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Get more flexibility from dual-purpose furnishings in room design

March 24, 2014

Hickory Distressed Hardwood FloorsFurniture that can serve more than one purpose is a boon to people who live in a small apartment or a house that's outgrown their family's needs. Because it will be used in different ways over the years, double-duty furniture has the staying power of classic hickory hardwood flooring like Anderson's Vintage Bastille collection.

In every home, there are furnishings that can be moved around to suit periodic changes in room design as well as make the most of the space that's available. More than ever, designers are advising their clients to make the most of their home's footprint by utilizing furniture that serves dual purposes.

Interior designer Danielle Lareau suggested that home decorators find a sofa that's deep enough to double as a bed for overnight visitors and a coffee table that can be raised to dining table height.

In cases when a room isn't used much - such as a dining room - it should be re-arranged to serve another activity. Lareau told the Vancouver Sun it makes sense to use such spaces for activities that happen more frequently in the home.

Making the most of space
For many years, Canadian furniture store owner Tara Bushby has specialized in multi-purpose furnishings because of their versatile use in home design.

"You can have guests over but not have to change the way you live - have it work as a fully functioning office and, without moving a book, switch it around to create a bedroom," Bushby told the Sun.

According to Apartment Therapy, a movable, tall bookshelf can serve as a room divider to separate activity areas within a family room or to simplify the layout of a studio apartment. The same use can be made of bamboo shades, which can be raised when a larger space is needed.

Such movable "walls" are effective not only in apartments, but in a lengthy finished basement or a great room divided into activity areas. The weave also allows light to filter into areas on both sides, which provides the feeling of an open airy space.

Designer Alda Pereira has used the double-duty concept in her three-story townhouse. A red lacquer Japanese sculptural piece is not only beautiful, but also has compartments for Pereira to store items from linens to paperwork. Making the most of her space, her hallway doubles as a gallery for artwork and collectibles.