Double-Duty Design Ideas

Consoles that turn into dining tables and bookcases that become beds. When you live in a tight space, you need multipurpose features that look attractive, too.
By: Susan Kleinman
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Photo By: Bart Michiels

Minimum Space, Maximum Function

"In a small space every piece of furniture becomes a focal point, so it should look great," says Marcia Harris of Itsy Bitsy Ritzy. "Because your space is limited, you want the minimum amount of furniture with the maximum function." She outfitted this 12’ x 18’ studio with an ottoman that opens up to provide storage, a nightstand/file cabinet combo and pullout drawers under the bed. Photography by Leonard Lampel

Seating Solutions

If you want seating that can be moved easily in an open living space, you needn't stick to featherweight chairs and portable stools. The stylishly substantial benches in this apartment by Studio Garneau are on casters. Quick as you can say "after-dinner drinks," they're in the living room, offering a comfortable perch for lingering guests. Photography by Bart Michiels

Urban Style and Privacy

This open-plan loft in lower Manhattan has plenty of room. What it's short on is privacy. Rather than building a wall, HomePolish installed a supersized photograph on a curtain track in the ceiling. When the photo (printed on stretched canvas like a painting) is pushed aside, the apartment is grand and spacious. Photography by Chellise Michael Photography

City View Backdrop

When it's pulled closed, the homeowner has a separate bedroom and his guests have a great "view" of the city. This same strategy could be used to turn a tiny studio into a two-room apartment, or to hide a kids' play area when parents want to entertain other grownups. Photography Chellise Michael

Savvy Desk Space

Interior designer Kittie Lonsdale of Lifestyle Space Design doesn't just live in this 175-square-foot studio, she runs her business here. To make the one-room apartment function as office and living space, she removed a single Murphy bed from a niche in the wall and installed a work cabinet with a keyboard tray and storage. Photography by Kittie Lonsdale

Tucked Away for Another Workday

When her workday's done, Lonsdale closes the office back up and enjoys living in a homey space complete with display shelves for her favorite objects. Photography by Kittie Lonsdale

Clever Hidden Bed

To convert a study in this Minnesota lake house into extra sleeping space for guests, Hendel Homes installed a "Zoom Bed" beneath the bookcase and TV. With just a click of a remote-control button, the bed rolls out to turn the small space into a spare bedroom. Design by Cathy Iverson; photography by Troy Thies Photography

Entryway Must-Have

Ever come home with a fistful of mail in one hand and a tote bag and cellphone in the other? Then you know how important it is to have a shelf or table right at the front door, even if you don't have a formal entryway. This Goliath console from Resource Furniture in New York holds necessities or flowers in a foyer. Photo courtesy of Resource Furniture

Instant Dining

Then it expands to become a 115-inch-maximum dining table so you can throw dinner parties. With a basket or stack of pretty storage boxes beneath, the console would make a great studio-apartment nightstand/desk as well. Photo courtesy of Resource Furniture

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