Foldable furniture is no longer boring. There are stylish accessories that are big hits with apartment dwellers, says Suvasini Sridharan

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, Mumbai, Tanvi Kapoor is more than aware of what a valuable commodity space has become. Working in media, Tanvi shares a one bedroom, 700 square feet apartment with a friend. “We were really lucky we got this place,” says Tanvi. “It is in a great neighbourhood and surprisingly within our budget.” The close quarters didn’t seem to faze Tanvi. The flatmates use foldout beds and collapsible wardrobes to create spaces of their own within the apartment. “The collapsible wardrobes take up less space than regular cupboards and foldout beds are converted into sofas during the day,” says Tanvi. Giving them more room to move around.

More people are turning to folding and collapsible furniture to make the most of the living space they have. “This sort of furniture is especially popular with youngsters and people just starting out in their careers,” says interior decorator Ahalya Sashidar from Bengaluru. “It is easy on the pocket, portable and doesn’t take up too much space.”

Collapsible wardrobes, shoe racks, laundry baskets, ironing boards and clothes drying stands while functional, can also be stowed away when not in use. A visit to any home store or department store will give you a wide range of these products in various colours, designs and sizes to choose from. “Our balcony is tiny and tying a clothes line would just look unsightly, so we use a clothes drying stand which can be folded and put away when not in use,” says Tanvi.

You can even decorate your home with furniture which is collapsible or can be folded. Ahalya suggests forgoing a regular dining table set for a picnic table and colourful folding chairs, “You can fold and put away the chairs to create more space while entertaining or move them to another room for more seating.” We are all aware of foldout beds, but nowadays there are a lot of innovative designs when it comes to side tables and stools as well. Keshav Rao, a software professional in Hyderabad has a console table that can be folded into a small side table, “When I have people over I use it as a console table to serve food on, and at other times I fold and use it as a side table,” says Keshav. He also uses a wooden folding room divider to separate his living room from dining space. “I find furniture that can be used for multiple purposes and doesn’t take up too much space convenient for today’s lifestyle.”

While collapsible and folding furniture and home accessories are convenient and space saving, it does have its drawbacks. “This sort of furniture isn’t as durable and sturdy,” says Ahalya. “It doesn’t last long and has to be replaced every couple of years if not earlier.” Also one has to be careful when folding or putting away the furniture, or you could end up jamming your fingers. So, when you are picking this sort of furniture make sure you try it out before buying it and know the proper technique of folding or collapsing it.