Beautifully Designed, Double-Duty Furniture That Will Transform Small Spaces
BY KYLE SCHUNEMAN
For city-dwellers with limited square footage, we have to get creative. If you’re super handy—and your landlord is cool with you building a ten-foot-tall plywood loft with built-in bookshelves—then have at it. But many of us have neither the time nor skill to solve our storage problems by DIY’ing it. So we wind up with some pretty sad hacks. (Remember that nightstand made of plastic milk crates you had in college…okay, way after college?) Check these 11 space-saving and elegant items that will complement your décor and do the heavy lifting for you.
Foldable Wall Desk/Bar
This sleek beauty does double-duty. Use it as a desk when you’re working or a bar when you’re not.
When you have hardly any floor space, it’s necessary to look to the walls. This foldable wall desk is perfect to give you a space to work on your laptop that you can easily fold away when not in use. It also works double duty as an ideal way to host your home bar for those signature cocktails on game night. (Pictionary punch, anyone?)
Felt Bedside Caddy
No room for nightstands? No problem. Bonus: Your cat can’t knock stuff off of this caddy at 3 am.
Don’t have enough room for nightstands, but can’t bring yourself to downsize from your comfy queen-size bed to make space? We get it. How ‘bout a bedside caddy? Store your cell phone, magazines, and remote controls without using up any precious square footage. Sweet dreams are made of this.
Wall Hanging Folding Chairs
Space for a table but not for the chairs? These fold flat and come with their own wall hook. No beige plastic allowed.
We’ve all seen terrible folding chairs at family reunions and school recitals, but these are anything but. These beautiful chairs fold completely flat and have an accompanying wall hook that can hang six chairs off the ground. You no longer have an excuse not to host everyone for Thanksgiving dinner. (Sorry.)
Storage Coffee Table
Eat dinner, watch TV, and hide your slightly-embarrassing but much-beloved collection of Precious Moments Miniatures in this unique coffee table.
This ain’t your mama’s coffee table. Not only does this table have storage inside for all the things you don’t want on display, the top also raises up so you can comfortably watch Game of Thrones while chowing down on take-out. Voila! It’s a coffee table, it’s a dining room…it’s more than meets the eye.
Wall Bed System
If you really want to impress friends - and brush up on your James Bond impression - invest in this straight-from-fiction wall bed.
Attention, studio dwellers! If you invest in one piece of furniture, this should be the one. And while the lead time is long and the price is high, it will seriously solve all your problems with a sofa, bookcase, wall shelf, queen-sized bed, and ottoman all fitting into each other with concealed storage everywhere. It’s basically all-in-one apartment living. Perfect for the micro-est of apartments (your mom still can’t believe you live in 400 square feet) or turns a living room into a guest room (once that wild game night is over).
Thin Storage Unit
Fill that awkward space between your fridge and the wall with something more useful than dust bunnies.
Hate seeing those little dead spaces in your apartment that aren’t being used efficiently? This ingenious cabinet designed by students for CB2 is a great way to avoid the voids. Next to your fridge, in that narrow hallway, or practically anywhere, this piece solves your problem with its hidden pull-out drawers and counter height.
Wall Shelf Light
This wall light has room for your phone, too - finally, no more digging in the sheets at 6:00 am to stop your alarm.
Minimalism can be chic and just as functional. This wall shelf, which would make for the perfect tiny bedside space, comes with a built-in light for nighttime reading sessions. With enough room to charge your phone, it still leaves floor space underneath for a storage basket to catch the rest.
Under-bed storage is nothing new, but the location of the drawer on this bed makes it nightstand friendly.
Storage beds have been around for a while. Usually, though, you have to pull up your whole mattress to get access underneath, or there are ugly drawers on the side that don’t allow for nightstands. This bed is the perfect solution, as the giant upholstered drawer is at the foot of the bed. It adds the storage of a small dresser without interfering with the rest of the space.
Need extra seating on the fly? These stackable stools fit together flawlessly and take up little space - until you need them.
The Swedes just know how to do everything, from practical, economical, and attractive furniture to blond-haired pop bands (ABBA, Ace of Base, the Cardigans, must I go on?). At $5 each, these stools are pretty much a no-brainer. You can have one or ten; since they stack up nice and neat, they will take up the same amount of floor space. Extra seating is great for those unexpected “plus ones” who show up at your intimate dinner party for six (er, seven). Now, if you only had enough lingonberry jam to go around….
Relive your childhood dream of owning a real, live Transformer with this unique dining table that turns into a loveseat.
In small spaces, we’re often faced with a choice of needs vs. wants. Do you really need a dining table? Can’t you just eat at the counter? With this Brooklyn-designed table, you can have it all. They have ingeniously combined a loveseat and a dining table all in one so you don’t have to part with either. Oh, and it’s eco-friendly to boot.
If you crave a life in miniature, it doesn’t get much more compact than this amazing kitchen-in-one.
Who says you need a room to cook in? This compact kitchen unit combines a refrigerator, stove, and sink—it’s the one-man band of kitchen utility. Best of all, it’s only 32” wide, leaving the rest of the kitchen space for what you really need: shoe storage.
Kyle Schuneman is already ranked as one of House Beautiful's “Next Wave of Top 20 Designers,” a “Tastemaker” by Los Angeles Magazine, and part of the “30 Under 30” list by Refinery29. He writes a column for the Los Angeles Times called “The Apt. Life” and often contributes to Real Simple. His work has been featured in Esquire, Dwell, Cosmopolitan, This Old House, Redbook, Sunset, L'Uomo Vogue, The Chicago Tribune, CA Home + Design, Angeleno Interiors. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.