There’s just something about a multifunctional piece of furniture that ticks all the checkboxes for me! Imagine a product that’s been designed to work as a clothing rack and a treadmill?! Or a side table that transforms into a chair! Space-saving goals much? That’s the magic of a multifunctional furniture design. It looks like a single product, but functions as more than one! They’re a smart option for our modern urban homes, which tend to be pretty cramped, hence adding multiple bulky and cumbersome furniture designs to them isn’t really an option. But multifunctional pieces that serve a variety of purposes, and solve a bunch of unique problems can be a lifesaver in such situations. And, we’ve curated a whole bunch of such super cool designs for you! From a multifunctional desk that features work and entertainment modules to a cat chair that doubles up as a coffee table – these intriguing multifunctional pieces are what your millennial homes need!
Inspired by the blurring of work and play in WFH spaces, Juwon Kim, Jiwon Song, and Eunsang Lee framed Layout with a translucent, corrugated exterior finish that immediately catches the eye. Wrapped in sea green, the Layout desk is modular by design to incorporate a plethora of different work and entertainment features. The Layout desk is topped off with an upper cover that’s designed to conceal the workspace after the workday’s done.
Based on how it’s placed, and its position – this furniture piece can function as a coffee table, high stool, and a low stool or bench. Pretty ingenious, no? When placed upright and vertically, the & Chair functions as a high stool, that could make an interesting bar stool! When placed horizontally – it can function either as a coffee table or low stool, depending on which side it is placed upon. When used as a coffee table, the & Chair provides ample storage space to place your magazines, books, and other personal belongings.
The hourglass shelf takes inspiration from the passage of time, and the functionality of the shelf changes throughout the day. Starting as a coat rack in the early mornings that holds your outdoor wear, the product’s main functionality becomes that of a shelf – to keep your knick-knacks in place. Finally, as the sun goes down, the design works as a detachable lamp, giving light and completing its cycle across the day. “The hourglass is the symbol of time, and the charm of time affects the tide-ups and downs, years change. The change of different roles reminds people to follow the direction of time, perceive the years and harvest exquisite life.”
Amidst the catalog of accessories is a basket storage system that doubles as a wood-and-crate step ladder, ideal for the kitchen space or bathroom to store toiletries and reach taller heights. Then, there’s a series of photo frames that can store paper goods like notes and business cards in an integrated slot that traces the perimeter of each frame. Using their own homes and colleagues’ homes as their main source of inspiration, the design students even made niche items like an insect house made from wire and hollow bamboo that could be hung outside an apartment window for hummingbirds and honeybees to drop by and visit.
Designed by Xue Song, the multifunctional chair christened Dysta looks simple yet has a multitude of uses – ideal for any city apartment, your bedroom, or the backyard. By simply turning it around in a specific orientation, the function of Dysta changes dramatically. It goes from a high stool to a normal chair and then into a low seating in the blink of an eye. The chair transforms – it can turn into a swing lounger when you need to relax and don’t have a rocking chair on your porch. Such is the design simplicity of the chair; it will fit into any section of your home, lifestyle, or interior.
The Cat Chair is a hexagonal piece of furniture where your cat can rest and also explore. Made from pinewood and a high-density sponge, the Cat Chair features a small lower compartment with cubby holes on each side of the stool for cats to slink in and out of as they choose. The lower compartment allows room for the cat to hide away and relax in isolation, while the stool’s sponge cushion provides an open space for the cat to lounge or even sunbathe. Cats can weave in and out of the Cat Chair cubby holes or rest atop its sponge cushion.
Both clothing racks and treadmills are usually an eyesore in any home because they look out of place and are super bulky. One of the key aspects of ‘Walk and Hang’ is its aesthetically pleasing form that looks neither like a treadmill nor like a clothing rack. In fact, it looks like a minimal standing table if I ever saw one inside someone’s house and had to take a wild guess. It rests in a folding table-like form and can be opened fully into a treadmill or only partly at the top for the racks. It saves a lot of floor area indoors, especially if it’s a shared space, and even more so after the pandemic where you need more room for a work-from-home setup.
Spring comprises a cylindrical shape that increases or decreases in height according to its desired function. At its lowest height of 500mm, Spring serves as a simple side table with a natural wood top. Then, by simply pressing the table down, Spring’s built-in compression springs are activated and morph the side table into a chair with a backrest. By following the same pushing tactic, the Spring chair can reach its maximum height of 900mm, transforming into a table that can work as a centerpiece for a small studio space. While the main building material used to construct Spring is oak wood, the furniture’s compression springs are made from aluminum, while natural and white paint colors coat the sides and top of Spring.
In the unfolded position, FLUP works like a conventional mat or rug on which we can sit or step without interrupting the movement of people through the space. It transforms from plane to volume, from floor to space while changing the function with its shape. In the folded position, it works as a piece of minimal furniture – it can be used as a pouf, an auxiliary seat, a footrest, a nightstand, etc.
Designed as a response to an increasing need for modular furniture for smaller apartments, the Tango Multifunctional Pouf transforms into practically anything you need, from a set of benches to a couch, a lounging sofa, and even a mattress. The award-winning poufs are shaped like triangular extrusions that are attached together by a layer of fabric (sort of like a cushion-version of a Toblerone bar). This connecting fabric acts as a hinge, allowing the triangular poufs to be folded and rearranged.