Fredrik’s living situation:
Who: Fredrik and his husband Jörgen make up ‘a family of two’. They’ve both just entered middle age and have been together for 18 years.
What: A one-bedroom apartment with ensuite, living room, and studio kitchenette. The doors, walls and ceilings are thin, which means Fredrik and Jörgen can hear neighbours coming and going, and vice versa.
Where: The couple live in Den Haag/The Hague, Netherlands, after moving from Malmö, Sweden. They reside in the city centre, in a building that was previously a single residence but is now divided into several flats. Fredrik and Jörgen live on the second floor, overlooking a busy, narrow street overlooking a tree lined canal. The neighbourhood is full of hipsters, young families, designers and cuisine from around the world.
What changes to your home have you made – or would you like to make – to get more breathing space?
We would love to have a spare room for guests, and a balcony where we can take care of plants or just hang out. Our previous apartments had those things and we really miss the extra space, and the option to close a door behind you. But on the other hand, when we downsized during our last move, we realized how little we need. It’s therapeutic to have less stuff.
We’d also love to have simple, flexible temporary space creators. We have amazing light and hate to kill the flow of it, but it would be nice to have little capsules, or bed tents, and room dividers that act like walls and that you can demount and put away for the day.
What’s your top tip for getting the privacy you need when living with other people?
Well synchronized routines, and the ability to read the room. Be clear on what you need. For example, I always need ten minutes to decompress when I come home after work. My husband has usually been home for a while by then and wants to chit-chat, but he knows I need ten minutes to rest.
And really good set of headphones.