This gigantic bi-level toolbox is actually a workstation in disguise

When the world seemingly went crazy, and everyone was suddenly forced to work at home, we became more acutely aware of how precious and how little space we actually have at our disposal. Few people had an extra table to use as a workstation; fewer had extra rooms to convert into makeshift offices. Space-saving modular furniture became quite popular in the past two years or so, especially ones that could transform into different configurations to serve different purposes. That demand and interest gave rise to quite a few interesting designs and mechanisms that made that possible, including one cabinet that takes its inspiration from the humble toolbox to present a storage solution and workspace that can fold out of the way when not in use.

Designer: Benjamin Thut

Most homeowners are probably familiar with toolboxes, but one that’s popular among craftsmen is the bi-level toolbox. Thanks to a somewhat ingenious design that is now a bit commonplace, the box is able to store even more tools and parts than a regular box. The top half splits open to reveal layers of containers, making it almost an incredible feat to fit everything inside a compact storage unit.

Utilizing the same design principle, the Tool cabinet 490 implements space-staving storage that could solve many of the problems homeowners now have in keeping work and personal life separated. Rather than lying flat on the ground, the cabinet is like a bi-level toolbox standing on one of its ends, blown up to life-size proportions.

The mechanism remains the same, though, with the doors of the cabinet moving sideways to reveal two layers of compartments flanking the main body. Instead of containers, however, you have shelves of different sizes to hold books, files, and other items you might need to keep within arm’s reach. Thanks to the bi-level design, you don’t have to worry about these items getting in the way when you fold down the cabinet.

The main section of the Tool cabinet can serve different purposes, depending on how the cabinet is being used. It can be a workstation with a fold-out table that can be closed down at the end of the day. Or it can be a typical cabinet, with the central section reserved for hanging clothes and shelves for folded clothing and accessories.

Whether it’s at home or even in the office, the Tool cabinet 490 can be an efficient way to save space without sacrificing functionality or storage capacity. It even has wheels that make it possible to roll the entire contraption to any location, turning it into an agile and flexible solution for floor space problems. Its industrial and utilitarian aesthetics might indeed clash with some motifs, but those really pressed for space might not mind that too much if they can have a portable and multi-functional workspace hiding in plain sight.