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What People Want From Co-Living Isn’t What They’re Getting


The concept of co-living continues to gain momentum as the cost of living rises in regions across the U.S., but what co-living companies like WeLive, Common and Ollie are offering may not align with what consumers want.

A survey conducted by Space10 — the research lab run by Swedish furniture maker IKEA — found that beyond people wanting to be social and connect with peers in a meaningful way, those who participated in the survey showed a preference for living in smaller groups of between four and 10 people, Fast Company reports.

While they did not want to share bedrooms or bathrooms, the respondents were happy to share kitchens, workspaces, gardens and the internet. Participants also preferred to decorate their own private spaces but wanted a designer to furnish common areas and shared spaces.

This is contrary to the model many companies on the market are offering. Rather than building smaller homes to house a limited number of people and facilitate more intimate relationships, WeLive is building a 36-story skyscraper in Seattle that will have 384 apartment units, while Ollie recently introduced an apartment building in Queens, New York, that offers 470 furnished apartment units.

While apartment buildings can feel more isolated than smaller spaces, they do offer one of the most important features noted by survey participants — privacy.