Dual-Purpose Furniture

During a pandemic-induced period of isolation, I decided to utilise my extra time at home to get in shape and shed a few pounds. My first step of buying a bench press and dumbbells quickly descended into eating ice cream and binging on Netflix shows. However, what began life in my home as a piece of fitness equipment ended up as a very practical table to stand the aforementioned tubs of ice cream.

I am not the first to consider multi-functional furniture design. Many designers are now coming up with ways to utilise space while not sacrificing on style. Particularly for those of us residing in the city with limited space, dual-purpose furniture can streamline your living area, help keep your office minimal and efficient, and save valuable floor space. Here are some great examples to inspire your next trip to the furniture store.


Unless you have a bespectacled 10-year-old wizard living there, the space under the stairs is often an underused storage opportunity. Modern homes commonly suffer from a lack of storage space, so utilising the space under the stairs for a cupboard or drawers can make a huge difference in the eternal fight against clutter and chaos at home, or perhaps just a place to store all your wine …

©Chris Darling via Flickr


This is genuinely impressive. A modest stool, that can be tucked away in a corner of even the tiniest apartment, can easily transform into a round table capable of seating multiple guests or family members. This beautiful folding chair and table combo have been graced to us by genius designers Sanna Lindstrom and Sigrid Stromgren. This definitely ups the ante from the humble foldout table you might take camping and makes the best of every square metre available. Beautiful.

   ©Brett Jordan via Flickr


This next entry may be familiar to some of us but is still definitely worth a mention. A desk or dining or coffee table that doubles up as a classic arcade game. This loveable 80s piece can add a unique twist to an otherwise basic living space or bedroom, although I would recommend a table cloth during mealtimes to avoid any distractions!

©Indrid Cold via Flickr


Breakfast in bed is a lovely idea in theory. It’s Sunday morning and you’re all tucked up in bed, sipping on your morning coffee. All is going well until you realise that a pillow is a terrible place to set a coffee cup down. This slide-out coffee table is both a Sunday morning godsend and a space saver. The additional drawers further down offer space for spare bed linen or can work wonders in a child’s bedroom by freeing up space, while simultaneously putting an end to any fears of monsters under the bed.

©Jeremy Levine via Flickr


Certainly the most lavish item on our list, but bookworms everywhere will be purring at the sight of this seating area with built-in bookshelves on the exterior. If you have the space and the book collection, this could be quite the head turner next time you are hosting your book club group.

©Jeremy Levine via Flickr


As an avid reader, I am in love with the next entry on our list. This armchair and bookshelf combo is a bookworm’s delight. I wouldn’t recommend spinning around whilst reading however, as your favourite authors may find their works flying off the shelves, but not in the way they would have hoped.


The most important meal of the day? For many of us it involves a quick cup of coffee and slice of toast before running out of the door. This super simple breakfast bar has upped the ante by adding a simple storage nook for your breakfast bits, condiments, coffee cups and the like.


If you are a fan of throwing dinner parties or entertaining friends at home, having enough seating can be a real headache. Foldout chairs still need to be stored somewhere, but the sharp minds at Silla have come up with a beautiful solution: the Guarda chair. Simply slide out and double your seating capacity, whilst not skimping on style.


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