Take a look inside the stylish, modern-day communes that are taking over US cities

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

More and more city dwellers are considering alternative housing options.

Co-living spaces like Common, which opened three new living facilities since the start of 2018, are providing a sleek reconfiguring of communal life.

In exchange for putting up with a group of strangers in your common space, you receive your own bedroom, a weekly cleaning service, and a regularly replenished stock of items like paper towels, toilet paper, and dish soap.

As Common grows, it’s able to offer its rooms at increasingly competitive rates by buying furnishings, supplies, and linens in bulk.

Whatever your opinion on sharing a bathroom with other people might be, the demand for co-living spaces shows no sign of letting up: “Right now, we’re supply-constrained,” Brad Hargreaves, the founder of Common, told Business Insider. “We get over 1000 applicants per week – far more demand than we can currently provide for.”

Take a look inside Common’s latest facility:

Common’s latest living space, called Common Racine, offers the company’s cheapest rooms to date in downtown Chicago. A total of 42 bedrooms are being offered with the baseline price of $US950, which includes utilities and a weekly cleaning service.


Racine is the 19th home Common has opened since its launch in 2015.

Common’s founder Brad Hargreaves says he attributes the company’s expansion to rising rents and an increase of young renters looking for homes in urban areas.


“Our goal at Common is to keep the good parts of living with roommates,” Hargreaves told Business Insider. “The affordability, the social environments – we’re trying to get rid of as many of the annoyances of communal living as we can possibly control.”

Every Common bedroom comes fully furnished, which means you won’t have to lug furniture from IKEA if you move to a new city.


All Common living spaces provide on-site laundry and speedy WiFi.


Racine includes a number of different community spaces like a home theatre, a wellness studio, and outdoor spaces for grilling and entertaining.


Common offers weekly community-led events so that you can get to know your fellow roommates.


Hargreaves says he expects Common’s expansion across the US to grow significantly within the next few years.


“Usually a room will come on the market and be gone the same day,” Hargreaves said. “We’re trying to expand to keep up with demands.”

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