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A Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich

by Garrett Fleming

Austrian-born Igor Josifovic of Happy Interior Blog was on the hunt for his first home in Munich, Germany when a certain listing caught his eye. It read “New-York-Style, Rooftop Apartment for Rent.” As he stepped inside the top-floor unit, he quickly learned that it was not only the modernity of the space, but also the size, that led to the New York comparison. The updated, 1960s-era home was small. Very small. Not even a barely-there kitchen and windowless bathroom, however, could detract from how much the space felt like a “… little nest overlooking the towers and roofs of Munich’s medieval, old town.” Igor eagerly signed the papers and quickly began setting up his new home, miles from everything he knew.

At the time, the apartment didn’t even have light fixtures. It truly was a clean slate for him to build upon, and for the last eight years he has done just that. Over time, the space has become more mature, textural and bohemian, but from day one it has reflected Igor’s passion for plants and simplicity. “For me, it was important to get my personality into my home,” he says. “I love when friends visit and tell me, ‘This is so you!’ Then I know I achieved my goal.” Injecting personality into his space was easy, but maintaining simplicity in such a small home is still a challenge. The savvy blogger stays on track by sticking to a one-for-one rule. Every time he brings a new piece in, another one’s gotta go. Clearly, his system is working. Igor’s home is bright, calming and with this many plants, it truly does feel like a nest high up in the treetops. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Lina Skukauske and Igor Josifovic

A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
1/19
Since his apartment is on the rooftop floor of the building, the bedroom's ceiling is pitched. Igor likes the feature so much, he highlights it with Farrow & Ball's "Down Pipe."
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
2/19
Igor is a huge fan of his natural linen bedding from IKEA. "Paired with cozy throws (like this mustard one from Urbanara), blankets and cushions, it is the perfect refuge after busy work days." The space is made even more pleasant by his many house plants. They help to purify the air so Igor can get a great night's sleep.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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"My bedroom window looks [out on the] candy-colored facades of the opposite buildings," Igor says. He's an avid fan of unwinding with a book just before bed and stores his latest reads here on his windowsill.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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The top-floor roost's beautiful view.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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At the foot of his bed are more plants, this pretty, white IKEA dresser and a Hans Bølling tray table. "I met the designer once at a design fair in Copenhagen and fell in love with the tray table which eventually moved in with me afterwards," Igor explains.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
6/19
Igor is thankful that his home "... roots and calms [his] fast-paced, digital lifestyle."
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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"My bedside table holds a table lamp made of bamboo, a vintage bowl and brass crane figurine, a vintage vase with dried lavender and a piece of driftwood brought home from a trip to the French Atlantic coast."
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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Igor's bedroom isn't huge, so storage is key. The IKEA cabinet does wonders for keeping the room organized.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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Igor loves his living room's moody color palette and how the walls, painted in Farrow & Ball "Plummett," contrast the vibrant IKEA rug and pops of colorful accessories. Small furniture pieces, like the two tables here, offer great flexibility for when Igor wants to switch the apartment around. He picked up the sofa at BoConcept and the chairs from Modernica.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
10/19
Igor Josifovic's website, Happy Interior Blog, focuses on decorating with mementos from trips and on how plants can infuse happiness into any home.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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According to Igor, what he loves most about his home is how it reflects his personality.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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"A side table from the German furniture producer KFF connects the living area and the dining area," while a rug from Turkey is used to help differentiate the dining and living areas from one another. The mounted magazine rack from Finnish Design Shop has proven to be an invaluable storage solution for the quaint home.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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"Vintage ceramics, wooden accessories and my coffee gear are ready to be used on the dining table," Igor says.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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Over the past eight years, the home has evolved "from an apartment that was more playful" into a "mature, more personal space with a BoHo touch and lots of plants."
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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This nook in the entry hall sets the mood for the entire home with blue hues and a natural, laid-back vibe. Photography by Louisa Seton infuses "a dash of summer feeling" into the space. The piece sits on a dresser from Butlers.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
16/19
Igor speaks quite frankly about the tiny kitchen. It's "... too small, not practical, and dark! It is a dead corner of the hallway turned into a kitchenette," he says. An open concept and rows of storage were really the only practical option for Igor when it came to outfitting the space. The kitchen also doesn't get any natural light so plants can't thrive inside – another reason why he's not a huge fan. The shopping tote is from West Elm.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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"Postcards from friends and magnets from trips line the kitchen."
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
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Igor cleverly chose an IKEA option with hooks for maximum storage.
A Modest, Plant-Filled Home Overlooking Munich, Design*Sponge
19/19
The 1960s-era apartment's floor plan.

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Comments

  • Wonderful space! Thank you so much for sharing! My only concern is that my apartment wishlist is growing! That magazine rack! That dresser! That blanket! :)

  • 3 photos in and all I can think of is just chilling for the rest of the winter on that gorgeous golden blanket with a good book, a good cup of coffee and that window! Love it! (Also admire the seriously skillful deployment of ikea!)

  • ”Every time he brings a new piece in, another one’s gotta go.” – Haha, I must write this mantra on a visible spot, so that I can read it everyday and stick to it. :) Igor, you’re a real boho inspiration to us!

  • the little details are just gems. to me, that’s the key with decor – those little details creating cozy little vignettes all over the place.

  • Wow! I love that mustard blanket against that grey wall. Everything is beautifully done. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • His space is so inspiring. :) The lamp on round table next to the couch is gorgeous (along with everything else!). What is the source?

  • Igor, I’ve never seen the kitchen before…. you could have given Rachel Khoo a run for her money in her previous tiny Paris kitchen.

    I always love how size never deters you from making a ‘real home’ full of your personality. You are the master of that. Everything is so you!!!

    Great photos and great inspiration. x

  • Great space Igor! My husband and I are going to Munich at the end of December. Any recommendations on places to go or stay?
    Would love a Munich travel guide, DesignSponge!
    Thanks!

      • Yes, always here to help Grace & Laura! There’s a very cool & new hotel in the city center called The Flushing Meadows including a fabulous rooftop bar! Go there for drinks or stay there! Also very cool for dinner is Theresa, I love the interior design and the food is great too! Go to the Brandhorst Museum, it is the latest museum addition in Munich, fantastic exhibits, great architecture – I went there last Sunday and I love it over and over again.

  • Oooh, such an insanely wonderful and warm space! I have to say I love the brown leather chair in the lounge room, I’d love to know where it’s from. Thanks! :)

    • Thank you very much Len! The chair is from a German manufacturer called Freifrau – you can google them easily!

  • What a great start my day! Igor, I’ve never got a glimpse of your kitchen before. What fun to get to create a “what I like most about my home” sketch. Glückwünsche!

  • I love plants too, Igor! :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful apartment. Thanks also to DS for introducing me to Igor’s blog – I can see it’s going to become one of my new favourites. :)

  • absolutely in love with your home, and that blanket! if only it was still on their website…

  • I absolutely adore the simplicity of this space. The best interiors are those that take you & your lifestyle into consideration.

  • Igor your apartment has so much style injected into it. It’s small but so lovely and with a lot of love and attention given to it!

  • I saw this when it was first posted but didn’t comment – I don’t know why not because it is truly outstanding. It’s amazing how the plants seem to be thriving when there is just one window though. You obviously have a gift!