This piece from British designer John Green is so multifunctional, I cannot say affirmatively what it is. Depending on your needs, it can be a coffee table, a magazine rack, a media storage, a laptop table, a stool, a bench, a kid’s desk, even a tray for breakfast in bed. It is called Embrace, because of the two pieces that are ‘embraced’ together to form a storage space in between. The item, a proud winner of several awards (including Grand Designs Awards Product of the Year’11), was presented during this year’s New York Design Week.
The only constant thing in our life is change. It dictates the way we look at the things that surround us. Milan-based designer Emanuele Magini created a piece of furniture for Italian brand Campeggi perfectly in tune with this desire for change and adaptability. The sofa, called Sosia, consists of two sits wrapped in a piece of fabric. By manipulating these three components we can achieve several looks and configurations. The sits can be pushed together to create a daybed, they can be pulled apart to make two separate chairs, the fabric can be zipped over the chairs for privacy or draped around them in various ways. You get the picture.
Small Kitchen is an innovative space-saving solution from German designers Kristin Laass and Norman Ebelt. It is intended to combine all kitchen essentials – stove, cooktop, refrigerator, sink, prep surface, storage, dinning table – into a 1m² structure. All this was possible thanks the clever layered design – different parts of the Small Kitchen are rolled out to reveal the rest. Efficient and very impressive! It is hard to believe that the piece was one of the student projects presented at the DMY International Design Festival’10 in Berlin.
This thing of beauty is called Sullivan/Barnes Table and made by Con Form Lab. On an average night it can accomodate six people, but when a party is in plans – the table expands to sit as many as ten. The expanding mechanism is fully integrated, so all you need to do is pull the tabletop from both sides. Thanks to perfectly fitted slots – the table changes its size (and its density) with one fluid movement. All parts are made of plywood, so Sullivan/Barnes table is not only a looker and a wonder of practicality, it is also ecologically agreeable.
If you think about it – a coffee table is one of the most used and abused items in our home. It serves as a footrest, a book storage, a dinner table, an occasional desk and more. So, if it plays so many different roles, shouldn’t it change shapes too? Designers at Nódesign studio thought it should and created Elos – an adjustable coffee table that can be transformed to your liking. The movable segments look like molecules and can literary ‘diffuse’ into any configuration. You can put them together for a bigger table, or stretch them into a line to accomodate more people. By putting a leg below each pivot point, designers made Elos stable as well as flexible. Brilliant.
This beauty of a chair was designed by Robert van Embricqs, whose idea was to create a comfortable, three-dimensional piece that folds flat. ‘The foundation of any chair is the flat surface you’ll eventually sit down on. Using this notion as a starting point, I made several cuts in the flat surface and pulled up the different beam-like strands of cut surface. This created the preliminary but already distinct features of any chair: back, seat and legs,’ – says the designer. The chair can be painted in various colors to emphasize its flowerpetal-like shape. Or two different colors can be applied to the sides of the chair to underline the contrast between them. The Rising Chair only exists as a concept yet, but something tells me – not for long…
This 22 m2 Barcelona apartment used to be a service room, where the water tanks were stored. But that was before Christian Schallert, its present owner, and architect Barbara Appolloni took on the project. Now it is a fully functional pad, smart, versatile and very stylish. Complete with the little terrace – the space can be transformed into several rooms – bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office. All thanks to clever storing solutions, hidden in walls. Christian calls it ‘an active apartment’ and claims that these daily space-transforming ‘exercises’ keep him in shape. Another hidden bonus of living small…
Here is another noteworthy Kickstarter project. Gypsy Modular is a customizable furniture line that folds flat and requires no screws or tools for its assembly. The product was inspired by lego, it allows you to create any item by isung the same set of building blocks. The only limit is your imagination (and space, of course). While initially envisioned as a solution for students, the furniture may fit into an adult interior as well. The kits come in a variety of colors you can mix and match. Clever stuff!
Designer Christy Oates created this amazing line of fold-out interior pieces, that are attached to the wall. In its folded state each item resembles contemporary art – a perfect disguise. In two simple motions it becomes furniture. Imaginative and very useful for those who live in tiny spaces…
The truth about books is that they are rarely stay neatly displayed on the shelf. Rather they pile up right around the reading spot. So, if you read on your sofa – why not store your books there as well? This is the idea behind the Calypso Chair from Brandon Allen. The piece is generously equipped with storage spaces and transforming parts. You can slide your books and magazines under the seat, you can pull out the shelves for your cuppa, you can flip the shelves and use them for your laptop or writing pad, you can rotate the sitting parts, or you can remove the sitting altogether and transform the sofa into a coffe table. With all these options the Calypso Chair might be the only piece of furniture your living room will ever need.