Life at home in Sweden

Starting out small in the city

32m² might not sound like much, but this tiny apartment is the perfect size for a busy student with the world on his doorstep.

Linus got the keys to this pocket-size apartment in downtown Malmö, his very first place, just over two years ago. Fresh off the boat from Costa Rica – where he’d been working, surfing and soaking up the sunshine – he arrived back home in Sweden with a surfboard and virtually no furniture to speak of! Since then, this small space has undergone a massive transformation, all thanks to a few clever furnishings and plenty of Linus' personal style.

A gallery wall of photos and posters above a TV bench.

A full tour of the place doesn’t take more than a minute. Entering into the compact hallway, you have three options: a door to the left leads into the combined bedroom and living area, straight ahead takes you into the kitchen and dining space, and the final door on the right is the apartment’s teeny-tiny bathroom. That’s it!

Living small was the trade-off for being in the heart of the city, and it’s perfect for Linus, who’s often out and about. "I really like living in this neighbourhood, because there’s so much going on here. It's close to the city, to bars, restaurants and the main square where I often go and buy fruit and vegetables. There’s also a wide variety of different shops from around the world, where I find inspiration for cooking."

Big idea #1: Two rooms in the space of one

The little space Linus has goes a long, long way: the hallway doubles as a wardrobe, the kitchen is also his dining area turned home office and the living area moonlights as his sleep space.

The bed is probably the comfiest spot in the home, and definitely the smartest. Linus built the platform himself, with room for storage boxes below. It's a great space for seasonal clothes and those other things you might not need every day.

With the bed pushed right against both walls, the “hanging out” side of the room can do some spreading out – great when friends come over. To create a sense of privacy, a simple clothes rail separates the bed from the living area: yet another case of smart double function in action!

Big idea #2: Vertical space to the rescue

When you have limited floor space like Linus, thinking vertically becomes even more important. Thankfully, his apartment has the advantage of high ceilings, which are made use of everywhere.

In the narrow hallway for example, floor-to-ceiling wardrobes squeeze an impressive amount of clothes storage into a very small stretch of wall. The nearby stool (currently the home of the WiFi router) can also spring into action when Linus needs to grab something from the higher shelves.

And while Linus admits that he doesn't have much "stuff", he does have a lot of art, which – grouped together above his TV bench – turn the living room's bare white wall into full-on wow.

Big idea #3: Go with the flow!

Linus' approach to furnishing his apartment has been slow and laid-back, possibly explained by his years of working as a surf instructor! “For anyone who’s moving out for the first time, or into a small space," he says, "I would say try not to plan too much in advance.” When you move in with just the absolute essentials, like a bed and cooking utensils, he continues, “you can get a feel for the place, what you need and where things should go."

A five-minute fika with Linus

The best thing about living small is that I know where everything is, and that it's easy to keep the house clean.

My can't-live-without possessions are my surfboard, of course, and my coffee machine.

My favourite space at home is the kitchen table. It’s where I eat and do so many other things too.

To me, home is somewhere I can be completely myself.