Whether you’re moving out of home for the first time, moving in with friends to save money or making some small changes to your home to accommodate house mates, there are a few tips and tricks to maintain privacy and comfort between adults. Especially with the rise of open-plan living, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle for multiple adults with varying daily agenders can be difficult.
Zoning your living areas is the key to creating sub-spaces within big rooms. Often there is one big living space within a home but this can be divided into many spaces that accommodate different activities. For example, within your lounge room you can have a couch opposite the TV, a table with chairs around, armchairs for reading and a desk to the side for private study. This way 4 people can be engaging in 4 different activies all within the same space.
Look out for small scale pieces of furniture that are compact and flexible. If your house mates are not all that close, a 3 person sofa will almost always have only 2 people on it. Instead, invest in separate chairs so they do not take up as much room and everyone can feel comfortable in their own space. Take time to shop around and get creative with your design. Outdoor furniture is often cheaper than indoor but will do the same job!
Although open-plan living is the thing, small partitions or dividers are great as a temporary resolution to privacy. Even if they are used rarely, it is a great option to have in case one house mate needs to study in privacy or someone is wanting to entertain.
There will never be enough storage in a shared home, especially because all the personal room you have is at the bottom of your wardrobe and on shelves within your room. Why not look into storage solutions around the rest of the house that will not intrude on living area but give everyone a little more space to stash their stuff. Shelves above head height, regardless of which room, will provide oodles of space and also look great if stacked well. Obviously last winters jackets wont be stacked up above the couch but collections of books, CDs and good looking storage boxes can improve the interior design.
Add a second seating area or tv in the kitchen. This will create a whole new living area in itself even if it’s just a sofa off to the side. Many kitchens have a dead space that could be turned into a little nook for study, internet surfing or tv watching. If the TV is in view of the bench, this makes cooking time a whole lot more desirable.
In the end, the only private space you are going to get is your bedroom. Make your bedroom as luxurious and pleasing as possible. Allow it to be a space that you can relax in and escape the daily grind. Try not to turn your bedroom into a pigsty as you will find yourself avoiding the space and will instead live on top of each other in the living area. A comfy bed and desk are highly important as you cannot count on peace and quiet in a mutual living area. Installing a TV may also be useful so that you can always watch what you want on TV and avoid fights over the remote.
There is nothing more awkward than planning a rowdy dinner party at home whilst your room mate plans on inviting their new partner over for a romantic cook-up. Install a large blackboard in the main living area so that you can always be in the know about each other’s arrangements and maybe designate certain nights to each person to entertain. Block in a quiet night at the end of the week for all housemates to hang out together and cook up a storm!