We blame a lot of things on millennials. We especially like to harangue their ‘unwillingness’ to own property. We theorise about how they’re a mobile generation, how they prefer contract work to permanent positions, or would rather be backpacking gypsies. This nomadic lifestyle negates the need for material possessions. You don’t need furniture when your residential addresses are based on couch-surfing and AirBnB. While many of these (not-so-)youngsters are genuinely consumed with wanderlust, some of them are just constrained.
Overwhelmed with student debt, barely making enough to survive, and seeing no options for home ownership, many under-thirties seem to live fleetingly. They don’t put down roots, prefer pets to kids, and their priciest possession is their phone. And because they’re not sure if they’ll ever own a home, their rentals are stylish and cosy, because that’s their version of the good life. Still, they’ve given us a lot of the things we enjoy, like the gig economy and artistic tastes. They’ve also given us the magic of miniature.
It started with tiny houses, for travelling creatives who wanted a home on wheels. Then it went to tiny functionality, where a single item of clothing or furniture can apply to multiple functions. Think of it like a female wardrobe. A pair of jeans can go from casual to classy simply by changing shoes and earrings. Material goods can exhibit that quality as well. Think of reversible cushions, convertible cars, or hybrid all-road vehicles. Now let’s look at how this versatility can be applied to home furniture.
Bed and breakfast
It’s the oldest options there is – the sofa-bed. We already nap on regular seats, and some of us deliberately buy cosy couches so our guests (and errant spouses) can spend the night on them. When you invest in a sofa-bed, it’s simply the next level. The manufacturer took a few extra steps, making the back of the chair convertible. It folds out flat to accommodate a larger mattress and make your sleep more restful. Other models have hinges and remote-control functionality to ease the process.
Alcova is a good example of a sofa-bed, with its crimson tone and extra storage hidden under the seat. A more contemporary option is Belini, a light L-shaped leather lounge that folds out into a recliner. You can buy a Belini in fabric or leather, and it doesn’t stretch out flat, but it’s perfect for lazing as you watch your favourite sport. For the breakfast portion of it, let’s look at outdoor kitchen furniture. A fire-table is a lovely combination of heater and meal nook.
These outdoor heaters are shaped tables with a stainless steel burner as their centrepieces. The flames can be cased in using glass sleeves, and the fire rises out of a bed of rocks, embers, logs, or crushed crystals. Regency makes several fire-tables, sized for dinner, drinks, or morning delicacies. The furnace burns gas, and can be coupled with stone benches. Soften the look of the nook by lining your chairs with colourful fabrics, or padding the benches with soft, warm throw pillows.
Arts and drafts
For those who enjoy crafting, a large glass table is a useful tool. It gives you more room to work, and you can see your crafting colours more clearly. With coloured surfaces, you won’t get the full effect of your chosen tone. Large tables are useful if you host a lot, but can be wasted on a small family, so why not get furniture that does both? Esteso is an extending table made from glass and metal. You can use it in its regular dimensions, then when you have more guests (or a larger drawing), you can stretch it out from a width of 52 to 73 to 103. A fully extended Esteso can seat ten, with an option of glass or ceramic topping.
Other extended dining tables include the Orbital. It has a gorgeous elliptical shape and advanced extension technology. The table stands on an artistically shaped polyurethane pedestal. The table-top is available in glass, gold onyx, white marble, and black marble. You could try the Key table too, with its sliding extension, though the slider isn’t locked in as stylistically as the other brands we’ve mentioned. The thing to note about extending tables is the weight you apply on them. Check the security of the latch before you pounce on it.
Finally, you could opt for something with a more practical leaning. Look into IKEA or Wayfair for a broad range of dining tables that convert into shelves, or kitchen nooks that combine tables and chairs into a single comprehensive booth. They’re useful for kids’ homework too, because they create a little ‘room’, erecting a psychological distraction buffer. Some of these units are less than $200, or you could build it yourself. #DIY