While the sofa-bed may have seemed like an awesome innovation in the early seventies, it’s pretty hard to impress someone over the age of four with that transformation now. Designers have to constantly one-up each other when thinking up either space-saving or just weirdly awesome dual functions for home furnishings. After coming across this door-turned-desk (which sadly doesn’t qualify since you can’t use it as a door anymore), we entered the deepening pit of furniture that lets you use it in more than one way and came out with these little finds. And like the looming chair-lamp above, they're some of the best two-fers we've seen in a while. Enjoy.
First up, in homage to the original sofa bed, we’ve got an updated version that is likely to set children off on a squealing and jumping around frenzy (unless of course this image we seem to have of children being really into furniture is in fact largely unfounded). This bunk-bed sofa ups the ante on the ‘you can watch TV on me til you get sleepy, then make me into a full-length bed’ stakes by converting into two beds. The stacked double layer appearing out of nowhere is what makes this bad boy impressive.
For the living room, we also encountered these chairs that can spring from one table. While it’s all well and good to do that thing where you perch on a table while pretending it’s a chair, it’s comforting to know that designers like Joel Hesselgren are looking out for the rest of us. He devised these interlocking chairs for those moments when “sometimes you need an extra chair and sometimes you need a coffee table”, as he pretty bluntly states on his own site. We’re with you on that one, Joel, we are with you.
Catering to the space-saving crowd, London-based designer Philippe Malouin rustled up this rather ingenious dual-function chair. On the one hand, it’s your old-fashioned folding chair, crafted to take up less room than an orthodox chair. The question arises, of course, of where to store that chair once it’s been folded if you’re working with a really tight space. Philippe swoops in at this point, making a set of chairs that can double as clothes hangers for when you’d rather avoid folding a jumper and don’t need anywhere to sit down.
They’ve got a certain minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic that we like too (though Philippe is in fact Quebecois) and would do well in the tiny room our assistant editor rents at the moment.
Rounding things off is this two-in-one bed and desk, from Study Bed. If you can stop laughing long enough to see past the voiceover in this demonstration video, you’ll be able to watch this interchangeable desk and bed in action. Apparently you can just leave your laptop on, plugged in and running if you suddenly feel compelled to take a nap for a bit. That torrent you’re downloading (tut tut!) will be ready to watch once you wake up and swap the bed back for the desk in one smooth motion. Not too shabby, huh?
If you’ve noticed any inspiring multi-purpose furniture designs, share them with us below.