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How to Merge Everyone’s Individual Style in a Share House to Make it Feel Like Home

By George Hadgelias

Worlds collide when living in a share house — and that includes home styling.

We all know when it feels like home, you feel like you. So if one housemate loves antique kitsch and another loves modern and minimal, how do you strike a balance to make it feel like home for all!?

Opt for a neutral base

Housemates should be free to go wild with self-expression in their private space, but when it comes to shared spaces, keep things neutral. To avoid a conflicting mess of styles, keep major items subtle and free from attention-hogging prints and patterns.

“The key to merging styles in a share house is being open to other peoples’ interior design choices,” interior stylist and Fantastic Furniture ambassador Adam Powell notes.

“If you’re starting from scratch, utilising neutral tones with big ticket items, such as sofas, tables and rugs, creates the perfect base that allows you to then inject personality in other areas, with additions like artwork, decor and soft furnishings.”

The Jazz three-seater sofa is a great, comfy, neutral style couch for a share house. Keep a floor lamp like the Trendy Oak floor lamp nearby for mood lighting and ambience.

Agree on a colour scheme

“Another really great way to inject personality on to a neutral base is by agreeing on a colour palette that works for all of you. That way you can bring those tones through in soft furnishings,” Adam says.

“For example, if your colour palette is navy, white and a pop of yellow, that can come through in patterns and colours in cushions, throws and rugs.”

Collaborate on your styles

“Not everyone is super confident in identifying what their style is, and sometimes it can be quite hard to communicate what you want within your home,” Adam reminds.

Unless the house is happy to appoint one person as its ‘style authority’, it’s best to keep in mind that a share house is a democracy, not a dictatorship. Consult and collaborate with your housemates for a harmonious — and fun — approach to styling.

“A great idea, especially within that share house environment, would be mood boarding,” Adam adds. “That helps unearth, visually, each other’s likes and dislikes.”

Grab some mags, scissors and cardboard and have a group crafternoon!

The Chesam planters, pictured above, come in a set of two and are a great choice for any proud plant parents in the home.

Living spaces aren’t storage

To put it plainly: get your stuff out of common spaces! Nothing undermines a beautifully styled room like clutter. If you want to store books, magazines or other items in the common area, try and find specific places for them.

The Stockholm coffee table is a great choice for living rooms because it has plenty of room to neatly store within reach magazines, knick-knacks… and of course, TV snacks.

If you’re keeping items in living areas because they don’t fit in your room, make sure everyone is on board first.

Even better, just don’t keep them there. Find alternative storage solutions in your private space and, if that can’t be achieved, consider more discreet locations for these items, perhaps the backyard or laundry.

Avoid mixing timbers

Too many timber colour variations will look chaotic, so try and pick one or two and use them in multiple items.

The Bridge six-seater dining table looks fabulous paired with Replica Tolix chairs — and having black chairs minimises the amount of timber you’ve got in one room.

“Keep timber tones quite similar,” Adam advises. “For example, the blonde timber legs of the Jazz sofa work well with the timber tones of the Havana dining table.”

By weaving this light timber throughout the living and dining spaces, you also connect the two rooms and make the home feel more cohesive.

Mix old and new

Once you have your neutral basics secured (think: a sleek couch, TV cabinet, dining table), you can add to the mix with funkier finds.

You may have scored a cool artwork or colourful cushion. If the house is on board, it could be the perfect touch to add to your bookshelf or side table.

Perhaps everyone can choose a small decorative piece for your living space to add their personal touch.

Let the house guide you

A good style rule for anyone, including those in a share house, is to let the space guide you. There’s no point trying to achieve a minimal, Scandi theme in a dark heritage home with cherry timber floors.

“Allow yourself to be lead by, and take inspiration, from the neighbourhood you live in,” Adam says. “For instance, an inner-city share house will have a totally different vibe to a share house near the beach. Being in the city does allow you to take more risks and give it a bit more of an urban vibe. You can play around with being a bit richer in your tones and a bit more eclectic in mixing styles together.”

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but stick to size and style constraints so you don’t have a clashing space.

Get something for everyone

The best part of sharing a home is kicking back at the end of a day and hanging out with your mates.

What’s something fun everyone can enjoy? A drinks cart!

Even if you’re a booze free household, you can keep your alco-free spirits, bitters and a cute bowl of limes in stock. Enjoy the sharing spirit and bring back happy hour!

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