, while another who enjoys decorating could take the lead on selecting decorative items. For major decisions, such as choosing a sofa or dining table, make sure to vote or find a consensus to ensure everyone is on board.

6. Consider Personal Spaces

While common areas require collective decision-making, personal spaces like bedrooms can be tailored to individual tastes. Encourage housemates to express their style in their private spaces. This can satisfy the need for personal expression without impacting the cohesive aesthetic of shared areas.

7. Regular Reviews and Adjustments

As time passes, needs and tastes can change. Schedule regular check-ins with your housemates to discuss what is working and what might need tweaking. This is also a good time to address any wear and tear or updates that might be necessary.

Reach interior design decisions with housemates Conclusion

Designing a shared space in a rental property in Australia doesn’t have to be a source of stress. With open communication, a collaborative approach to design, and a clear understanding of what alterations can legally be made, housemates can create a harmonious and stylish home that respects both personal preferences and rental agreements.

Always keep in mind that navigating these decisions is not just about creating a beautiful space, but also about building respect and understanding among everyone living in the home.

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