Small Space Shape Shifters: 13 Transforming Furniture Designs

Bed-Up Space-Saving Furniture


Almost no space is too small to live in when you’ve got furniture that lowers from the ceiling, pulls out of the walls, transforms for multiple functions or even folds up flat to hang in the closet like clothing. These smart space-saving furniture designs cram maximum use into the most compact packages, often with beautiful, modern results. You’ll never look at a metal storage trunk the same way again.

Bunk Bed Sofa

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This is more than just a sofa bed – there are actually two beds hiding within its sleek contours thanks to a brilliant folding design. The Doc is a sofa by day, bunk bed by night, creating sleeping space for two guests in seconds.

Furniture Functions Hidden in Metal Crates

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Traveling artists and other restless types can tote an entire studio apartment full of furniture with them quickly and easily with these mobile objects that transform into rugged metal crates on wheels. Designer Naihan Lee, an artist who has had to move often while living in Beijing, created the ‘Crates’ series to ensure that she would have beautiful, high quality furniture no matter where she ends up. The portable units include a bookshelf, single sofa, tea table, mobile bar, entertainment center, kitchen unit and writing desk.

Shape-Shifting Chair

space saving exocet chair

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Better at conforming to the human body in any single position than the traditionally-shaped chairs humans have been using for thousands of years, the Exocet features two wooden ‘wings’ on a rotating steel axis that interlace to create virtually limitless sitting and lounging possibilities. Use it as a stool, a lounge chair, a high-back chair, a floor mat, a recliner, a seat for two or whatever else you can come up with.

Bed Hidden in a Desk

space saving bed in a desk

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Even once you learned that this desk isn’t what it appears, you might imagine that it would be a pain to remove everything from its surfaces before transforming it into a bed. But the Hiddenbed system unfolds in a way that rests the desk surface on the floor beneath the mattress, leaving everything intact, including power cords. When you decide you want to lay down, it takes just a few seconds to pull out a couple pins and unfold it. Pillows even stay in place when you put the bed back up.

Transforming Tiny Apartment

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All sorts of tricks hide behind the surfaces of this 290-square-foot apartment in Brazil, custom-made by architect Fabio Cherman for his own use. Features include a compact sofa bed that uses a wall shelf as support (again, leaving your displayed objects intact), and on the other side of the room, there’s a wall panel that folds down to become a tabletop or a guest bed.