Multifunctional furniture can transform from one piece of furniture to another. It’s a great way of saving space. You can hide several functions in the same piece of furniture.
Here are some of the very best and most clever transforming furniture we have come across over the last decade.
Let’s start with some of the coolest sofas with multiple purposes.
Multifunctional Sofa Furniture
There are a couple of clever designs that combine the sofa with a bunk bed solution. They include some of the most excellent engineerings that have ever been made when it comes to furniture design.
This is an Italian design.
Sofa And Table In One
This one is not exactly a transforming piece of furniture but it is very much multifunctional.
The Caramella is a combined sofa and table in one. You have a nice desk for reading, studying, writing, drawing etc. and on the front of the tabletop, there’s a sofa.
It’s simple and elegant. I love how the table top and the sofa is made from one piece of wood. It’s just beautiful and it makes a lot of sense for a room where you want to place the sofa in the center of the room. This is great for watching TV.
Pop-up sofa bunk bed
Here’s another take on the sofa bunk bed. It’s a little more simple in the construction and probably longer-lasting.
It doesn’t twist and fold as much as the yellow model above but it does the same thing. Pretty clever and it also shows that it doesn’t have to be complex to be smart!
The model below is actually for sale online and you can see the link to it under the picture.
This bunk bed sofa is for sale here with free shipping.
These pop-up sofas are typically not intended for everyday use. They are thought as guest beds and what a great way of hiding two guest beds inside a sofa!
Sofa With Multiple Seating Options
Another really cool bed solution that can take multiple forms and be used for several purposes is this sofa bed.
It’s a sofa with several parts that can be arranged in a number of ways to create new ways of seating.
You simply remove the parts and arrange them differently in order to turn this genius piece of furniture into a bed, a sofa, a double sofa etc. The possibilities are endless.
Multifunctional Dining Tables
We also find some really clever tables that can transform from one piece of furniture to another.
We’re not just talking about extendable dining tables here, we are talking about console tables that can transform into a 12-people dining table in no time!
Extreme Extendable Table
This first table is called the Goliath table. It’s super expensive so several other manufacturers have started producing cheaper variations of the same basic design.
That has driven the price down to around $1,000 which is actually a very good price! We built our own version of this extreme expanding table and it wasn’t easy!
Table Hiding Inside Wall Art
Here is another really cool dining table that comes down from the wall. This table is so clever. I love how it totally hides on the wall until you need to use it. A mirror is a perfect disguise for a dining table of the size.
It will fit five people if you place one person at the end of the table.
This is the solution you can easily build yourself because it only takes a few hinges and some pieces of wood. The construction is so simple that it self explanatory from the pictures below.
Wall Mirror Hides A Dining Table
We also found another take on this table. It even added another function to the furniture piece as it double-function as a mirror and a dining table.
You normally place a mirror in the hallway so for a studio apartment you would need to place it in your dining room (as you only have one room!). So this is a really great piece of furniture for studio apartments.
Head over to this article if you want to see some affordable folding tables.
Dining Table Hidden Inside The Kitchen Counter
This kitchen counter hides a dining table below the counter space.
You can flip it out to make a seating area for up to 8 people. Great way to hide the dining table during the day and especially if your kitchen is your main living space.
This can enable you to put in a large kitchen in a small space as you can get rid of the dining table all together!
Round Bench With Fold-Down Seating
This round bench is pretty genius. It can fold down part of the tabletop in order to create seats for 8 people!
Another cool feature about this picnic table is that you can actually access it with a wheelchair if you just keep the tabletop in the upper position for one of the seating areas. This makes it accessible for seniors or handicapped people.
It’s designed by Dirk Wynantz.
Coffee Table Transforms Into Dining Table
This is a really cool piece of furniture where you can pop it up and pull it out to seat 6-8 people!
First, you use the piston-operated lets to lift it up (it’s quite heavy!) and then you can pull the two-part table top apart. This will reveal a set of leaflets that are hidden inside the design. Then you place these leaflets in the center of the table and now you have seating for 8 people!
If you want to see more space-saving tables we have a helpful article with all the coolest dining tables for small spaces.
Beds And Sleeping Furniture
Bed And Desk In One
This bed is great for a studio apartment or a small condo. If you live alone and you just need a place to sleep during the night you can get rid of the bed with this solution.
The mattress is mounted on the back of this tabletop and you can flip it around when you want to sleep.
It’s probably not something you just build at home but if you have the skills it’s a really cool project. Just remember that you have to remove everything from the table during the day. It seems like there’s space for these items at the end of the furniture.
DIY Murphy Bed With With Sofa And Storage
This is our bed here in the office where I am writing this blog post.
I have built this bed together with Maria. She designed it 7 years ago and you can read more about it in this blog post about DIY Murphy beds.
Here’s first a picture of the bed when folded up. We have placed a low daybed in front of the bed and Maria has painted a snowy landscape that is mounted on the back of the bed.
Here we have folded the bed down over the daybed and the sofa table also stays in place (it’s lower than ordinary sofa tables).
Behind the bed, we have built-in storage for seasonal clothes, skiing gear, travel bags and much more.
Japanese Sofa Bed
The next sofa bed is a Japanese design we found a while ago. It has been around for several years but never really made it to the States which is a pity. Because this sofa is extremely clever.
It can be used as a sofa, a bed, or something in between when you want to read or watch TV.
It’s a pretty low sofa which is probably why this is a hit in Japan and not so much in the States.
I like how simple and elegant it is designed and it looks very comfortable. I guess it’s a really good guest bed for when you are having friends sleeping over.
Murphy Bed With Front-Mounted Table
We love Murphy bed and we have found several really cool models that hides everything from shelving units to dining tables and desks.
Here are some of the most clever transforming beds for small spaces.
Here’s Maria pulling down a Murphy bed with a dining table mounted on the front. We found this cool furniture piece outside London a couple of years ago.
When the bed is folded up you have a nice dining table with space for 4-5 people. And when you fold it down you have a nice full-size bed complete with sheets and pillows.
The next Murphy bed is even more multifunctional.
Murphy Bed With Bookshelf On The Front
It adds a whole new level to the word as it can swivel around 180° to reveal a bed behind a complete bookshelf.
Everything stays in place as you flip up the table and turn the whole thing around. Within seconds you have a nice queen size bed ready for you!
This amazing bed is for sale over at this shop.
A Chest bed can fold a foam mattress out to create a sleeping area in no time.
It is a chest furniture and bed at the same time. You can store some decorative items like a vase on top of the chest so no one will guess that it holds a guest bed inside!
Its even more space-saving than a Murphy bed because you fold the mattress in three layers. So if you have space with a low ceiling this is a really good option.
We found the cheapest models in this shop.
We also have a couple of chairs for you.
Extreme Retractable Chair
The first design is made of recyclable cardboard. The construction is pretty clever and makes it very durable even though it’s made of cardboard.
Here you can see the chair as it is collapsed completely. Then we start pulling in one end and it will extend and seat up to 12 people on a row! It’s a chair and (really long) bench in one.
We heard from a reseller that it’s more eye candy than practical. The cardboard will not stay in the shape you create when you pull out the chair. It will retract back until you have used it for many months.
So you should think twice before you invest in this piece of furniture.
Chair Multifunctions As Ladder
This is a clever Japanese design.
This chair can bend over and transform into a 3-step ladder.
This is a great chair to have in your kitchen when you need to reach the top shelves. It’s a simple and fine design that makes you wonder why we don’t hide multiple functions in all our everyday furniture.
We found it here at Amazon.
It’s one of the more affordable solutions in this article. Unfortunately, too many of these great designs are either prototypes that never made it to the productions line or they are super expensive.
The cost of productions goes up when a product doesn’t sell in large quantities and many of the designs are pretty advanced too. So they are neither cheap or easy to manufacture.
Sofa And Chair In One
It has hinges mounted at the center of the construction. You can flip it out and turn each part 90 degrees to turn it into a sofa!
In my humble opinion, it’s a lot more elegant as a sofa than as a chair but nonetheless, it looks like a very comfy chair!
I really like the design of the sofa part though and I think it looks really futuristic and cool. Especially if you could have it in other colors than yellow.
Ottoman With Seating For 5 People
This next piece is actually seating for up to 6 people hidden inside an ottoman.
You take the lid off the square-formed ottoman and you can take out five smaller furniture pieces from the inside.
It’s easy to store everywhere as it doesn’t take up more space than a small ottoman. And it’s actually quite stylish. You can get it in several colors. Personally, I really like the red design but all the colors are beautiful and this is a great piece for the small home or the very tiny house.
Other Cool Multipurpose Furniture
Here’s all the rest that didn’t fit in any category. The weird and out-of-the-box ideas that we just had to include.
Window Pops Out A Window Seat
This window can fold out to let you sit and enjoy the view of the city.
You will need some courage to lean back towards the window and use it as a chair. But if you are courageous I am sure it would be a great place to enjoy your morning coffee!
It’s a prototype idea we stumbled over a couple of years ago (can’t remember where) and it seems like a great way to let in light.
Ironing Board With Mirror
This ironing board will show you how it looks when you are done the ironing. So brilliant.
I love how simple this is. It makes you wonder why you don’t have this feature with ALL ironing boards because it doesn’t seem like an expensive or difficult thing to build into the construction.
You just flip up the mirror around when you are done.
DIY Multifunctional Furniture You Can Build Yourself
We will also take a look at some ideas you can bring home and implement in your own apartment.
As I mentioned earlier, most of the best ideas are just prototypes or they are way too expensive to buy on a normal budget. So here are some cool ideas you can build yourself!
Wall-mounted folding table/shelf
This is actually a piece you can buy over here for $174 including shipping. But the construction is very simple and can easily be built at home.
It basically just takes a shelving unit and a tabletop. Then you mount the tabletop with hinges at the bottom and a locking mechanism at the top.
DIY Dining table transforms into a console table
This dining table is pretty genius. We found it inside a tiny house we filmed in Florida.
The table double-function as a long console table that slides under a shelving unit on the wall. When it’s time to eat you take out the table and fold the two parts 180 degrees so they go together to form a square dining table.
Simple, practical and something you can build at home!
DIY Bed Slides Under Raised Floor
This is probably my favorite solution for studio apartments.
When you need to fit all your functions of an apartment in one room you really need to think out of the box. This is where multipurpose furniture really come in handy.
This bed system is so genius. The owner of this space has raised the floor a bit so the queen size bed can slide under the floor and hide during the day. This way you can use the floor space for other activities during the day and you still have enough ceiling height.
We have an article over here with all the best sliding bed under raised floor solutions.
DIY Furniture With Multiple Functions
This is another clever way to hide a bed and a chair in the same piece of furniture. It actually has four purposes:
- Chaise lounge chair
The design is simple and something most people could pull off.
It’s maybe not the sleekest design but it’s a great sofa table if you need an extra guest bed or a comfortable chair once in a while.
Sofa With Two Guest Beds Stacked
Here’s a similar option.
It’s two guest beds you can stack on top of each other to turn this piece of furniture into a pretty stylish sofa.
It might take some more work but it looks like something that can be done. The design is made by Hertel Klarhoefer who is a German furniture designer.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.