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A small urban space for one

When you step into Igor’s rooftop apartment, three things jump out: how small it is (just 32m2 including sloped ceilings), how cosy and how plant-filled. “I’m often away travelling for my work in social media and as a blogger,” he says. “When I return, this space is all I need to ground me.” He shares his tips for small-space living with us.

Cosy and inviting room with sofa, coffee tables plus a work table and chair.
Cosy and inviting room with sofa, coffee tables plus a work table and chair.
A man sitting down, in a room wih a plant.

Igor’s home truths

My home is… a 32m2, rented, rooftop apartment in the old part of Munich. I’ve been living here for seven years.

I live… alone, unless you count my 30 plants as flatmates!

A small space… opens up opportunities for re-invention and redecoration without spending too much money, which is great for me: I like experimenting! But my general rule before buying something new is ‘one in, one out’.

The biggest challenge is… my 3m2 kitchen. There’s only space for the absolute essentials. But I enjoy simple dishes, and will often have pasta or what the Germans call ‘evening bread’ (a sandwich) for dinner, because lunch is the main meal of the day.

My top tip for wellbeing… is plants, especially if you live in the city. I find they calm me down.

Shoes off… is the first thing I do when I get home. It’s something I grew up with, but it’s also like telling your body it’s time to relax.

You need to find balance in a small apartment – overdoing it can make the space chaotic. A calm base accentuated with colourful textiles, art and travel finds works for me.

Igor, blogger and social media manager, Munich

Tables and chairs smartly arranged for smaller space by a wall.

Create multifunctional ‘zones’

“My apartment is too small to have a dedicated workspace, dining space or planting space,” says Igor. “Nearly every piece of furniture gets used for several activities – I use rugs, occasional furniture and plants to help visually define different areas.”

Some plant pot and other items, stored on shelves.

Stack your kitchen crates

In a rented home or awkward space, you can build your own storage in an instant with wooden crates. “They’re really versatile,” says Igor. “I use mine as open shelves and for packing if I need to move.”

A large cotton bag hanging from some shelving.

Free-wheeling, flexible storage

In a tiny kitchen, a trolley can provide valuable extra storage and workspace. “I have two of them,” says Igor. “If I need more room to move, I can always wheel them around or shift them into another room.”

Coffee bags and coffee peculators and various cups and items on shelves.

Dedicated open shelves

Keep what you use most close at hand and easily visible to make daily routines run more smoothly. Igor loves his coffee: “The first thing I do when I get home is make myself one,” he says.

Bedroom with a bed and plants.
I believe your home should feel like you. No matter how small your space, it can still show your personality.

Igor, blogger and social media manager, Munich

Plants in a bathroom.

Save space with your doors

If you’re tight on floorspace, make every inch count by removing doors, or choosing sliding or folding options – going for glass will also reflect light and brighten the space. “One of the first things I noticed when I moved in was how much wasted space the doors took up,” says Igor.

Igor’s floorplan.

Compact living

“I’ve lived in this rented apartment for seven years now and have no plans to move,” says Igor. “I love its location high up in the heart of old Munich. Living in the eaves limits the height of things I can put under the sloped ceiling, but I found a bed frame and desk that slot in to the space perfectly. And I’ve learned to be meticulous with the rest of the apartment, only buying furniture with measurements that work with the space. But I often switch around the layout, or details, when I feel the need for a change.”

Made by
Photography: Daniel Farmer
Styling: Emily Henson
Follow Igor at happyinteriorblog.com & urbanjunglebloggers.com