We like getting our belongings, artefacts and entities custom-built. Customised in way that it serves not only as an efficient tool on everyday basis, but also helps us making our day-to-day activities and tasks easier. 

When it comes to living in compact spaces; also called as small-living, it is thought that compromising on needs and wants will lead to a better and efficient living; but with the evolving transformation of furniture and accessories which take up a major chuck of a habitable space into modular pieces demands no compromises on ones needs and wants.

Nowadays, people prefer small-living or living in small houses or micro-loft apartments not only because they are less expensive but also because they offer a modernised minimalist approach, along with the added advantage of much smaller carbon footprint generation.

When it comes to designing, people often get confused on how to utilise the spaces. With the introduction of modular and deployable furniture, it has become a straightforward and the most coherent approach to design a space in the most flexible way possible. The key is to find ways to build pieces in a way, which does not have a singular function but numerous.

Here are few examples of modular and customised furniture pieces which will help you segregate your spaces in the most efficient manner:

1. Coffee Table and Seating with Seating Stool

This furniture piece is a recent evolution specially designed and constructed for small living and efficient utilisation of space. When interlocked, it is a single piece of furniture that will make up a seating or a table.

And when expanded, it transforms into three different furniture pieces comprising of two chairs and a coffee table. This furniture piece is extremely compact and the dimensions can be customised based on needs.

Coffee table and seating within made in plywood

Materials used for construction:  Plywood

2. Murphy Beds

If one is thinking on combining bedroom with the living space, Murphy Beds form the best possible option. Murphy beds come in all sizes and you can customise them and add accessories based on your needs and usage.

It can be hidden away in a three-seat sofa or an armoire, the bed disappears from the setting and blends in well with the décor of the space, without any hassle.

There are numerous transformations available, both in terms of added furniture and accessories and modifying the supports of the bed in a way that when pulled up they turn into other pieces like a shelf. It offers two types of mechanisms: Piston-lift mechanisms and Spring-lift mechanism. Both are easy to set up and easy to use.

A murphy bed that turns into a sofa

A murphy bed that can be folded into the wall

Materials used for construction:  Plywood sheets for frame, Solid wooden board for frame support, screws, wood glue, veneer tape, cabinet handles, desired paint or finish

3. Foldable Modular Kitchens

Designing kitchen space in small houses is also a big concern. Many things are to be taken care of and considered about before designing a kitchen, like void space for movement and transition, a space for shelves, space for appliances, space for utilities and fan and lights etc.

For this case, a fully functioning, deployable and foldable kitchen turns out to be the most efficient and flexible answer. A Finland-based designer proposed and constructed the idea of foldable kitchens that can fold up into a stylish looking blocks when not under usage and a fully equipped kitchen when under full usage. It is also referred to as a culinary station which is equipped with almost everything; a refrigerator, oven, cooking platform and even a dishwasher.

Its foldability is not the only advantage, it can be placed and folded in different configurations depending on space utility.

Foldable Kitchen that can be folded into a box

Open kitchen of a modular kitchen that can be folded into a box

4. Storage with Coffee Table

This is one of the most popular and efficient furniture pieces. There are many different configurations and designs possible in this case, suiting your needs and comforts. The shapes may range from circular, rectangular to even irregular shape, making this furniture piece very flexible and adaptable to a space.

The function is not just storage within the furniture but also it also is aesthetic in terms of its exteriors. The idea of introducing storage within a solid furniture like this makes its usage active.

A hidden storage underneath the round coffee table top

A 2 drawer storage underneath the coffee table

5. Bookshelf in or Along the Staircase

The often neglected spaces below the staircase, which usually go under-utilised provide an ideal spot for drawers and cabinets or even shelves. There can be numerous possibilities of storage; one can create a discrete space for storing or even displaying shoes.

With its simple joinery and hardware detailing one would not even know the existence of a storage space, making it a safe space. Not just for storage, this space can be used as kids crawl or play area, having given a completely different space assignment.

Just in case if one doesn’t want to make it just a storage space there can even be a cosy spot with your favourite cushions and a shelf full of books, making it a perfect place to unwind while reading a book. The possibilities for this type are endless, making it one of the most efficient modular furniture pieces.

Storage drawers underneath the staircase

A shoe rack next to the staircase near the niche

– Janvi Mangukiya

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