A home where friends become as close as family

A vibrant living room and workspace with wall art, sofa, coffee tables, lamps, white tables, chairs, rugs and an old ladder.

A home where friends become as close as family

When you move into a shared space how do you feel like you belong? Or that it’s a place to call home? Inspired by the rise in communal living, interior designer Hans Blomquist created a home for three individuals that balances the openness of group living with privacy.

A place to belong

The latest Life at Home report reveals five emotional needs we have to make us feel at home in a space, including belonging – the need to feel part of a group and accepted for who we are. It’s the idea at the root of this apartment, made for three friends to share. There are communal spaces, designed to bring them together, and private pods for when they need time apart.

Think modular, mobile and easy to makeover

Moveable furniture on wheels and lightweight pieces like stools that can be stacked away or carried to where they’re needed are great in a home with many people, as is a big table. Lots of smaller tables you can push together to create a big table, or pull apart and use separately wherever they’re needed is better! And finish with easy-to-customise pieces like the super flexible IVAR wooden storage.

Put your walls and corners to work

The apartment’s communal spaces have to multitask. In the kitchen, a desk doubles as a study spot and breakfast bar. Covering the wall with pegboard makes every bit of space useful – cooking utensils, pots and a portable induction hob to make cooking for a crowd easier hang on the wall. Shelves to store stationery are mixed in, while clamp lights can be aimed to light up tasks at the desk.

Minimal style, maximum smartness

Natural materials like wood and cotton give this bedroom a feel-good quality while textiles in muted shades bring harmony to the space. For added peace of mind, there’s furniture that adapts to the housemates’ needs – a high bed that unstacks to become two beds, that can each become sofas or can be pushed together to make one big bed. And an IVAR desk that folds up and away to create space. This way, each housemate gets their own bedroom – a private ‘pod’ designed to be a space where they can disconnect and recharge in any way they need.

Packed with storage

A place for everything makes this monochrome bedroom work. From the bed with deep, built-in drawers to the headboard with hidden shelves and desk with space inside to store books and study accessories, this room is filled with storage that makes it easy to put away and find all the different things the housemate wants to keep in her room.

A dream space

Bedrooms are where the housemates live their passions. For the last bedroom, the team show you can do maximalist style on a budget. A big bed takes centre-stage. Framed with low-hanging lamps and piled with pillows, the effect is dreamy. Combining MACKAPÄR coat racks with a wall-mounted mirror makes an affordable walk-in wardrobe and lets the colourful clothes become part of the room’s decor.

Designed for sharing

This apartment’s design creates a sense of connection and balance. Communal spaces smooth the way and bring housemates together – in high-traffic spaces like the hallway and bathroom three sets of the same storage mean what’s yours stays yours, while in the living room, flexible furniture like sofabeds mean the space’s use can change as needed. Private spaces offer the chance to switch off.

A floor plan of the co-living apartment created by interior design Hans Blomquist.

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Interior designer: Hans Blomquist
Photographer: Per Gunnarsson