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Social space or sanctuary? It’s both.

As we retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and invite our nearest and dearest to join us while we do, one question comes to mind: is home a sanctuary or is it a social space? Can it be both?

On average, we spend over half of a 24-day in our homes. It’s often where we sleep, eat, convene with friends and family, watch TV, read the newspaper, work, make things and play with our pets. That’s just for starters. There’s so much possibility under one roof, and that’s the beauty of home. It’s whatever you want it to be.

When we live with other people, though, our spaces need to be flexible so that we can create the different kinds of private time we need: solitude, or time alone, is just as important as the time we spend connecting with others, which could be a quiet date night with your partner or a board game with pals. Of course, the smaller the home and the more people who live there, the trickier it is to flex between these different states of downtime.

We spoke to people around the world for the IKEA Life at Home Report 2019 about how they see ‘me time’ when a space needs to flex around different people and needs. Here are two reflections, from Sekai and Sarah: 

“It’s not stressful to hang out [with close friends]. You’re not having to put on airs, so I suppose we can have private time together. It’s a relaxing thing to do to have those honest dialogues and feel like you’re not crazy for feeling certain ways about things.”

Sarah lives in Amsterdam with her husband, toddler and in-laws:

“As a woman, I am a daughter to my father and father-in-law, I’m a wife to my husband, I’m a

mother to my child. I’m also a friend to my friends and colleague to my colleagues. My private moment is the moment where I can be myself.”