At home on our street in town

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

In the middle of the city, Jovana and Rickard found their dream house from the turn of the last century. 250 square meters provides plenty of space for relatives, friends and a large measure of personality. “We have everything we could wish for and more,” says Jovana.

A pink hall with a Moroccan floor welcomes guests to the Engström family’s magnificent residence. Through a hall furnished with a red velvet sofa, you step into the heart of the house – a huge kitchen with generous ceiling height, large sash windows and a massive kitchen counter along the entire wall.

– It is a perfect living space. There can be many here and it is nice to be able to stay for a long time. It is bright and you have a view of the garden. I love this room, it’s so cozy to start the day here, says Jovana.

The extension at the front was built in 1926, but the rest of the house is probably older than that, according to what Rickard has heard, it may have been here as early as the end of the 19th century.

– I like that it is not perfect, because all the things you have are not perfect and you yourself are not perfect. I can feel out of place in the brand new house where everything is so heavenly straight and nice. It feels like I’m a little shabby and then it’s charming with an old, shabby house, says Jovana.

At any price

The couple moved in three years ago. Before that, they lived in an apartment a short distance from here, but they had parking across the street and used to walk by and admire the house.

– This whole area is so heavenly. For me who is from Luleå, it was a dream to live like this, says Jovana.

When Rickard sent the link to the Ad, the response from Jovana came quickly; “We will have it, at all costs.”

Previously, two apartments were housed here and the kitchen upstairs was still there when they moved in. Turning it into a bathroom and laundry room was a big project, as was the facade that needed to be renovated and repainted. There were also meters and again meters of moldings.

– We had a friend here who helped and we turned and we turned and thought about how the hell to saw them to get the corners together. It took a lot of wine and Youtube clips before the jigsaw came into use, Jovana remembers.

Room for books and history

Behind the kitchen we find the library where Jovana’s biographies and detective stories are housed on shelves along the walls together with small ornamental figures from various travels, instruments from Rickard’s grandfather and some flea market finds.

– I have always enjoyed reading and wanted to have a library. It feels cool to be able to live in such an abundance that you can have a room for your books, says Jovana.

She likes old things, especially when there is a story as in the case of the colorful carpet on the herringbone parquet.

– There are some old Bosnian ladies who have woven the rug and it has been in the family for a very long time. I lived in Bosnia until I was six years old and in connection with the Balkan War we fled here. We did not have much with us, but when mum and dad went down once after the war, they found it in the attic of our old house and took it with them. Now, unfortunately, both my parents have passed away, far too soon.

In the living room next door is Rickard’s favorite; the wood stove that has been well used this winter. The masonry behind it has been knocked out by the couple and the old brick assists with a rustic dimension to the bright space. Here is also the family’s new sofa, a large one, accompanied by a stylish bat armchair in leather.

Upstairs we find the couple’s bedroom with half-painted walls in deep blue, another stove and a linen-covered double bed in front of one of the barred windows. Next door is a walk-in closet, if that’s the right word for a closet the size of a living room. Up here there are also nurseries, guest rooms, bedrooms, study, bathroom and living room. With 250 square meters of living space, there is plenty of space when Jovana’s siblings come to visit from Halland.

100 years of närhetsliv

Rickard, who grew up in Heden, could have imagined living in the country, but for Jovana it was important to live in the center.

– Partly because I can easily take a bus to my friends in Luleå but also because we have the opportunity to live a little grand and then I want to do it. 1 800 000 SEK we got it for and it is completely sick, I think, that you can buy something like this, which is not located in a small village. In Boden you are close to everything, she says.

Here they have a comfortable life, close to jobs, shopping, restaurants and schools – but still a large garden and only a few minutes walk to nature, water, mountains and countryside.

– The best thing about living here is the surface and the location, to be able to live this old and big in the center. I am fantastically grateful that you can be an ordinary Swede and live as we do. Then you have to take that it needs a little love. But we still – knock on wood – have not had so much more trouble than anyone else. But if it has been here for 100 years, it is a good sign, then maybe it will work for you, says Jovana. #



The family: Jovana Engström, 33 years old, administrator at the Swedish Migration Agency, Rickard Engström, 31 years old, administrator at the Swedish Armed Forces, son Mateo, 4 months and dog Maxi, 3 years old.
The house: A two-storey house of 250 square meters plus cold attic and basement on Margaretagatan in central Boden.

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