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Double-Duty Design Ideas

By: Susan Kleinman
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.
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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

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Photo: Bart Michiels

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

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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

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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

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