How to decorate when you live with your parents

Their rules — your style!

Colorful bedroom with daisy mural and smiley face tapestry
(Image credit: @alexis.benrud)

Living with your parents isn’t always easy. And when you’re an adult, it can be even harder. Whether your family home is a house, apartment, or condo — even if it's huge, it might feel small to you. So creating a space that feels like your own is crucial. After all, your family might have a traditional style home, but your tastes may be more modern. Don't stress bestie, we're here to help!

Here’s how to decorate when you live with your parents. These easy tips will help you feel less like a kid and more like an adult in transition. Whether you have a small or large budget there are many things you can easily do on a dime. Even if you follow just a few of these tips (some of which will cost you no money at all) — you will be a whole lot happier with your living situation. 

Most importantly, remember that living with your parents is only temporary. It won’t last forever and if you are truly stressed, know you can always move out.

1) Adult-ify your bedroom

You might have neglected your childhood bedroom when you were away at college. Or maybe you didn't spend the summers at home. Or worse, it doesn’t look too different than it did when you were in high school. 

Now is the time to declutter those old trophies, certificates, and perhaps embarrassing posters off your walls. This is particularly important if you plan to work remotely. Your co-workers don’t need to know you were once a big One Direction fan or that you were the most improved lacrosse player in eleventh grade.

2) Buy new bedding

Sleep is incredibly important and there’s no easier way to help you sleep than with good bedding. Treat yourself to the high thread count sheets and a nice duvet cover. 

You can’t go wrong with a solid color like white. Then add a throw and drape it over the end of the bed to make your room feel like it belongs in a hotel. 

3) Decorate the room

This is the fun part. Decorate the room in any way that reflects your style. But keep it elevated. You can paint the walls or even install peel-and-stick wallpaper. Invite a few friends over, order pizza and drinks— make it a fun group DIY project. 

Then add art. Shop online for fun colorful pieces that come already framed. Lastly, create a gallery wall.

4) Don’t forget the details

Have fun accessorizing the room. Buy a tray to keep on your nightstand for stashing your phone, jewelry, and water. Add throw pillows to your bed and any accent chairs you might have in the room. It's the little things, right?

Get a fragrance diffuser to ensure your room always smells its best. 

Then, purchase a few picture frames and print out photos from your Instagram. Just don’t go overboard because you don’t want the room to feel cluttered. 

5) Create a lounge area

If you have extra space in your bedroom, create a lounge area with a television. This also allows you to have people over without hanging out in the living room. Interior designer Kate Dawson suggests finding a corner of the room that you can set up as a little nook. 

"Get a cozy, bright-colored chair, a fabulous pouf, a small accent table, a floor lamp, a beautiful pillow or two, maybe a faux fur throw (or just a regular throw with tassels)... and you've got a little cozy nook... a little piece of you in the home that isn't yours. If paint and wallpaper aren't options, then just play it up with bold colors and patterns on the chair and cushions.”

6) See if you can take advantage of other rooms in the home

Living with your parents isn’t always easy and staying in your room most of the time can feel a little bit confined. So, see if you can take advantage of any extra space that isn’t being used in the home. 

For example, you can turn a basement into a mini apartment. Or take over that home office that’s rarely used and turn it into an office for yourself or even a gaming room. Then follow the above steps to personalize those spaces as well. 

Amanda Lauren

Hi, I’m Amanda Lauren. I’m a design expert and interior stylist who writes for Real Homes, Forbes, Real Simple among other publications. I live in Los Angeles in the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park with my husband, and two dogs, Lulu and Milo. We also have a baby coming in spring 2023. I’m a big believer in finding beautiful things at all price points. There are so many places to find affordable things, you just have to look for them. If you don't find it at first, look harder!