Real Couple Home Tour: Big Love (In a Small Space)

A set designer for J. Crew and an art director for Allure make the most of their tiny Brooklyn space without sacrificing an ounce of style.

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When two highly visual people share a tiny apartment, you know they'll dream up some nifty illusions to maximize the space they do have. That's the case for Glenn Tuma, 34, a visual manager of creative services at J. Crew (he sources art, furniture and textiles, and conceptualizes windows and interiors for J. Crew's specialty stores and showrooms), and his girlfriend of four years, Mariana Keyes, 31, an associate art director at Allure. We got them to share how they make their 455 sq. ft. apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, not only utterly livable—but totally cute.

Round Things Out
After striking out with two rectangular coffee tables in their living room, Mariana and Glenn found a circular one that turned the space around. They found the Danish piece at an antique emporium and snatched it up. Not only is their low, round table easier to maneuver in their small living space, but its white laminate top lends a special bonus. "It makes the piece look and feel lighter in the room," says Glenn.

Use Color Wisely
Painting a small space with a bold color can make the room shrink. Plus, it's easy to get bored when you see the same bright hue every day—and not so easy to repaint. That's why Mariana and Glenn opted to keep a neutral palette on the walls. But Mariana found ways to work a little color into their lives, integrating pops of red with furniture and textiles. "They're way easier to swap out when you need a change," notes Mariana. Adds Glenn: "Before Mariana moved in, she used to tease me about the lack of color in my life, but she definitely makes things more colorful!"

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