Join the mailing list
Home design

Double-Duty Furniture

Space-saving furniture that cleverly provides dual functions: Beds effortlessly turn into tables and desks; sofas convert into bunk beds; tables expand and contract with the click of a button—all of which makes your apartment seem larger.

This Goliath table effortlessly goes from a mere 17" wide (handy as a console for keys and mail) to an astounding 115" long, depending upon how many leaves you use. (It comes with 5, enough for 12 guests.) See full table on page 3. Resource Furniture.

Space-challenged Gothamites habitually lament their lack of an extra room, larger closets, more storage space, and extra beds for children and guests—all of which could make their apartments more livable, functional, and clutter-free without extensive renovations. No wonder that most New York City furniture retailers who cater to local shoppers stock items that maximize space, organize clutter, and perform dual purposes.  

The most popular items are, of course, sofa beds, and it’s no surprise that most national retailers sell three times as many sleeper sofas in Manhattan as they do elsewhere in the country. (See Carlyle Custom Convertibles, Classic SofaEthan AllenMaurice Villency, Roche Bobois, Design Within ReachDoor Store, and others in this article.)

Other space-savers include coffee tables that pop up to become dining tables, as well as handsome wall-hugging consoles with narrow top surfaces and hinged, drop-down leaves on each side that can be opened to create a dining table suitable for many guests. Many companies have cleverly engineered ingenious and precisely designed furniture that will razzle-dazzle you: Abracadabra! Now you see it, now you don’t.

  File 1260                                                                                                                                           Doc and Doc XL: Clei UK has been creating transformable furniture pieces that are feats of brilliant engineering magic, including the above sofa/bunk bed combo. The DOC (81" long) and the DOC XL (96.5" long) are downright marvels: The sofa’s arms/sides lift up and roll into new positions; the seating area (which is one of the beds) and a second mattress below it shift their positions, creating two bunk beds, outfitted with a fully integrated ladder and security bar. Available in a wide variety of fabrics; steel frame. Designed by Giulio Manzoni. $4,800 and up.

File 1217Stow Ottoman: This is one time it’s a good idea to flip your lid at Crate & Barrel! A comfy ottoman transforms into a serving table/tray when you remove (and turn over) the ottoman’s lid. And, don’t forget, there is plenty of storage space inside the ottoman as well. Shown here in lemongrass leather, it is available in a variety of other colors. The legs are solid hardwood; the tray is plywood and veneer; it measures 17.5" square. $149.

File 1227 Strates Table: To borrow from the old Certs commercial: This table is two, two, two tables in one...well, actually three! The three-slab configuration allows for additional horizontal surfaces to magically appear by pivoting the top two tiers outward. Available in a variety of colorations, including taupe, black, white, and a black/red combo. Designed by Pagnon & Pelhaître at Ligne Roset. Approximately 14" high and 32" square. $2,810.