8 Decorating Rules When You’ve Got A Roommate

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
I met Blake the day I moved to New York, in May of 2012. We were subletting a mutual friend’s apartment, and though we’d heard of each other over the years, we’d never crossed paths. We lived in our Chinatown sublet for three months, before (somewhat impulsively) deciding to move in together more permanently — to a dysfunctionally small SoHo apartment.
This was a big decision, given our conflicting tastes. Blake is traditional, and I’m the opposite. He’s set his iPhone display to grayscale, and I’ve categorized my apps by color. He organizes the contents of his closet by color; the contents of my closet are usually strewn across my floor.
After three years and a cockroach infestation, it was glaringly obvious that we needed more space. In June of 2015, we migrated to Carroll Gardens. Our apartment is four times the square footage of our SoHo apartment, and we basically decorated the space from scratch. After four years of living together, Blake and I love each other dearly, but we still don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to home decor — yet our apartment today is the perfect combination of our competing aesthetics. Somehow, it works.
Ahead, our eight tips for decorating with your polar opposite, whether you’re living with a random roommate or your soul mate. You might not always get what you want, but you’ll find yourself in a home you both love.

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