Homes and gardens

Furniture that expands

Not too long ago, expandable furniture was all about space-saving in a small home and was used to draw maximum potential from a limited space. But today, it is about transforming spaces into multi-functional zones within the home.

With the functional lines of a room getting hazier, the scope for transformative furniture has broadened. For example, furniture which can convert a living room to a dining room as well as kitchen island to a secondary dining set-up, says Gita Ramanan, Chief Design Officer, Design Café, Bengaluru. Another example would be a custom-made piece in the guest bedroom which morphs into a compact and well-designed workstation for home.

Designers will tell you that modular furniture, customised to specific needs and client lifestyles makes way for multiple functionalities for a room. Aarti Aggarwal, Founder and Principal Designer, Knock on Wood, New Delhi and Chandigarh, elaborates on some of the possibilities:

Cabinets opening up to home offices: A unit opens up into a small but efficient working set-up that is designed to hold all that is important. When retracted, it fits perfectly into a compact cupboard fitting into the wall behind the wall, keeping the space clean.

Compact dining buffets: These expand into small kitchenettes facilitating accommodation of an induction for live cooking and/or heating of food along with storage space.

Study table-cum-bed: This provides ample space in the kid’s room for daytime studies, and play activities; the table folds out into a cosy bed.

Fold-into-wall dining table: While a small breakfast nook suffices on a daily basis, a dining table is an essential piece of furniture. A fold-into-the-wall dining table works towards this purpose when necessary.

Expandable sofas: A product in demand for long, this consists of a standard sofa that can expand to provide a footrest or an option of extending into a mid-sized bed.

The possibilities are plenty considering that modular, transformative furniture can be customised to your specific requirements of a space.

Speaking on the benefits of such transformative furniture, Tania Shelma Rogers, Senior Associate Designer-PDDE, homelane.com says that the concept allows for flexible living. “Besides that, it saves money as furniture now becomes multi-purpose. Such pieces are versatile and ergonomically designed and have neat finishes. And equally important, they are creative and stylish solutions to modern day living requirements.

Besides these benefits, Kaveesha Shah, Partner (Interiors), Saransh, Ahmedabad, says that expandable furniture design also enables designers to explore more possibilities in materials, generating interesting explorations in form and materiality, while tactfully concealing the mechanical details.

With so many choices now available, what does the customer need to keep in mind to make good aesthetic choices? “Firstly, one needs to decide why they need expandable furniture and what purpose is it going to serve,” advices Ramanan. “Is it going to be something that just adds aesthetic value to the space or does it also have a function? Next, you look at the feasibility and ease of usage. And then you decide how it complements the rest of the furniture in the space it’s going in,” she adds.

And to achieve that, Shah advises to choose expandable furniture that suits ones needs and work in the given space. “For instance, if the space has good height, one can consider furniture which expands vertically — including a transformable bunk bed, wall mounted modular shelving units, etc. Similar options wouldn’t work too well for a space with lower height, where a fold-down bed and floor mounted expandable shelving unit may be a better choice, instead,” she elaborates.

Rogers suggests that you always look for branded furniture that offers good value for money and a warranty. Multi-purpose furniture is all about making more optimal use of expandable furniture that combines versatility and style.

Today, irrespective of being in a small studio or a spacious penthouse, the idea is to create spaces that are aesthetic as well as functional. transformative furniture then plays a huge role.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 6:52:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/incorporating-expandable-furniture-at-home/article26149742.ece

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