Multipurpose furniture is always interesting because it adds an element of surprise and mystery by being more than you expect it to be. Sometimes the secondary function is so well hidden that the surprise effect is even stronger and other times the multifunctional nature of a piece is immediately apparent which makes it interesting in its own way. There are many examples we could give here and we’ve chosen a few that we think are rather inspiring. In all of these cases you can witness the architectural ingenuity behind the design but most importantly you get to see how beautifully these pieces are integrated into their surroundings.
Studio VFA Architecture + Design has found a really cool way to reinvent the dining area and the space around it. This is a custom interior that they created for a house in Ontario, Canada. The living and dining areas are connected forming an open floor plan together with the kitchen which is in a slightly elevated area. The most intriguing piece is a custom platform next to the dining table which serves as seating but also as a walkway which gives access from one side of the room to the other.
When designing this beautiful ranch-inspired house near Melbourne, in Australia, architecture studio Dan Gayfer Design made sure to emphasize and take advantage of the magnificent views surrounding it. One of the best placed to admire these views from is this bedroom which features an amazing window that wraps around the corner, framing the scenery. There’s a custom0built wooden bench placed at the base of the window. It’s L-shaped and multifunctional, being able to serve as a bench, a storage cabinet or as a console
Another very inspiring project is the extension which studio Scenario Architecture has built for a Victorian house located in London. An exposed brick wall marks the separation between the old and the sections of the house which are connected by a set of stairs. The small staircase has a solid guardrail panel which mimics a wall dividers and which folds down gently, rapping around one side of this cozy seating nook. It doubles as a backrest for the bench and makes the transition feel very smooth.
It’s quite common for living rooms to include some form of multipurpose furniture. There are many interesting variations and combinations to consider. For this house in Sydney Carter Williamson Architects went with a custom wall unit which is made up of several modules with different proportions and functions. They make the transition between the kitchen, dining room and living area feel seamless and together they form a large and continuous structure.
This beautiful bedroom has a large window which lets in lots of natural sunlight and also frames a nice view of the surrounding area. Below it the architects and designers at OFFICIAL placed a multipurpose bench with a built-in bookshelf on one side. This creates a cozy nook where one can read a book, relax and enjoy the view and the sunlight.
When asked to renovate this townhouse in Brooklyn, studio Resolution: 4 Architecture (RES4) came up with a really cool design idea for the kitchen. They created a custom kitchen island which extends and seamlessly transitions into a breakfast nook. The seating area is framed by a curved bench framed by the island extension and is centered around a small table with a round top. Although the island countertop and the bench serve completely different purposes, they are connected and together form this amazing multifunctional unit.
Another very interesting and original design was created by studio Lookofsky Architecture for an apartment located in Stockholm. Part of the new design is a 7 meter long wall unit which is multifunctional. This custom wall unit incorporates kitchen cabinetry and built-in appliances as well as a seating nook with a small corner bookshelf and comfortable cushions in different shades of yellow.
Drawing inspiration from mid-century design and American diner interiors, architecture studio mishack created a custom booth for a modern house located in Australia. It’s a cozy-looking and inviting nook with plenty of seating on three sides and a square table at the center. It’s a space which can be used in a variety of different ways, whether it’s to enjoy breakfast with the family, to stud, work, read or chat with the guests.
Rather than having several freestanding pieces of furniture each serving a different purpose and occupying space in the room, studio INT2architecture came up with a unique approach for this bedroom. They combined multiple modules into one large and multifunctional unit which incorporates the bed, a wardrobe, a set of drawers, bookshelves and additional storage. This holistic design helps to save space and gives the room a harmonious look and feel.
This is a very interesting staircase which was designed by architects Edouard Brunet and François Martens as part of a renovation project for a house located in Brussels. The staircase is made of metal and is suspended from the ceiling on the upper floor. It folds down like an accordion but doesn’t reach the floor. Instead the transition is made through a multipurpose furniture unit which includes the last few steps among other things such as a bookshelf and some hidden storage. It also doubles as a seating unit or as a console.
Another really interesting staircase was designed by studio General Assembly for a small loft located in New York. It’s an alternating thread staircase which gives it an eye-catching and intriguing look but there’s actually more to it than just that. There are storage modules inside the stairs which can be used for books, decorations, shoes and all sorts of other things.