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Happiness is a small space: writer’s D2 cosy abode is big on storage

Flat has walk-in closet that would appease Carrie Bradshaw despite only being 34sq m

Catherine Ryan Howard at the desk in her tiny apartment off Leeson Street. Photograph: Eoin Rafferty

Writer Catherine Ryan Howard moved from Cork to her 34sq m flat off Leeson Street, when she enrolled in Trinity College three years ago.

Every single inch of space is fully functional in this diminutive dwelling, allowing for excess possessions to be carefully stowed away. There’s a living area with a couch and pull-down Murphy bed, a built-in wardrobe, a kitchen and a bathroom, as well as a skinny hallway leading into a walk-in closet that would appease Carrie Bradshaw.

Howard’s top tip for tiny rentals is to only display items that soothe the soul – everything else must be put away. Her focal point is a desk with multiple drawers, adorned with inspiring, colour-coordinated items of personal significance – mostly in dusty pink – including a classic typewriter.

Surrounded by nice things

“When you’re at home all the time, you want to be surrounded by nice things that remind you that’s there’s a world out there,” she says.

Every single inch of space is fully functional in this diminutive 34sq m dwelling. Photograph: Eoin Rafferty

“I can’t look out a window because I would just be distracted, so what I like to do at my desk is just point to things that make me happy, that I have good memories of, or else remind me of something that I get to do when the novel is finished.”

Howard’s only regret is that her apartment has limited room for books, the vast majority of which live back in Cork.

“I think it’s a small price to pay – I really have no complaints,” she says. “As soon as I walk out, I have the canal, where I put dead bodies in my book! You have endless coffee options and you just can’t beat the location.”

Catherine Ryan Howard’s novel Distress Signals (€11.20) is published by Corvus and available nationwide.