Growing up in Soviet Russia, I remember an odd piece of furniture that most of us bought to accommodate an occasional overnight guest. It was an uncomfortable pull-up chair that could be transformed into an equally uncomfortable (and mercilessly narrow) bed. This is why I am so excited about this witty evolution of the old idea by Moscow based designer Elena Sidorova. She aims at the same function, but approaches it with infinitely more pizazz and ergonomic kindness. The Flop chair looks comfortable and spacious, and it can be easily turned into a functional tween bed. And as a bonus feature, all the guest bed paraphernalia (pillows, comforters, and sheets) can be stored right here, inside the chair.
I like the idea of a properly sized bed that can be easily disassembled into pieces and put in the closet. Fin, created by German designers Sofia Löser and Henrik Bettels, is just that – a collapsible bed that can be easily stored and moved. The frame is made from metal tubes, the base – from birch plywood. The plywood pieces follow a specific pattern that ensures the sturdiness of the structure. This design also allows to achieve low material consumption, a happy detail for the eco-conscious.
This gem of a piece graces the Berlin live-work apartment of Mira Schröder, exhibition designer for experimental design group BLESS. A spacious desk by day, it rotates into an instant bed! What a great idea for a studio apartment. The desk can be used as a cure for office fatigue. The attachment on the side provides storage and allows to quickly put the work-related stuff away before the transformation can take place. Contact designers directly for pricing and availability.
I’m in Europe right now, and I came across this interesting piece of furniture – mobile bed. A clever hybrid between a murphy bed and a loft bed, this piece can maximize space and create multifunctional areas (a concept particularly useful for shoebox dwellers). The bed is simply lifted to the ceiling when not in use, allowing you to enjoy the extra room. And, unlike murphy or loft beds, the mobile bed doesn’t require you to climb any stairs or adjust messy bedding. Simply lower it down when you’re ready to turn in for the night. Quite brilliant. Available for purchase here.
Elegant futons are not easy to come by. I only featured one in the past. This one, called Figo, is another futon idea I quite like, mainly because it can look and function like a legitimate and attractive piece of furniture. A lounge chair by day, Figo transforms into an impromptu bed by night. Perfect for small apartments and unexpected guests. The frame is made in Denmark from sustainable nordic pine, the mattress and the headrest are produced from soft and durable polycotton (55% cotton and 45% polyester). Figo comes in nine colors. Available for purchase here.
This minimalist bed has been created by Moritz Furmann, Peter Kraft and Jochen Maria Weber o studio Neue Werkstatt. Designers combined clean lines, pure materials and easy to assemble structure. The result – a beautiful and manageable piece of furniture, neutral and adaptable. The plug-in principle allows to put the bed together without the use of tools. And if something changed in your life and you need to have a smaller or bigger bed – simply replace the headboard and footboard. How clever is that?
In a tiny space having a full size bed and a full size desk is a rare combination. Unless some clever thinking is involved. Hers is an interesting idea from Baltimore based designer Graham Phakos – Urban Desk. The spacious desk is hidden underneath a double bed. As the bed pivots to lean against the wall, the desk is lifted to the appropriate height. The arrangement also makes room for extra storage – always a welcome addition to any urban dwelling. The piece is only a concept at this point. I really hope it finds its way to production.
This multifunctional desk that doubles as a compact bed has been created by Athanasia Leivaditou of Studio NL. Designer says that the piece was inspired by her “experiences while studying and working in New York.” Ha! In its desk form, the item looks like a rather traditional 6’5″ workspace. When unfolded into a bed – the front facade comes down to form the base and mattress. The right facade drops to create a headrest. Here is how Athanasia describes the project: “The main concept was to comment the fact that our lives are shrinking in order to fit into the confined space of our office. Eventually I realized that each civilization may have a very different perception of things depending on its social context. For example this desk could be used for a siesta or for a few hours of sleeping at night between deadlines.” This sleeping nook under the desk can also brighten the day of any busy professional working long hours. I sure can use one right now…
This table/day bed by UK based brand Another Country is a sure contender for a small urban apartment. A beautiful and versatile piece of furniture can be transformed from one state to another in seconds. The base is solid FSC oak and employs a screw leg system. The mattress has an organic latex core wrapped in organic coir and wool. It comes upholstered in a Bute fabric from Scotland with a six-button detail and piped edges. So no matter how you use the piece, as a table or a bed, it looks stylish and well-malde.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Donald M. Rattner.
GRO furniture is a remarkable solution to a fact of life: very little about a child stays the same for long. As most parents can attest, that can make things pretty expensive pretty fast. GRO’s genius is to turn this reality to advantage by designing a piece of children’s furniture that will change as the child changes – and change back when it’s time to pass it on to the next generation or sibling. In between it can break down and be stored flat-packed for space saving.
Things start, naturally, with the crib. As the child grows the crib will convert to a toddler bed, then to a daybed, next to a play table, and finally to a desk – all using simple conversion kits. This makes GRO furniture a potentially multi-generational cradle-to-college design solution.
GRO was designed by two architects, a fact reflected in its quality of construction and easy, hardware- and fastener-free assembly. Made in the USA.