Multifunctional Furniture: Doubling Down for Sustainable Design

In 2024, it can feel as if the world is simultaneously expanding and shrinking. Remote work has become the new norm post-pandemic, over 50 countries have now put digital nomad visas into effect, and people are redefining the concept of home. This shift is evident in various lifestyle choices, from embracing minimalist living in tiny homes to seeking serenity in secluded treehouse retreats or embarking on nomadic adventures along the Australian coast in vans. These diverse choices reflect a desire for freedom and flexibility, challenging traditional notions of home and borders, creating a need for more sustainable and multifunctional furniture.

The numbers tell a fascinating story: the average size of apartments in major cities around the world is shrinking. In the U.S., for example, studio apartments clock in at a modest 530 square feet, while the average one-bedroom apartment spans 752 square feet. Even cities like Seattle, known for its spaciousness, saw new apartments in 2018 averaging just 711 square feet, the smallest among major U.S. cities. This trend extends globally, with cities like Tokyo carrying an average apartment size of about 422 square feet.

Naturally, amidst this trend towards smaller living spaces, there’s a rising interest in alternative lifestyles and design approaches. People are finding liberation in owning less, opting for multifunctional furniture that maximizes utility without sacrificing style. These versatile pieces not only save space but also eliminate the need to purchase multiple items when one multifunctional piece can serve several purposes, contributing to a more sustainable way of living.

Multifunctional Furniture on ADORNO

ADORNO presents a curated selection of multifunctional pieces that cater to various design aesthetics. From sleek and minimalist to bold and maximalist, these versatile furnishings offer creative solutions for modern living spaces. Join us as we explore the intersection of style and functionality, proving that even in tiny homes, there’s room for self-expression and innovation.

Magic Tapestry – Portable ‘space’ by Laura Dominici

Bnch+ – Multifunctional Furniture Shelf or Bench by Esther De Vos
© Laura Dominici

Crafted by Laura Dominici using sheep wool from Haslach, Austria and anodized aluminum, the Magic Tapestry offers a versatile solution for modern workspaces. Unfold it into a cross-legged workstation desk with a built-in table for your laptop, or hang it as a charming woven wall hanging. As remote work gains popularity, this multifunctional piece provides flexibility for digital nomads, allowing you to create your office anywhere with ease.

Bnch+ – Multifunctional Shelf or Bench by Esther De Vos

Is it a bench? Is it a shelf? No, it’s the “Bnch+” – Esther De Vos‘ multifunctional shapeshifter, acting as shelf or bench with just one 90° flip. Its aluminum craftsmanship and clean lines embody a neo-industrialminimalist vibe of sleek sophistication.

Bright Boy Floor Lamp with Table by Murubi

multifunctional furniture: Bright Boy Floor Lamp with Table by Murubi
© Murubi

The ‘Bright Boy’ floor lamp, predominantly crafted from aluminum, embodies purity in materials and manufacturing. This minimalist lamp + table celebrates the versatile beauty of aluminum and the simplicity of a single light source. For those seeking a combination of functionality and style, the lamp features an integrated side table, presenting a harmonious blend of practicality and sophistication. This thoughtful addition not only illuminates your space but also provides a convenient surface to rest your belongings or display cherished objects, adding a personal touch to your room.

Aster – Parota Wood Side Table by Daniel Couttolenc

Multifunctional furniture: Aster – Parota Wood Side Table by Daniel Couttolenc
© Daniel Couttolenc

The Aster Table is an interactive, multifunctional clever design by, cabinetmaker Daniel Couttolenc. This eclectic table, with minimalist design and rustic touches from the Parota wood, offers versatility at its core. Its trio of components can be easily disassembled to serve as two practical auxiliary tables and a stylish tray. Alternatively, when assembled, they seamlessly form an elegant and functional side table.This versatile piece is ideal for smaller spaces.

Bock – High Wood Bench by Frau Caze – Carolin Zeyher

The Bock high wood bench or table is a versatile seating solution with Scandinavian modern influences. Crafted with care using traditional techniques, this multifunctional piece is built to last. Its solid wood construction ensures durability while adding a touch of rugged character. The minimalist design promotes healthy sitting postures and surprises with its comfort. Available in oiled oak, the Bock is a stylish addition to any space, whether as a high table companion or a standalone statement piece.

Cat Cave – Ceramic Side Table and Cat Bed by UAU Studio

Cat Cave – Ceramic Side Table and Cat Bed Multifunctional Furniture
by UAU Studio
© UAU Studio

The Cat Cave, by Romanian design house, UAU Studio is an extravagant blend of maximalist fun and radical design. Far beyond the ordinary side table, this piece defies expectations and proves that small space living can still be bold and vibrant. This ceramic sculptural piece is a versatile side table that transforms into a cozy retreat for your feline companion. The Cat Cave is a testimony to audacious design, seamlessly intertwining art, furniture, and a pet-friendly haven for a truly unique living experience for you and your cat.

“Transmit Receive” Audio Bench by Andréason & Leibel, Sweden 

“Transmit Receive” Audio Bench by Andréason & Leibel, Sweden 
© Andréason & Leibel

“Transmit Receive” is a unique, multi-functional audio bench. With SEAS full-range speakers concealed behind pastel curtain fabric, it offers both an enveloping audio experience and captivating visual effects. The design incorporates coastal elements and a whimsical touch of boho chic.

Banca Tres by OW arquitectos

The Tres Bench by Portuguese studio, OW arquitectos, is a standout piece handcrafted from Tzalam Wood. What sets this bench apart is its embedded ceramic planter. The bench + planter embodies a practical, radical minimalist approach, prioritizing minimalist elegance with multifunctionality. The bench + planter serves as both a comfortable seating option and a stylish home for greenery, offering a seamless blend of form and function. Enjoy the craftsmanship and practicality of this elegant piece, designed to elevate your space with its thoughtful design.

Hybrid Seat – Welcome Back by Fi

Hybrid Seat Multifunctional Furniture by Fi
© Fi

Welcome Back breathes new life into forgotten classics, infusing them with a modern, maximalist twist while paying homage to the opulence of Art Deco design. This collection aims to revive the glory of yesteryears, reimagining iconic pieces through a contemporary, futuristic lens. The Welcome Back hybrid seat is an all-in-one joy that provides seating, a side tables, shelves and a magazine rack into a single, multifunctional design. Perfect for small spaces, it’s a versatile addition that doesn’t compromise on style or functionality, offering a bold statement piece that brings a lively, expressive energy.

Sugar O’Clock Table Lamp by Alves Ludovico, Finland

Sugar O’Clock Table Lamp by Alves Ludovico, Finland
© Alves Ludovico

SUGAR O’CLOCK, a whimsical fusion of a clock and a lamp, emerges as an unconventional exploration of human-material relationships. Using sugar as a building biomaterial challenges traditional views, prompting contemplation on the boundaries between art and everyday materials. Truly a unique, conceptual piece, with eclectic, boho chic, and space-age elements.

Remix Bench by Studio Flore

Remix Bench by Studio Flore
© Studio Flore

Refresh your idea of functional design with the Remix bench – a collaboration between Irina Flore and Native Shoes. Crafted in Vancouver using over 100 pairs of reclaimed shoes and Native Shoes Remix™, these sculptural benches redefine sustainability, serving as a versatile entryway addition – part seat, tray area, shoe holder, and coat hanger.

Memento Side Table by Andreas Anwander

Memento Side Table
by Andreas Anwander
© Andreas Anwander

In this beautifully thoughtful design by Andreas Anwander, the Memento side table combines artistry with memory. Crafted with the intent to enshrine artifacts, artwork, or items of profound sentimental value, it offers a protected yet visible space for those treasured keepsakes. Anwander envisioned a sanctuary for heirlooms, where they could be both safeguarded and showcased. With its certified Freijo and Imbuia solid wood construction, combined with a wood-framed glass box, this table invites owners to place their invaluable possessions within, keeping memories alive and ever-present. Even in spaces where square footage is limited, there’s always room for the preservation of keepsakes and beloved heirlooms.

Ariel – The Oven Writing Desk by Federica Zama

Ariel – The Oven Writing Desk
by Federica Zama
© Federica Zama

Ariel is an eclectic piece of furniture, made from briarwood and designed to be mounted onto the wall. This truly unique multifunctional piece serves as a place in which to install an oven while also functioning as a writing desk, mirror, and storage drawer—a delightful combination of functionality and whimsy, inspired by Art Deco design elements. It’s a conceptual piece crafted and built with love, offering a little bit of everything to elevate your space with style and charm.

Night table + Lamp by Diego Faivre

Night table + Lamp by Diego Faivre
© Diego Faivre

This Night Stand with Built-In Lamp is crafted from brightly colored Diego Dough clay—an innovative material designed to infuse daily objects with a sense of joy and vibrancy. This playful, maximalist piece challenges the notion that multifunctionality is exclusive to minimalist aesthetics. This fun night table cleverly combines lighting and storage in one bold and whimsical design. With its eye-catching colors and dynamic form, this piece carries a energetic charm, making it an ideal addition to smaller areas in need of a lively touch.

Kula – Wine Cooler & Vase by Frau Caze – Carolin Zeyher

KULA provides the necessary coolness when it comes to cooling bottles and also doubles as an attractive vase. Due to its minimalist, understated design, Kula makes sure that the attention is on the contents you fill it with – whether that is a bottle of wine or a still-life of wild flora.
The name Kula also refers to a ritual gift exchange system among the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands, where flowers are exchanged for wine – and vice versa.

Cubo by Edoardo Lietti Studio, Denmark

Cubo by Edoardo Lietti Studio, Denmark
© Edoardo Lietti Studio

An ingenious space-saving solution, this side table offers adjustable height and a personalized touch with space for beloved objects and books. Crafted from birch plywood and adorned with natural pigments, it seamlessly blends Bauhaus principles with minimalist design

Browse our catalogue of Multifunctional Furniture & Sustainable Design

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