Tips for giving your furniture multiple uses
Dual-function furniture is the ultimate secret weapon of micro-unit living. Think about how designers have used yachts or motor homes as a classic starting point for creating superb function in tiny spaces. We’ve all seen the dining table that converts into a platform for a single mattress. Marine-style design is all about things hinging, folding away or popping up in order to get at least two uses out of each piece.
In response to the current shoebox housing movement, designers are introducing more and more multiuse furniture to the international furniture market. This coffee table, designed by Marco Pozzoli, is called the Markus Multi-Functional Table. The company, Ozzio, is an Italian furniture manufacturer dedicated to carrying an extensive range of creatively designed furniture, which is perfect for limited space. The table has a gaspowered structure that lifts and divides, quickly transforming the table into a comfortable desk with an extra bench and seating. It makes for a superb office desk or dining table right in your living room. Made from oak, it has a strong metal frame made of matt graphite, as well as an extra white transparent glass leg that allows the piece to appear like it’s floating above the area rug!
In order to coax maximum function out of very limited floor space, it is necessary to analyze your space in various ways. We need to measure the square footage of the floor space and the vertical space between the floor and the ceiling. In some cases, a compartment is created below the floor so that furniture can collapse and be stowed away. Then, the space can be used as a home office or child’s play area during the day. Hydraulics and state-of-the-art hardware make this possible.
As we begin to see more and more micro units in major cities across the globe, we will also see more unique furniture design solutions. These types of living units are very popular with millennials who are attracted to an urban lifestyle and spend most of their time outside of their abode. Minimum standards of square footage vary from city to city in the United States, but in general, the smallest spaces are around 250 square feet. A single car garage, by way of comparison, is about 200 square feet. An official waiver is usually required for these smaller size units. For example, New York City declared a 400 square foot space as the legal minimum size in 1987, which remains in effect without exceptions.
The size of housing made specifically for millennials is shrinking. Many millenials use their homes primarily for sleeping, as most of their lives often take place in local cafes, bars, clubs and stores. They may not consider living in a boat-sized space a sacrifice because group activities happen in common spaces or in public places.
Designing highly functional tiny spaces is the most challenging and demanding task for designers these days. When every single square inch matters, each decision is critical; what happens between the floor and the ceiling is hugely important. Storage, appliances, bathroom fixtures and work space must be presented in an attractive but very functional manner.
When designing a small space, it’s critical to consider each individual’s needs. Murphy beds are still popular. For example, the space beneath a staircase can become as storage drawers or a sleeping compartment. Tables with rolling casters are useful. Wall racks, storage above doors and stacking containers are commonly used as well. Where space is precious, choosing furniture that has at least two uses is the way to go.