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In the late 1880s, a young bachelor wanted to host female friends in his studio apartment. Modern society wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but back then the idea of a single man entertaining women in a room where a bed was present was unacceptable.

To get around the problem, William Murphy set about designing a fold away bed; a design that proved so popular that the company he later established went on to produce about 50,000 ‘Murphy Beds’ each year. Transforming furniture has come a long way since then.

The modern appeal of adjustable furniture

The modern trend for transforming or convertible furniture has less to do with societal morals than it has with the need to maximize small living space, and it goes beyond the concept of a fold away bed. As well as a smart way to create more living space, the idea of multi-purpose furniture is also the premise of creatives who want to craft something unique, and of eco-aware homeowners and renters seeking to repurpose existing items or thrift shop finds.

Multi-purpose, adjustable furniture ideas any small space will love

Why not try these space-saving ideas in your own home?

  • Most small apartments don’t have enough space to house a dining table. Even if you’re not the type to throw a dinner party, there will always be occasions when you have friends over to eat, even if it is only at Christmas. A coffee table that can convert into a dining table — often big enough to seat up to eight people — is a smart solution.
  • Teenagers like their rooms to look bang on trend. Show them you’re up to the job by treating them to a stylish sofa that can convert into a bunk bed. Be warned, though; they’ll be inviting their friends over for a sleepover as soon as they see it in action.
  • Taking the idea of the Murphy Bed one step further — and a little more “out there” than most transformational furniture ideas — is the BedUP. As its name suggests, this space-saving idea sees your bed stored on the ceiling. At night, the bed lowers to a desired height, which has the added benefit of not having to move the items stored underneath it.

Step into more storage

Although these designs don’t fall strictly under the convertible furniture umbrella, these staircase storage ideas are too good to ignore.

  • If you’re handy with a power tool or know somebody who is, you could try converting any stairs in your home into concealed drawers. They’re the perfect size for shoes, trainers, umbrellas, and pretty much anything else that would otherwise clutter your hall.
  • Following on from the staircase drawers idea, don’t forget about the dead space underneath the entire staircase, where there’s an untold amount of storage potential. If you’d like your possessions on display — and you’re particularly tidy — you might even install open face stairs.

As increasing numbers of people choose to downsize, you can expect to see more of these transformational furniture ideas appearing.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.