The majority of us live in modern and urban homes, one distinguishing factor of such homes is that we have sufficient space, but (sadly) not an abundance of it. Hence space-saving becomes an important practice we need to follow. In such scenarios, modular and multifunctional furniture designs can come to our rescue! They are the space-saving solutions our modern millennial homes require. Furniture designs that cater to a number of our needs, while saving space, and also managing to be customized according to our requirements, can create an open and well-distributed home. Also with COVID-19 shutting down most of our world, we find ourselves in our homes more and more, hence it’s extremely critical to have a space wherein we can breathe, move around freely, and feel comfortable in. Here are a collection of modular furniture designs that promise to help you utilize your living space as efficiently and effectively as possible!
Finally, a foldable space-saving Herman Miller office chair. This Sayl concept chair by @bircumshawdesign takes into account the larger shift in our habits as homes have become hybrid offices and our flexible lifestyle (psst! He also keeps in mind the hours we spend as gamers or serial binge-watchers). Now more than ever we demand more from the spaces we live in, our homes are now our workplaces, our workout spaces, and also the places we socialize and relax – the pieces of furniture we choose have to be optimized for our space and be more compact without sacrificing on the functionalities or luxuries in the case of a high-end furniture design brand like Herman Miller. We need chairs that can allow us to do more and this Sayl chair lets you maximize your space whether you are working, playing games at your desk, or chilling in a VR universe. Furniture design has seen a shift since the pandemic and brands are pivoting towards making pieces that are modular, flexible, multifunctional, and above all, space-savers!
Perhaps one of the most simple and smart details I’ve ever seen on furniture, Bjarke Ballisager’s Together and Apart Table uses a sawtooth cutout pattern to turn the unassuming wooden block into a table that can adjust its height on the fly! “The primary unit consists of two wedges that interlock at a saw-toothed surface, allowing them to fit together at any of many different levels”, says Ballisager, a New York-based designer and architect. The two wedges, made out of solid white oak, can be interlocked in a variety of ways, allowing the product to function as a stool, laptop stand, or even a bedside table, thanks to its ability to match the height you need. The sawtooth design detail cleverly borrows from mechanisms like the rack and pinion, often seen in elevators, or even in the car’s steering system. What Together and Apart does is simplify them in a way that allows you to easily appreciate the mechanism’s workings while also marveling at how robust the locking is! Besides, given the sawtooth shape’s angular detail, it works in both landscape as well as portrait, allowing you to have a table that spans a variety of heights… just using two cleverly designed blocks of wood!
Chaise Renversée is a desk that can also transform into a long chair by the famous French architect Pierre-Louis Gerlier. The literal translation of Chaise Renversée is ‘chair overturned’. Since we are all cooped up in our homes, we are constantly finding ways to optimize space. Especially if you live in a city, you are likely to have everyday objects that are modular so that you have a functional space. Our current situation and the need to be flexible within a small space is exactly what inspired Gerlier to design the Chaise Renversée. It is the perfect blend of work from home and Netflix from home into one piece of modern furniture, it provides a stable table area to work and can then transform into the ‘Chaise Lounge’ when you want to relax.
Tumble is the perfect example of intuitive product design which is well-tailored for ultra-modern interiors. It is essentially a platform that serves as a chair, side table, bench seat, storage unit, bookshelf, center table, or lounger. Depending on the nature of use and the available interior space, Tumble can be put to good use with a bit of creative thinking. The furniture piece is crafted out of natural agglomerated cork and natural oak, making it good for the environment too. The use of these biodegradable materials should not let you into believing that the modular platform lacks structural strength. It can take the weight of an above-average weighing adult and the only thing you need to cautious of is to keep water away from it.
This innovative desk design uses wall bars at its core with modular attachments that let you use it as your 9-5 set up and then transform it into beast mode. “The designer wall bars are one of the most flexible wall bars in Germany. Can be installed anywhere in the room without dowels. Just stretch it between the floor and the rigid ceiling,” says the team on the no-screw assembly which is a huge USP especially if you are renting your home or move frequently. Shapely additions crafted from wood make the aesthetic wall bars a multifunctional fitness device for the whole family. You can customize it per your ceiling and your needs, in fact, the company also sells kid-friendly setups that have slides instead of workout benches! It lets you use a single corner for a home office, homeschooling, home gym, and a kid zone seamlessly without taking up an insane amount of space. On a personal note, I love that the desk height is adjustable given the Lego-style build because I can easily turn my table into a standing desk when needed!
Tea time is a beautiful ritual in Japanese culture and Hasu is a tea table inspired by that zen practice. Hasu transforms itself as the tea ritual progresses making it a contemporary piece of furniture that still pays a tribute to the process. It starts as a minimal compact structure and ends as complete furniture set for tea time. Hasu’s design allows storing an extensive tea collection while presenting it in a unique and clean manner – it is almost like you can fold or unfold the tea time ritual like origami. There is a lot of storage for all the objects needed for tea rituals and the table allows you to present them one by one during tea time, it is all on-site so everything is handy as well as neatly tucked away. The unfolding of the four upper tabletops marks the beginning of the tea time ritual. Extend the seating to four guests by simply pulling the floor chairs from the table. Even when it is not in use, it still upgrades the space as an abstract piece.
Winner of the Golden Pin Design Award, the Bien Bien Cat Tree by Cheng-Liang Wu and Chia-Wen Lin is a cat tree that also masterfully doubles up as a piece of furniture. It’s a beautiful product that caters to the needs of both your cat (s) and you, functioning as a space that can be utilized and shared by humans and felines alike. You can build the modular cat tree all by yourself, its modularity allows it to be assembled in various ways, according to personal requirements, space restrictions, and of course, the moods of your cat. There are several shelving options for you to store your precious belongings in, as well as little nooks and crannies for your pet to sleep and play around in. Multiple accessories can be attached as means of recreation for your cat, and my favorite one, hands down, is the tiny hammock!
Simple yet unusual, modular yet quirky. The ROOM Collection of furniture by Erik Olovsson and Kyuhyung Cho is like IKEA but with a twist! Fundamentally, the ROOM Collection is a series of wooden blocks with geometric negative spaces that you can store things in. The blocks are modular, which means you can stack them on top of each other to build shelves or cabinets… but what’s different about them is their storage spaces which are represented by a variety of geometric cutouts, from your conventional squares and rectangles to the unconventional circles and ellipses, to even the bizarre triangles and hexagons! The cutouts give each individual block their own unique character and invite you to figure out what they could hold. The longer cutouts work well for wine bottles and vases, while the zig-zag ones are ideal for tablets, laptops, and books. Part of the adventure is in building the furniture to suit your space, but the rest of it is in figuring out how to turn your shelf or cabinet into a canvas for all your odd objects and souvenirs!
Even though these wooden chairs might look visually similar to the IKEA ones at first glance, they actually work with indoor settings too unlike the usual patio seating. They are classier and can be used in any room/interior setting. The first wooden chair has strings that form the seat and the backrest, it may make you doubtful of comfort but the strings act like fabric and contour around your body for maximum comfort. The string tension also makes sure that you are well supported. The second chair is like a classic window transformed into a chair with one swivel motion. Because it is a smooth, singular vertical plank when closed, it is easier to stack/store. Another favorite from this furniture range is the fold-out table with storage, it is ideal for small urban apartments or for a kid-friendly room to keep things tidy and packed away.
Soufflé is a dynamic modular interior landscape capable of endless configurations for your flexible lifestyle and different needs. The bed/couch piece works for our rapidly changing world where workplace and home environments collide. Soufflé blends our work, life, and leisure modes into a singular, highly-customizable lounge system. It challenges the status quo of what workplace and domestic furniture need to be, what it should look like, and how we use it. Initially designed for the studio’s own office space, the creators envisioned a seating system that would suit a variety of commercial settings – be it a sophisticated hotel lobby, retail destination, or workplace breakout. At home, Soufflé can be pushed together into pit mode and instantly becomes the perfect spot for movie nights, reading, or naps. Fun fact: the cozy furniture piece its name from the collective noun for clouds which was key to tying all elements together in a way that felt light, approachable, and ever-changing. The Soufflé embodies these qualities through its infinite combinations, soft foam structure, and fluid design language. Due to its high degree of modularity, individual pieces can be passed onto family and friends throughout a lifetime – and without any sharp edges or hard materials, it’s 100% child friendly.