It’s been a year of making the most out of our homes. Sheltering in place prompted us to come up with quick multipurpose home design tips, as many of us rethought the design of our spaces to eke out more function.
What’s really made a world of difference is leaning heavily into multipurpose furniture pieces that are space-saving, make for clever storage, and help give us some sense of order and organization in the home. And in the new age of WFH and family living all rolled up into the same spaces, anything that helps separate work life from home life is game-changing.
Here, to help you maximize your spaces, we’ve rounded up the best multifunctional furniture every home needs—from narrow shelves that double as nightstands to pouf seating that stand in as coffee tables. Think of this as your ultimate checklist for functional investment pieces!
A Sofa Day Bed
A well-sized daybed is the perfect two-in-one piece to instantly transform any room into a space for both lounging and catching some zzz’s. You can easily turn any den, spare room, or basement living space into a combo guest room design by simply pulling in a daybed that doubles as a sofa. You can also use a daybed for work by pulling up a C-table for your laptop—and who can resist working from a sofa that’s also a bed!?
A Storage Bench
When it comes to multifunctional pieces, the storage bench is at the top of our essentials list. Among the many uses for benches, they’re especially great in an entryway or along hallways. Storage benches are also space-savers in a studio apartment or kids room, perfect for blankets and shoes as well as toys. Not to mention, a storage bench also makes for a comfortable seat and a practical surface, which makes it truly an indispensable workhorse in any space.
A Bookcase Nightstand
Instead of a traditional nightstand, pull in a bookshelf next to your bed for a bedside table that also offers tons of vertical storage space. The best part about this multifunctional approach is that the bookshelf utilizes wall space, meaning it gives you storage without taking up floor space. utilize wall space for extra storage. Try a ladder bookshelf for a piece that helps keep your bedside looking and feeling open.
A Console Desk
For many of us, working from home has required us to carve out home offices once and for all. One stylish and space-saving solution we came upon is using a console table as a desk. Because consoles tend to be narrow, they’re perfect for small spaces and easy to pull up along a wall in any room— think a hallway, in front of a window, behind a sofa. If what you’re looking for is a simple surface for you to set up your laptop, a console desk is definitely the way to go!
A Room-Dividing Bookcase
One multipurpose use for lower, wider bookcases is to arrange them as a room divider in large open spaces. It’s a great way to create different areas and “zones” that feel distinct and separate from each other in one room. Consider the living room with an etagere that partitions off a home office corner, or the seating area that’s delineated from the dining space by a low bookshelf. This is a very practical “half wall” approach that also offers you tons of storage.
Console Dining Tables
Just as consoles can double as desks for an office, they can also function as compact dining surfaces. This is great if you have a basement media room that’s dedicated to lounging and TV watching. Simply line up two high-top consoles along a wall or behind a sofa and pull in some barstools to make them casual surfaces for eating. It’ll feel like eating out at a laid-back bar where you can snack and watch the game all at once.
A Dresser TV Stand
If you’re like us, TV in the bedroom is where it’s at. Get the most out of your space by having a dresser double as a TV stand. It’s a practical and space-saving solution for any bedroom, and especially if you live in a studio apartment or have a small bedroom. The dresser offers you all your practical clothing storage and more, but it also has the bulk to hold up a large and heavy TV. It’s the perfect multipurpose use of a dresser in an unexpected way. If you need help finding the right dresser, check out our roundup of best storage furniture for your needs.
A Dresser & Changing Table
For new parents, a multifunctional use for a dresser is to use the surface as a changing table by adding a pad and topper. This is a serious space saver since it means you can skip an actual changing table, and it’s a solution that can work in small and spacious nurseries alike. Just make sure you choose a dresser that’s wide and deep enough and at the right height for comfortable changing for both baby and parent.
Pouf Coffee Table
Like storage benches, poufs are serious multitaskers that can act as a coffee table—or footrests and extra seating. They’re also soft and relatively easy to move around, which makes them perfect kid-friendly pieces in family rooms and homes with little children. Poufs are also great multipurpose pieces to have in an apartment or studio since they’re so versatile in use and can easily be stowed or stacked away in corners.
A Bench Coffee Table
Similar to poufs, an upholstered bench makes for a stylish coffee table alternative that’s great in narrow living spaces. In a pinch, the bench can also be pulled out as extra seating. Consider an open-base bench, which will give you additional space underneath to tuck in a pouf or baskets for additional storage. Just be sure to choose a bench that’s proportional in height to your sofa.
A Dresser Nightstand
You can instantly add a multipurpose function to any small bedroom by swapping in a dresser for your nightstand. The dresser surface will give you adequate space for all your nightstand essentials, like a lamp, books, a tray, or a plant, while the deep drawers will provide ample storage beyond the normal bedside table. Remember to check that the dresser isn’t too tall, where you can’t comfortably reach for things like your phone from bed. To really make the most out of a tiny bedroom, you’ll want to also bring in these small space furniture essentials.
A Desk Nightstand
When your small bedroom is also your office, arrange a desk next to your bed for a nightstand that does it all. The best part about this approach is that you can get away with decorating just one side of your bed since the desk has everything you need—a functional surface, good storage, a workspace. It’s a stylish multifunctional solution we especially love in small spaces like a studio apartment or kids bedroom. Keep to a desk with a reasonable height so that it doesn’t tower over your bed.
A Storage Coffee Table
One of our favorite sneaky storage ideas is a nondescript storage coffee table that has a spacious hidden compartment for holding small accessories, like throw blankets, games, toys, books, extra, candles, you name it! It’s the ultimate multipurpose furniture piece that gives you storage without looking like a storage piece. If you have a family room or living space that also functions as a default playspace for kids, you can’t go wrong with a storage coffee table!