Article by Nicole Swengley
Make the most of your living space by choosing flexible, multi-use furniture. Combining space-saving practicality with innovative technology, the latest designs are as future-proof as a Weston home. With sustainability high on the agenda, these chic eye-catchers are expertly crafted and designed to last.
Power to Transform
Double-duty designs convert effortlessly from coffee to dining table or desk. Ozzio, an Italian expert in transformable tables, offers Bellagio (£1,520 from Go Modern; www.gomodern.co.uk) whose gas-powered mechanism raises its sleek top to dining or laptop level, revealing storage space below. Choose from a natural stone surface, Canaletto walnut or aged oak recycled from old Italian farmhouse roofs. A gas-powered structure similarly lifts and divides Ozzio’s Markus coffee table (£2,210 from Go Modern), creating a dining table/desk with bench seating. Equally chic is Anderson (£2,519 from online furniture specialist, Pepper Square; www.peppersq.com) whose gas-lifting mechanism raises its natural walnut top from 28cm to 80cm, converting the coffee table into a dining table seating six to twelve. Prefer a durable, heat-resistant, melamine top? Check out Pepper Square’s six-to-eight seater Sakura (£1,369) coffee-to-dining convertible.
Just 35cm deep, Ozzio’s A4 console (£2,970 from Go Modern) expands to a 12-seater dining table 267cm long. Pull it apart using the telescopic mechanism then combine four separate extensions, stored below the table in a matt graphite frame which pivots into a supporting leg. Another Tardis-like table is the oak console table (£399) from small-space experts, the Futon Company (www.futoncompany.co.uk) which hugs the wall then doubles in size to 80cm using an easy-glide, open-close mechanism. Traditional, wooden, drop-leaf tables are also good investments. Look for pre-loved bargains at local auctions.
Desks that miraculously vanish boost a healthy work-life balance. Hide your desk behind the glamorous doors of Pianca Plana’s versatile wardrobe system whose interior fittings could also conceal a TV unit and household appliances (from £820 at Go Modern). The Day collection by design-led Italian specialist, DaFre, is a modular system in a range of colours and finishes with a huge choice of storage, shelving (including desk area) and back-lit display units. Create a perfect dual-use home office with Composition 3 (£2,660 at Go Modern). Or combine an occasional-use desk with household elements like a pull-out ironing board, shoe cabinets or cupboard with integrated clothes airer in a customised DaFre Laundry Room Composition. Find inspiration for your own combos at Go Modern.
An elegant alternative is the Bruton home office armoire (from £1,035 at The Dormy House; www.thedormyhouse.com). Its double-hinged doors wrap around the sides for use as pinboards when open. A pull-out keyboard shelf, base cupboard for printer (with rear cut-out for wires) and adjustable filing shelves can all be hidden away.
Contemporary, slimline desks can double as dressing tables. John Lewis offers a good selection such as Swoon’s Penny desk (£320). Equally adaptable is the Futon Company’s oak Ladder desk, £279, which simply leans against a wall. Meanwhile Pepper Square’s Fusion desk converts into a single bed using an innovative patented mechanism, instantly turning a workspace into a guest room (£2,849 including mattress).
Forget boxy and bulky. The latest sofabeds are smart, eco-friendly and easy to handle. Sustainably-sourced timber and slim mattresses filled with organic coir/wool define the Design Guild Mark-winning Ori sofabed by Another Country (£4,595 from furniture specialist www.twentytwentyone.com). Ligne Roset’s Multy Premier sofabed features folded cushioning over a slender steel frame (£2,168 from Heal’s; www.heals.com). Its cover unzips to create a duvet while sofa cushions double as pillows. A simple click-clack mechanism unfolds the Scandi-inspired Freya three-seater, made from FSC-certified timber, to a 108cm x 202cm sleeping area (£2,309 from Pepper Square). Or choose a stylish budget-buy like Habitat’s Roma velvet chairbed (single £230; small double £335; www.habitat.co.uk).