How delightful is this? Swedish company Matroshka Furniture AB managed to squeeze living room, dining room, bedroom and study in just 15m2 (about 160 square feet). This was achieved by inventing a piece of furniture that is able to transform into all of the above spaces. Matroshka system was inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Here too pieces fit into each other and save space.
‘When the basic idea was being conceived, the focus was on seeing the room as a volume instead of an area, and on creating plenty of storage while also keeping the furniture comfortable and appealing. The L-shaped desk is fantastically spacious, with a standard height and depth. You may be living in a small space, but that’s no reason to use small furniture. A common problem in small residences is having guests round and finding somewhere for them to sit. With Matroshka, the solution is easy as the living room set-up has space for up to 12 people around the table.’
The entertainment area is built around a clever dining/coffee table hybrid, that can be moved up and down hydraulically. And when the party pieces are tucked in, they serve as a base for a double bed. Thus, all living systems are represented in one all-including piece of Matreshka furniture. It is pleasing that our humble Russian trinket propelled such an inspiring work.
I love coffe/dining table hybrids for the obvious reasons. Entertaining in small spaces is a balancing act, and these clever pieces make it doable. This particular design in addition to being clever is also adorable. The Bambi table by Caroline Olsson resemble a baby deer. The piece was ‘inspired by the anatomy of the knee, where the bones can only bend one way. The location and angle of the table legs, as well as the meeting points of the joints, help keeping the table upright and stable.’ Bambi can be used at two different levels; as a coffee table or a small dining table. Lovely!
There is a lot to love about the 10 Unit System by Japanese architect and designer Shigeru Ban - it is modular, eco-friendly, good-looking and can be easily assembled by one person. And most importantly – it is ideal for limited spaces, because it allows us to built and customize our furniture according to our immediate needs. The series of L-shaped units can be combined to make different kinds of seating, from individual chairs to multi-seat configurations. You can also build table bases for tops of varying sizes with this same system. All configurations are held in place by a simple method of connecting rods, which makes them a child’s play to assemble. The 10 Unit System is made from UPM ProFi, an innovative composite, comprised of recycled paper and plastic. So, it is easy on the environment too. The product is available at Module R.
This multifunctional table by Djordje Zivanovic was recently submitted to the StyleFactory for voting (if you want to know how the StyleFactory works – check out this post I made earlier his year). Called 50/50, the piece is comprised of two parts: the wooden one – for dining, and the plastic one – for work. The idea was to have an elegant dining table and durable work station in one designer object. There is also a storage section in the middle (points for space-saving). And if you need to accommodate a larger crowd – 50/50 can be extended with one easy motion. Vote, if you want to see this piece produced. I have.
This conceptual daybed, called Holey Poley, is a thing of versatility. Its creator, Clinton Steward, is still a design student and developed this impressive concept as a part of a school project. The structure of the piece is based on the dynamic between poles and holes. The perforated upholstery pieces can be combined into various configurations and secured in place by the oak poles. Thus, you can easily create a traditional sofa, two chairs, a loveseat and more. Lovely idea!
Modular kitchens comprised of interchangeable components are perfect for small spaces. They can be tailored to any room, moved around to accommodate different cooking needs… The Cun kitchen from Joko Domus does all of these things, while being an aesthetically pleasing object as well. All pieces are highly customizable. You can add storage options, accessories, choose between casters and fixed legs. Pieces can be hooked together or function as free-standing components. Side panels are available in a variety of woods, Corian or stainless steel.
This unusual lighting object, called Matt Lamp and designed by German studio llot llov, is covered in Angora and Merino wool cozy. It conceals the long cord and makes the lamp fluffy and adorable. Thanks to the amorphous structure of the object, it can be transformed into anything you wish and your space would allow – reading lamp, night light, chandelier, the options are endless. Cute!
Koo is a combination of a baby bassinet and a rocking chair. The product is the latest creation of Lunar studio. It is designed to free young parents from buying too many items (which is the usual trap when the new baby is born). This beautiful and ergonomically correct bassinet turns into a chair by flipping down the seat. And when the baby overgrows this piece of furniture, it can be permanently upcycled to a stylish rocker. Clever and eco-conscious idea.
Here is a great example of dual function done right. The XY chair by Paris based designer Aïssa Logerot can be turned into a low table. And it can be done with one swift pivoting motion – no hustle or muscle required. The chair’s back becomes a tabletop and can hold drinks and appetizers in a party situation, cup of tea, books, and anything else you might need a surface for. The small size of XY makes it perfect for an urban setting.
An object isn’t generous enough if it only performs one function. And we, urban folks, living in tiny apartments, are especially in need of clever, multifunctional objects. Luckily designers are happy to oblige. Here is an interesting project by Hsiang Wang, called Complete Me, Please! and comprised of three pieces: a broom and dustpan / rubbish bin combination (my personal favorite), a lamp with an integrated fly swatter, and a coat rack with hooks that double as shoehorns.
Here is how the designer explains his vision: ‘Not all objects are easy to store as people might expect. People have no idea how to deal with some objects even though they are useful utensils. The aim of this project is create a series of objects related to the household environment which combine two individual utensils into a single appliance. Each must be bi-functional, pertain to a mutually beneficial relationship, and provide a home for the two component products.’