Multi-functional furniture is the new decor option for those looking for minimalistic and clean spaces. While these have been around for ages, they have gained a newfound fondness among most homeowners, irrespective of the size of their homes. Some opt for multifunctional furniture due to a lack of space and the efficiency that it offers. Others go for it due to its storage units, allowing for more space to get rid of the clutter.
“Owing to the large amount of products available in the market, and the subsequent purchase of goods in large quantities filling all the storage spaces at home, people are turning to multifunctional furniture to declutter and solve design problems that tend to come with too many units in one space,” says Joshua Thomas, an animator and gamer. Working out of a small studio, Joshua has turned to multi-functional furniture to capitalise on the available space.
Sheila Baru, co-founder, Maram Furniture, Bengaluru reiterates the increasing consumerism leading to more items at home and lesser space to store them. However, she throws light on the several different dual-purpose furniture that she has designed and crafted and some that are available and used extensively around the world.
These are small chairs that are padded and upholstered, with no backrest. These are making a comeback and gaining popularity in recent times. The little piece of furniture was originally designed to use as a footrest or stool. Today, in modern day design, it has been repurposed to be used as an extra seating or a coffee table. Joshua points to a studio he works at, elaborating that they have designed an ottoman to be used as extra storage for cables and other stuff that you would want out of view of clients.
Ottomans can be used in any space, in a formal set-up like a living room or a guest room or it could be used in a bathroom. The storage idea comes in handy in casual set ups to store items or throw away dirty linen. “Several online brands have begun designing tables with ottomans pushed underneath them. They form functional tables that can be stand-alone pieces in a small room and when there is a need to sit and work or just lounge around, you have the option of pulling the ottomans from under to create a set-up,” explains Joshua.
Sofa-cum-bed designs are aplenty in the market, these convertibles come in different styles that one can pick, depending on the existing decor of the house. Some of the popular ones are the pullout-bed, futon or fold down design; which serve the purpose of providing sleeping space in case of a lack of it or it could also help when there are extra guests.
Sheila also has clients that have sofas with drawers in the bottom portion, providing extra storage space. They make beautiful functional pieces.
Indigenous to Japan, Kaidan Dansu is a structure of steps formed with cabinets. Sheila throws light on how this gorgeous modular construction is used as actual stairs in tiny homes, simultaneously making plenty of storage space right under.
The chests either have a sliding door or ones that open in and out. Most homes have it leading to the terrace or the attic. The fun part is that this can be moved in case you are shifting and want to take it to the next home.
Having done plenty of research on dual-purpose furniture, Vidhya Shree, interior design consultant states that the most sought-after option to maximise available space are wall beds. Most of her clients are freelancers who work from the comfort of their homes, however, they do not like to be doing professional work on their bed and the lack of space leaves them with no option. “I always look at how one space can be converted into another, and how we can optimise the space to get the most out of it. Wall beds are the best options as they allow you to rest and relax after a long days work, and the next morning you can fold them back up, hiding it in the wall,” she explains. This space that is made can be used as an office space.
Vidhya also recommends going in for foldable tables. In recent times, many e-commerce sites have begun selling them at affordable prices. These can be mounted on the wall and folded when not required, just liked the wall beds. Another option is tables that fold and can be slid into a storage space, hid away to be used again when the occasion calls for it.
Shoebox cum seating
Speaking of design solutions, Sheila speaks of the shoebox that can be used for seating. The top part is upholstered, and the bottom is hollow with doors on either side to shut the space.
Multi-purpose furniture can either be custom-made or bought. Shiela stresses on going for wood over all other material as it provides durability, and looks aesthetically pleasing. The beauty of wood is that is can be repurposed and redone several years later to form a part of another piece of furniture or can be made to look new and refreshing as it is. Always look at the long term usage of the furniture while buying it. If you are living in a small space make the most use of it and remember to keep it minimal and clean, it would instantly give the space more luxurious and elegant touch....