Alice, My Roommate and I Are Locked in a Color War

Alice, My Roommate and I Are Locked in a Color War

Jun 30, 2016
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Dear Alice,

My roommate and I have been sharing our 2-bedroom for a year, and it's been great so far! Since we're doing so well together, we decided to sign a two-year lease this time to lock in a lower rent, and now that we know we'll be settling in, we want to make our place feel homey. We're both on board to start with the walls (currently that boring shade of "Renters White"), but we're not on board with each other's colors.

My roommate is worried that my "bold choices" (her words) won't look good when executed by amateurs (read: us), so she wants to stay neutral and (IMHO) boring. But I know our place would look great if we made some bold choices. What started as a fun style conversation has turned into a passive-aggressive argument — and our walls are still sad. How do we reach a color compromise?

Cease Fire

Dear Cease,
A good roommate is hard to find, so you need to do what you can to keep each other. And the thing is, if the two of you can create a place that really feels like home, you'll both be more likely to stay in it.

First, you describe your roommate's color interest as boring. Let's start by changing that to "favors neutral" to make her choices valid, too. And even if "favors neutral" and "favors bold" are living in the same share, you probably have more common ground than you realize. It sounds like she's open to new colors but is timid to commit to them, which is totally understandable: Painting's not permanent, but it's not something you want to do often.

What if you could convince her that it wouldn't be an "amateur" (to use your word) job at all? That you could have professional designers help you make your choices? For example, HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams offers 16 designer-inspired Color Collections that take the guesswork out of choosing colors. They have punchy names like Fashion Forward and Urban Outlook (full list here), each with 20 colors that were chosen specifically to work well together and create room-to-room harmony. You can even use the colors in each Collection to help you choose accent colors for home decor.

I suggest the two of you choose a weekend and go to Lowe's together and find a Color Collection you both like. Natural Wonder might be a good one for you two: It takes its inspiration from Mother Nature, with amped-up neutrals and accents that quote elements like minerals, mosses and wood — it's not too out-there, but definitely not boring.

And to top off the paint job, use HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams quality paint (we suggest INFINITY® Complete One-Coat Paint & Primer), and you’ve got yourself a professional look and finish for your home.

From that Color Collection (or whichever you choose), I'm sure you can find a few colors for a base and accents that will work well together and also give your apartment a personality unique to the two of you.


Choose your Color Collection at or visit your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.

This post is sponsored by HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams.
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