Residential property prices in the Swedish capital have risen close to 50 percent since 2012 – that is, prices today are 70 per cent higher than before the aughties crisis. So, in theory, if a family with three children living in a 100 sq-m apartment in the centre wants more space for the same amount of krona, they have to move to the suburbs.

Or they can hire architect Måns Tham and break some nooks and niches into the walls.

That’s what this family of fierce Stockholm urbanites decided to do. The property, built in 1880, is spread between two floors. Tham presented a rather humble solution to the couple: he asked them to give up their master bedroom for a smaller, hyperefficient one with custom storage solutions, and instead turn their room into a space for their two girls and one boy, with a cave-like nook built for their son. The dinousaur-egg shaped opening under the staircase, made in birch plywood, functions as a private sleeping space that still offers connections to the two other siblings.

The living room also went through another transformation: a former closet was converted into a sofa niche with a vaulted ceiling that hides the previously visible web of plumbing.

‘This allowed us to keep the large open spaces, but solve leisure and sleeping conditions within a very tight budget,’ the architect explained. ‘This gave them maximum spatial quality per invested krona.’