Most people are happy to leave their shared flat behind when they start working, eager to move into a place of their own. The following five co-living services think that shared accommodation concepts deserve a proud place in our contemporary urban lifestyle mix. Read on to find out why.

More openness, more collaboration, more flexibility: Reasons for the current rise in co-living demand mirror those for the stunning popularity of co-working concepts. While the latter have become an established part of our modern working world, co-living services are just starting to come into their own as an answer to a globalized, flexible society. Yet demand grows in line with rising rents – and the urgent lack of space in urban conglomerations.

Most co-living complexes assign residents their own bed- and bathroom, while kitchens, living rooms and other communal spaces are shared. So-called digital nomads were among the first to pick up on the trend, happy to live and work without a fixed desk or address. Born out of the idea to create a living environment that encourages like-minded souls to meet, inspire each other, and build a community, these fully furnished, flexible spaces (with equally flexible rental agreements) turn living space into a service model like car2go or frents, while residents enjoy all the usual creature comforts without any long-term obligation: an apt reflection of the sharing economy concept and spirit.

The Collective Old Oak, London/UK

Welcome home – The Collective Old Oak offers its tenants more than just the provision of housing space.
Photo: Amandine Alessandra, The Collective Old Oak

A leisurely sunrise breakfast on the roof terrace followed by a focused work session, a quick stint in the gym and a movie with friends – all without leaving the premises. That’s what London’s The Collective Old Oak, currently the world’s largest co-living complex, is all about. Anyone hunting for distraction or entertainment doesn’t even need to leave the building: Beyond private living space and shared communal areas, this co-living provider treats its members to a fully-equipped gym, a laid-back wellness area, several co-working spaces, a library, a cinema and a selection of bars and restaurants. At the time of writing, 546 residents across 10 floors made the most of this versatile offer.

Stylish and modern: the common rooms.
Photo: Amandine Alessandra, The Collective Old Oak
Start your day right with a healthy breakfast in one of the community’s restaurants.
Photo: Amandine Alessandra, The Collective Old Oak

According to the people behind it all, The Collective Old Oak has made it its mission to create new living and working space with a community focus to counter the British capital’s acute housing crisis. What’s more, shared dinner parties, workshops, lessons, and events are geared towards fighting loneliness in the metropolitan. Those who can afford the rent (starting at 245 British pounds per week), get their own room and bathroom, 9.2m² of living space as well as a 5.8m² micro kitchen.

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Roam, Ubud/Bali

Co-working in paradise? Roam in Bali offers just that: In Ubud, the island’s artistic and cultural center, German architect Alexis Dornier has transformed a U-shaped complex and former boutique hotel into a co-living house. Plenty of luscious climbers, bamboo, and palm trees meet concrete, wood and bricks in a harmonious reflection of the Balinese surroundings blended with a few familiar touches from back home.

Co-living in paradise: the pool area of Roam in Bali.
Photo: Roam

The shared communal pool is surrounded by a total of 24 bedrooms, all fitted with their own bathroom and balcony. The building’s roof terrace not only comes with a stunning view of the entire island, but also a co-working space, a restaurant, and an expansive work-out area for yoga, capoeira and other athletic adventures. Roam also has co-living spaces in Miami, London, Madrid, Tokyo, and San Francisco for weekly or monthly rentals, with prices starting at 500 US dollars per week or 1,800 US dollars per month.

Common yoga sessions at tropical temperatures.
Photo: Roam
Beautiful sunsets are included.
Photo: Chris Wise

Selina, San José/Costa Rica

Selina is the place to be for digital nomads, travelers, and adventurers who are seeking living space paired with surfing, meditation as well as language classes in exotic locations. The co-living provider brings together the comfort of a boutique hotel with the young atmosphere of a hostel, emphasizing wellness, art, music, and culture.

Living room at Selina.
Selina’s rustic interior design creates a young athmosphere.
Photo: Selina

The first Selina complex opened 2014 in a small surf town in Panama. After traveling the world together, the two founders Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski were determined to change the hospitality industry. By now, Selina runs more than 23 compounds all over Latin America – covering islands, beaches, and urban city centers. Travelers willing to share a room can find accomodation in San José starting at 10 US Dollars.

private bedroom by co-living provider selina
Peace and quiet in unique private rooms.
Photo: Selina

Common, San Francisco/USA

Co-living provider Common currently runs twelve buildings in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Those looking to move to San Francisco might appreciate the cheapest room east of the city, in Oakland, from 1,388 US dollars per month. Common residents are called members and enjoy their own bedroom plus access to shared kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces. Consumables like paper towels, washing-up liquid, or toilet paper are replaced regularly and included in the rent, pre-empting any related (and predictably annoying) room-share discussions.

An inviting kitchen for shared meals.
Photo: Common
Bright and friendly: the rooms at Common.
Photo: Common

New members can look forward to a warm welcome to the community, since each house has its own community manager on hand to help new arrivals get to know their neighbors and find their space in the community. A “house leader” organizes events like communal dinners or film nights. Each house also has its own group chats where residents can discuss upcoming events or spontaneous get-togethers.

The community areas are ideally suited for a chill-out.
Photo: Common

Ollie in Carmel Place, New York City/USA

Ollie in Carmel Place, New York City’s very first luxury micro apartment building, opened its doors in 2016. With its 55 tastefully furnished studios, all between 260 and 360 square feet, the co-living complex champions high-end minimalism. Minimalism that goes hand-in-hand with an all-inclusive lifestyle: Besides many communal spaces – including gym, garden, and roof terrace – members get exclusive access to services like housekeeping and a concierge as well as their very own butler service for tasks like making the bed or watering plants.

Co-living with a flair of luxury: the stunning view from the living room at Ollie’s.
Photo: Ollie

In the city that never sleeps, members are also treated to a constant stream of invitations to one-of-a-king events and other benefits like free drinks or exclusive discounts. With prices starting at 2,775 US dollars, Ollie is currently branching out with another location in Pittsburgh as well as new projects scheduled to open in Jersey City (2019) as well as Los Angeles and Boston (both 2020).

Small but equipped with everything you need: an Ollie room.
Foto: Ollie