Transformer and space-saving furniture units are a great way to make the most of the available space in small apartments and homes. Roberto Gil of the design firm Casa Collection recently designed the Urbano collection space-saving unit, which is gorgeous and incredibly practical.
His firm has been in the business of creating space-saving solutions for small apartments since the 1990s, including hanging beds, Murphy beds, and seating. The Urbano Collection is their foray into offering all in-one-units.
The space saving unit in the Urbano Collection features a bed, two sets of stairs that also double as storage as well as shelving and closets. The unit is 119 in (302 cm) long, 83 in (211 cm) wide, and 107 in (272 cm) high. The clearance under the bed is 6.3 ft (1.9 m) and given the size of the storage it offers, one of these units can easily be used to replace a whole bedroom of furniture. The units come in two sizes. The Urbano version features a king sized bed, and has interior and exterior closets, dressers with drawers, shelving and a desk. . The units are also quite customizable. The Urbano customers can, for example choose whether they want two sets of stairs with in-built drawers, or just one.
The company also offers a smaller, Arca version, which features a queen size bed and measures 83 in (211-cm) in length, 100 in (254 cm) in width, and 80 in (203 cm) in height. It has a clearance of 60 in (152 cm). This one is not as fully equipped as the larger version but still features a cushioned bench, open storage space and a desk. The bed is accessible via a ladder.
The Urbano and Arca units can be ordered in two color options and they cost $15,000 and $6,000 respectively. They can be ordered in the US and Canada, though the shipping costs are quite costly. However, with the amount of money saved by not having to buy a bed, closet, dresser and desk separately, they might still make sense. Especially for those living in small or even micro apartments.
Looking for the perfect kitchen for your tiny home? Well look no further, because the Swiss firm Kitchoo has the perfect all-in-one solution. The kitchen units they offer are compact and small enough to fit into most any tiny house or apartment without sacrificing functionality.
Kitchoo is actually the Japanese word for “good omen” and these all-in-one kitchen units are exactly that for anyone wanting to downsize and still retain all the comforts of a larger dwelling. The basic Kitchoo unit features a sink, a two-burner induction stovetop, a compact dishwasher and cabinet space. The faucet can be pressed down allowing the two lids that cover the sink and stove to be lowered, which creates a good amount of counter space, or an eating surface. The drawers are all big enough to store plates, cups, dishes and utensils. And best of all, despite the superb functionality and offering everything you need from a kitchen, these units take up very little space. Also, by combining more than one unit, you can have yourself a fully mobile and fully functional kitchen.
Besides the basic model, they also offer several higher end versions, which have space for a fridge/freezer combo or a washing machine. The design of these units is also totally flexible, so any of the appliances you don’t need can be switched out and replaced by the ones you do. The unit also comes in a variety of finishes, including dark oak, light oak and white.
Prices start at $3,483 for the basic version and go up to $4,645. They’re currently only available in Europe and the Middle East, but the firm plans to make them available in North America soon.
Flatpack furniture has got to be one of the best inventions ever made, since it has greatly simplified shopping for furniture and/or moving. It has also made the whole furnishing process a lot easier for people who live in apartments. The drawback is that such furniture is not built to last, and several tons of it ends up in landfills across the US each year.
The other reason this happens is that the owners’ needs for furniture change, and the furniture startup MOJUHLER, is aiming to solve this problem with their flatpack modular furniture system. This system allows you to build multiple pieces of furniture using the same set of components.
All the pieces are made from high quality Baltic birch plywood with a coating of Wilsonart laminate. The pieces that are used to construct the furniture have a pattern of holes drilled into them, meaning they can be connected in a variety of ways using aluminum angle brackets, and so-called sex bolts. The latter get their name from the way the screw and nut fit together, and are also known as barrel bolts, or Chicago screws. Basically, these bolts have the advantage of sitting flush to the surface when used to bolt the furniture pieces together, and do not protrude out at all. Also, since sex bolts are designed to fasten together, they also do not damage whatever they are joining. Most other flatpack furniture has bolts that secure into the material, which means taking it apart and reassembling it somewhere else rarely results in a piece of furniture with the same sturdiness it had when new.
The series of holes, which are the main design element of this furniture system does make it look like furniture for kids, but I think it also lends the pieces a sort of timelessness. The designers are currently raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign to begin production.
Living in small or even tiny apartments is the reality for many urban dwellers these days, and while such living arrangements can be ideal for singles and couples, having kids does pose a problem. But the Polish design firm Mode:lina Studio came up with a very clever solution to this conundrum in the case of artist and designer Maciej Kawecki.
Maciej is a work from home dad who lives in a 398-square-foot apartment with his six-year-old son. The design firm he hired to renovate his apartment installed a transformer unit, which can be used as a workspace for Maciej but also hides a playroom for his son. The multifunctional unit can be used as a desk, but also to hold business meetings as well as to cook and sleep.
The sleeping part is located in a loft above the work desk. The shelving unit part of the transformer piece of furniture is on wheels and can be moved as needed. When pulled out it opens up the son’s playroom, which is located just behind the working desk. It’s also a great place to keep all of the child’s toys, so they’re not cluttering up the rest of the small apartment. The conference desk Maciej uses to meet with clients is also on wheels, and can be pushed aside and moved out of the way when not needed. The transformer unit itself is made of oriented strand board (OSB). It was mostly left natural, though they painted a few sections black to offer some contrast.
This is certainly another great example of how transformer, multi-purpose furniture pieces can make even small apartments more functional. This version of it will certainly appeal to all those with small children, while I’m pretty sure most kids love to have a secret playroom!
This desk, designed by the Casa Kids furniture company based in Brooklyn, is aimed primarily towards kids, whose parents want to buy them a desk that will grow up with them. However I think it’s perfect for adults too, especially those working from home. It is very well designed, made from durable materials and built to last for many, many years. Just like the furniture our grandparents used to buy before the days of IKEA.
It’s called the DUMBO desk and was designed for children aged eight and up. According to Roberto Gil, the architect who created it, the design of it was inspired by legendary artists and designers, namely Jean Prouvé, Piet Mondrian and Donald Judd.
The desk measures 84 inches across and has ample shelving space suspended above it. This space can be used to store books, folders, papers, trophies, and much more. The size of the actual desk is also very generous and offers enough space for a computer and doing homework. The clever distribution of shelves also means that everything you need is within easy reach. Due to it’s all-in-one design, it would also make a great desk for small homes.
The desk is also only 1 inch lower than adult desks, which means that no adjustments are needed as the child grows. It can be made from birch, walnut, or oak wood, depending on the customer’s preferences. The panels can also be painted in different colors to make it more fun, though I suspect that the child would grow out of a painted one faster than a natural wood version.
Since the desk is custom made, its price tag reflects it. Prices start at $5,000, but given the quality, durability and lifespan of it that’s not even that high. Especially considering that children could easily continue to use this desk well into adulthood.