Transforming Tables: 16 Smart Space-Saving Surface Designs

Kai Table: Tons of Hidden Storage

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The Kai Table by Naoki Hirakoso is an exploration of how many different ways storage compartments can be built into a single piece of furniture, with that furniture still appearing incredibly simple and minimalist when it’s all closed up. It starts as a seemingly solid block but virtually every surface of it can be lifted, folded, pulled out or otherwise manipulated to access the interior.

Table Chair by Joel Hesselgren

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Maybe you need chairs, or perhaps a table, but not both at the same time. Designer Joel Hesselgren’s ‘Table Chairs’ feature slots in the back so the two distinct chairs can be notched together into a table surface within seconds.

Transforming Tables by Resource Furniture


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A company called Resource Furniture offers a wide range of transforming tables, from simple fold-up and adjustable-height designs to low-lying coffee tables that spring up to dining level in one quick motion.

Swarm Table Features Puzzle-Like Components

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Inspired by “the collective motion of a large group of self-propelled entities converging and diverging in unplanned movements,” the Swarm Table by Natalie Goldfinger consists of three different geometric pieces that can be used separately, or attached in various ways to form one large surface.

Grand Central Transforming Table

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Here’s a highly unusual way for a table to unfold from a highly compact side table to a round dining table: the Grand Central design by Sigrid Strömgren and Sanna Lindström has 22 connected leaves that put on quite a display as they unfold. The designers describe it as “a short moment of poetry when the table folds out like an origami flower.”