Crescendo: You can choose variable table heights, going from coffee-table-height to dining-table-height and at the same time expanding: The hinged top pivots and opens to twice its width, easily accommodating six for dining. The spring mechanism in the table allows for variable heights between 15" and 29". The frame is steel; the top surfaces are finished in either beech or oak veneer; the table surface comes in black and white lacquer as well as in ebony-stained oak. $2,175 and up. Designed by Pagnon and Pelhaître at Ligne Roset.
Stratton Daybed: A comfy and inviting daybed easily doubles as a sleeper, and also provides plenty of storage underneath in three pull-out wicker baskets, each 21" wide x 17" deep x 12" high. Frame (39" wide x 75" long x 16" high) is hardwood, available in mahogany and antique white finishes. Tufted cushion comes in a 100% beige, cotton-twill fabric. Cushion, $229; frame (with baskets), $1,198. Pottery Barn.
Goliath Console/Dining Table: Talk about expanding furniture! The Goliath table effortlessly goes from a mere 17" wide (handy at the front door, as a console for keys and mail) to an astounding 115" long, which can comfortably seat 8 to 10 party guests. The table has a sleek frame with angled legs and a cunning telescoping mechanism, which accommodates up to five extension pieces. Available in oak wenge, gray oak, and lacquer. $3,750 and up. Resource Furniture.
Speedy: This bed could just as easily be called Genius. Yes, there are cots that fold in half, and yes, there are blow-up beds, and even oversize club chairs that turn into twin beds, but this steel-frame sleeper is just so inspired, so inventive. When folded, Speedy is just 19" wide, and when open it’s 77" long. Comes with or without a headboard (about 35" wide), and is available in a variety of fabrics. $1,125 and up. Designed by R&S Clei. Resource Furniture.
Desirade Vanity: The Titanic’s tidy and elegant cabin interiors had nothing on this nostalgia-inspired vanity/make-up trunk. The Desirade features ten drawers, three fold-away shelves, a center mirror with two folding side mirrors—and incorporated into the entire assembly is a chair! Closes completely up to look like a trunk. Where ever it is going, I want to go! Available in rosewood with brass fittings and leather pulls; faux black crocodile with chromed fittings; and as shown here, in white faux croc, with brass fittings. Measures 35" wide x 20" deep x 40" high. $5,095. Starbay.
Ruth J. Katz is currently the Style Editor of Promenade magazine and has covered service, shopping, and design for more than 20 years as an editor at Redbook, Colonial Homes, Classic Home, The Modern Estate, and New York Home magazines; she wrote for many years for The New York Times and New York magazine and appeared weekly on Fox TV as the Home Services Editor. She is the author of five books.