By 2050, an estimated 70% of the world's population will be living in urban centers. More city folk means smaller apartments and compact living spaces--but rather than retreat into dollhouse-size furniture, designers and consumers are responding with alacrity. "People are moving toward modular pieces for flexibility," says Brooke Stoddard, creative director of website Project Decor, which is like a commerce-ready Pinterest for furniture that lets her track buying trends in real time. "The design of hotel, business, and spa spaces is informing how people think about their homes," she says. "Consumers want options. These pieces let you adapt." And prepare for new neighbors.
3 Keer by Reinier de Jong
Lightweight polyethylene was used for this three-piece seat, which, when flipped, works three ways: as a lounge, a stool, and a side chair. ($190, reinierdejong.com)
4 Boxer by Matter
Designed for New Yorkers by New Yorkers, this cabinet lets owners choose from two to eight patchwork triangle-spangled units. (Price upon request, mattermatters.com)