Canada's Condominium Magazine

Smart transformable furniture ideas for making the most of your space

Space-saving, multi-functional furniture, also known as transformables, is a great way to make a room appear larger and, more importantly, to increase its functionality. Chairs that tuck into tables and disappear, beds that double as wall units, even a flexible, paper chair that expands into a bench with seating for sixteen—these are some of the ingenious products on sale from the Vancouver-based Expand Furniture, products that will “help you create space you didn’t know you had.”

The old Murphy bed concept gets a modern, much more functional treatment in an Italian-designed unit available at Expand. When the bed is folded away, you’re left with an attractive shelving unit, complete with whatever objects and chachkas you want to display on the shelves, with a solid panel in the centre (optional). The solid panel folds down to function as a dining table.

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Bed, dining table and shelving unit in one, the Italian wall bed, revolving bookcase, custom-built in Italy, must be ordered twelve to fourteen weeks in advance.

Another model, called the Minima, is a sectional sofa-Murphy bed combo. The queen-sized bed folds down and rests on the sofa cushions in front of the wall cabinet. Not cheap, at $5,495, but a practical way to use space.

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Five stools in one ottoman. Made to order in Italy and available at Expand Furniture.

Another interesting idea is the five-stool-in-one ottoman. When packed away, it’s an ordinary-looking ottoman. Remove the lid and it contains four metal cube frames. Each side of the ottoman detaches and becomes the seat for a new stool, making five in all. The stools could be just the thing when there are children needing to be seated for a meal or a play activity.

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The coffee table that expands into an eight-seat dining table.

For those who sometimes wonder why they bother having a dining-room table when they hardly ever use it, Expand has a neat solution. Everyone has a coffee table, and theirs expand into dining tables when required. With extensions, which are stored inside the coffee table, it can seat up to ten people. Models come in glass and wood.

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Ludovico micro office consists of a small cabinet with hidden chair and fold-down desk

A really impressive space saver is the Ludovico Office by Uruguayan designer Claudio Sybille. This micro office is a small, two-shelf plus filing cabinet drawer cabinet when not in use. A chair fits into the cabinet, and a desk folds down from one side, making a compact work space in any room.

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The portable, folding Kitchen Buddy has two shelves and a butcher block top. When opened up it adds eight square feet of space to the kitchen.

For the kitchen there’s a fold-away island cart on wheels, with shelves and a butcher block top. When opened, the Serenity Folding Island Kitchen Buddy adds more than eight square feet of space to the kitchen, and it folds down and can be stored in a closet or against a wall or under a bed when not needed.

Watch the video (and excuse the awful choice of music).

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