Functional furniture

Anushya Mamtora | Updated on August 03, 2011

Ebony Gautier cocktail console   -  BUSINESS LINE

PortsideCafe coffeetable   -  BUSINESS LINE

PortsideCafe coffeetable   -  BUSINESS LINE

PortsideCafe sofa   -  BUSINESS LINE

A cabinet in the morning, a table for four in the evening, a storage unit at night. With shrinking spaces and expanding demands, classic and funky multifunctional furniture is the new norm

A decade ago, the most adventurous one could get with a piece of furniture was a wall mounted table that could be folded away when not in use or a simple sofa that could stretch into a bed for your guests at night. Today, multifunctional furniture is common among young homemakers who live in apartments and are always on the move. And we are not talking of those make shift and whacky ones which are promoted by tele shopping episodes on TV, but some sturdy ones from reputed national and international brands that will stay with you and serve you for a long time to come.

The basics

For those who are really hard pressed for space, there are some simple yet extremely useful pieces of furniture that are popular among space savers. The drop-leaf table is one such. If your home is the most sought after destination for parties and a large table is too huge for the room as well as your family, pick up a drop-leaf that can be expanded on all four sides to make a two or four seater into a six-seater or more.

Similarly, a sofa for two can be converted into a three-seater with extra options like making it a chaise lounge or even changing the direction and proportions to make it take the shape of any space you have. While Living in Style has an interesting range of single sofas that can be made into a comfy bed, Ebony Gautier’s sofas can be extended to become a chaise lounge.

The latest entrant into the Indian home space, Italian brand Poltrona Frau’s Massimosistema range of sofas is a luxurious way of managing living room space as the sofas can be changed to a dormeause, two-seater or three-seater as per your convenience.

Stylish entrants

There have been a slew of chic functional pieces that have hit the market too. Coffee tables doubling up as storage, little chairs that can be arranged into an artefact when not in use, a full fledged bar hiding inside a trunk… designers and companies are letting their creative juices ooze out as they craft some simple yet unique concepts. PortsideCafe is one such store that has a neat range of functional pieces that can easily blend into the décor of any modern home. Some interesting ones include a kitschy coffee table modelled like a suitcase, quaint bar units that miraculously appear from an ancient trunk and an aesthetic ‘library sofa’ with inbuilt book shelves for those who love to pile on books but don’t have space for racks.

Also an ideal pick as garden or terrace furniture is ‘Stackables’ from Patios. The cute little chairs and table can be stacked up into a vase after a round of evening tea.

Ebony Gautier’s ‘Cocktail console’ is a dream come true for apartment dwellers who want to alternate between a console to stock displays and a dining table!

Bar bar dekho

Are you a connoisseur who likes to display your finest bottles of malts and wines in a mini bar unit but worry about your spouse complaining of giving away a portion of the living room? Then functional bar units are your best bet. The trend today is to conceal your special collection in a unit that resembles a trunk or wardrobe but transforms into an amazing bar with all the appropriate slots when open. Poltrona Frau’s Isidoro cabinet opens like a book with glass and bottle holders with metal rings and a folding shelf that can be used to mix the drinks. On the outside, the saddle leather covering adds class to the display.

PortsideCafe’s whacky range of bar units are also fun to sport and easy to use and comes in four varieties – Wardrobe, Trunk, Captain Cabin and Fragile. While the Wardrobe comes with a foldable table to double up as a service counter, the Trunk has a small pull out tray, the Captain Cabin in leather tones can be stacked away as a neat cabinet and Fragile which resembles wooden crates is an old-world living room display that houses all your liquor.

Whether dual, functional or multifunctional, it’s useful furniture with an appealing twist that is ruling the modern furniture roost.

Published on January 26, 2011

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