Always desirable: More space to live
The main motivation behind the pioneering ideas of multifunctionality in furniture making has always been the desire for optimisation. The available living space should be optimally used, or rather exploited to the full. With the goal of ensuring that there is still plenty of open space - living space - remaining after all the demands we place on our interior space have been met.
This is not a new approach, because the true classics of transformable furniture have been part of our furnishings for a long time and it is hard to imagine life without them. These include the folding beds, which were already in high demand in the post-war period for small, cramped attic rooms. They only take up space when really needed and are otherwise simply pushed up against or into the wall.
The same is true of the sofa bed, which is as popular today as it was in the past. It can serve both as a cosy TV nook and sleeping arrangement in a single household and as guest accommodation in a small apartment. Either way, it satisfies the most important demand: It saves space.
How multifunctionality reflects the zeitgeist
Development brings change. Change requires adaptability, and that's where multifunctional furnishings fit the bill.
Having more space - a timeless desire. But urban development, especially in conurbations, has led to new challenges in the real estate market, because there is not an unlimited supply of residential space. This leads to rising rents and, in turn, to a reduction in apartment size. The trend towards micro-apartments and mini-lofts meets these needs.
Another development is based on a changed basic attitude towards life: Less can be more. Taking a step back from being driven by always wanting more and more. Resource conservation and a more sustainable approach to life through deliberate downsizing.
Tiny homes are experiencing a big boom, because they are stylish mini living oases in a really small space and, on top of that, their mobility fulfils the longing for freedom and independence. They combine many smart furniture designs from their "ancestors", the caravans and motorhomes, which are among the pioneers of multifunctionality.
Modern furniture designers sense the spirit of the times and create new living and furnishing concepts that prove that small living and big living comfort do not have to be mutually exclusive. They design modern multifunctional furniture that does not compromise on design even in limited living spaces despite being used to the full.
Characteristics and examples
Multifunctional furniture is:
- individual - even customised, because numerous joineries are happy to fulfil special requests in terms of size and design and score points with sustainable production.
- stylish, functional and clever
- have a lot of storage space
Folding partitions are an example of maximum adaptability. They create living areas that can be configured as the situation requires. A home office that can be set up temporarily stands for situation-optimised living or working. The multifunctional, height-adjustable table that folds, collapses or extends is the icing on the cake.
Expandability allows the furniture to adapt to the circumstances of the owner. Socialising and enjoying a dinner with friends or moving to an apartment of a different size - modular furniture can cope with it all.
Another smart feature is the hidden storage space concept. The less space is available, the more important are pragmatic solutions that help keep things tidy. Thus, with a knack for the extraordinary, it is possible to successfully reconcile functionality and living ambience.