Interior design tips that everybody living in a small space should know

Jan.January 23, 2016 01:45 PM

A living room in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, by Nina Etnier.

About 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, it’ll be 70 percent. More people in cities means less room for everybody, which means we all need to learn how to live well in smaller spaces.

That’s why we talked to interior designers Nina Etnier and Kelly Martin about how to put together an awesome, if tiny, home.

Here’s what we found out.

Let’s start with layout. “Scale is an important thing that most people don’t think about when laying out their apartments,” says Martin, who’s based in Los Angeles.

A living room by Kelly Martin.

It’s important to measure out the apartment so no piece of furniture overpowers the room — it should strike a balance.

A dresser (and bar!) by Kelly Martin.

If you’re moving from apartment to apartment every few years, Etnier, who does a lot of work in New York, says to invest in pieces that are easier to move.

A Manhattan penthouse by Nina Etnier.

“A beautiful side table, a nice dresser, coffee tables,” she says. “Pieces that are going to work wherever you land.”

“Get nice floor lamps and table lamps,” Etnier says. “Ambient light really affects things a lot.”

“Artwork is a really good thing to spend money on,” Etnier says. “That can elevate your space more than an expensive side table.”

And buy used. “You can get really nice things on auction and on Craigslist,” Etnier says. “Keep your eyes peeled, look for things that are really exciting for you.” Like this Instagram user did.

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