Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Six Ways to Stretch your Space with Double Duty Furniture

One of my favorite tricks for stretching a space is to use furniture that performs double duty. You’d be surprised how many pieces are manufactured specifically to perform more than one service. You don’t have to limit your choices to new items, though. If you think creatively, you can find multiple ways to give furniture dual purposes. Here’s some of my favorite pieces that offer versatile function and style to your home.

1. Occasional Tables

Occasional tables are well known for their versatile storage options, but they can serve other purposes as well. A lift-top cocktail table can perform multiple jobs. Besides its original purpose as a handy place to set your cup or display your magazines, drawers make it fall into the storage category. When you raise it’s specially hinged top, it comes up and forward to becomes a desk, a game table or a convenient eating place.

Other cocktail tables double as ottomans. I especially like ones that have storage ottomans incorporated in their design. Pull them out, use them for extra seating and neatly hide your knitting or magazines.

End tables can also serve more than one purpose. Choose end tables that feature wine racks or that double as curio cabinets that protect your treasures while still showing them off.

2. Dining Tables

Even if you don’t have a designated dining room, you can create one with multifunctional furniture. Choose sofa tables that expand to seat up to six people or coffee tables that convert into dining tables with just a couple steps. There are stylish wooden folding chairs to coordinate with your table as well. When not in use, just fold the chairs up and hide them away in a closet or under the bed.

3. Kids Furniture

Furniture manufacturers have done a great job coming up with furnishings for kids rooms that play more than one role. There’s all in one nurseries that provide a changing table and dresser space and will grow from infancy to school age with your baby. Loft beds are also great space savers and are available complete with desks, closets and more. Loft bunk beds are a great options for kids who need to double up in one room. Don’t forget to ad a comfy flip chair so there’s someplace for your child to curl up with a book or have a guest spend the night.

4. Sofas and Chairs

Of course, we’re all familiar with sofa beds, but don’t confuse today’s new convertible sofas with grandma’s old hide-a-bed. There really is no comparison in looks or comfort. Today’s innovative furniture designers have created some amazingly comfortable and functional pieces. Do you have nieces and nephews, grandkids or other children that spend the night? There’s even a sofa that can convert to bunk beds.
You can also get sofas or sofa beds that feature storage compartments.

5. Bedroom Furniture

If space is an issue, make your bed do double duty. Instead of just shoving things under the bed, choose a stylish platform bed that offers storage drawers in the platform. You still have a chic look but gain neatly organized storage space at the same time.

There are computer desks that transform into beds and bedroom armoires that function as both clothing storage and a home for your television.

You can even get a bed for your dog that offers extra storage space for Fido’s toys and biscuits.

6. Versatile Accessories

Accessories don’t have to just look pretty. They can contribute function as well as style. Hall trees make a great first impression and offer a place to store boots, hats, umbrellas and other outdoor items, plus a handy place to sit and take off your shoes. Efficient entertainment centers will offer storage for DVDs and books. Baskets are great places to store keys and mail and decorative boxes can be used to stash a variety of items while lending charm and warmth to your space.

Getting the most from your small space while still creating a stylish home is definitely a challenge. With careful shopping and resourceful thinking, though, you can combine fashion and function into a chic and comfortable place your proud to show off.

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