Clever Multi-Purpose Furniture Pieces For Tiny Homes

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Step aside, futon. Move over library chair. Double- or triple-duty furniture can assist you in making the most of every inch of space in your home, apartment, tiny house, or motor coach. Clever and ingenious in their construction, these multi-purpose furnishings come in thousands of styles. With so many choices, choose something that fits your space and needs. Consider soft furniture with hidden storage compartments or wall-mounted tables and desks that take up no floor space. These furnishings provide convenient places for bits, bobs, blankets, and linens. When choosing tiny house items, check out thrift stores and secondhand shops for pieces that express your personality.

No, it's not your imagination. Homes are downsizing these days. According to Statista, single-family homes continue to trend smaller. Apartments are also on the smaller side (via Flex). More and more people are moving into mobile residences and giving van life a try (via The Economist). Perhaps it's because there are so many tiny houses that are incredibly charming. Due to the continuing popularity of tiny homes, recreational vehicles, and fifth wheels, finding the right pieces can be challenging. However, some regular size furniture can work in any space. Here are some ideas for sprucing up your living space with small-scale furniture.

Mix in some double-duty beds

No matter where you lay your head at night, a comfy bed is essential. Your bed can be a mild-mannered lounger or wall by day and a stellar sleep spot at night. One of our first clever pieces is the coolest thing with perhaps the worst name, the trundle bed. Living Spaces says a trundle is a big platform with casters that usually stay under the twin-sized bed. One bed is hidden during the day, while the small bed functions as a daybed. At night, pull out the trundle, and in a few seconds, two twin beds magically become luxurious king-size beds.

Perhaps the bed is ole Murphy. It was invented by William Lawrence Murphy when he needed a place to hide his bed. Bound by the rules of the day, he created a way to conceal his bed to entertain women (via Smart Spaces). The wall bed is a hinged bed that stores vertically. You can keep it practically out of sight during the day in a cabinet. At bedtime, open the doors and pull down the bed.

Purchase the Andover Mills Astra Twin Daybed with Trundle at Wayfair for $353.99

Snag the coolest couch and clutter catchers

While we've been snuggling on our comfy conventional couches, crafty constructors have been retooling the once mundane sofa. If you've ever spent an uncomfortable night on a decades-old convertible sofa bed, today's sofa beds are something to behold. When looking at the mattress, Mattress Insider says there are six different types: air over coil, gel memory foam, innerspring, latex, polyurethane foam, and traditional memory foam. They suggest the gel memory foam mattress not just because of its near-perfect firmness but also because the gel pulls heat from your body, keeping you cool.

What about all that storage space sitting unused on your run-of-the-mill couch? Furniture designers have located those little storage nooks and made the most of them. We don't mean little storage pockets on the mattress sides. Focus on the deep sliding storage drawers or chests under the mattress. Even those looking for a little form over function piece can find great accessories (via Apartment Therapy). It's best to invest a little more on a sofa where your family gathers. There are plenty of suitable options for overnight guests and nighttime games available for around $500.00.

Purchase the Modern Light Gray Cotton Linen Sofa Bed at Homary for $769.99

Save floor space with wall-mounted furniture

Maybe you recall that little ironing board occupying a small cabinet behind the kitchen or laundry room door. Or perhaps you thought that was a neat way to hide the ironing board. Tiny houses often feature folding wall-mounted furniture. When folded up, it takes no floor space in your living area. Wall-mounted desks and tables can be work and dining surfaces, and some designs provide shelves for storage. Make sure to follow all installation instructions to ensure safety.

Wooden tables and desks are simple to create within your current decor. According to HGTV, you can make these space-saving desks with wood, decorative panels, hinges, latches, and screws from simple hinged designs. You'll need a measuring tape, wood glue and filler, sandpaper, a drill with bits, a pencil and paint, and painting supplies. Start by assembling the frame, adding shelves and decorative panels, and finally painting the desk. Once the desk is complete, flip it over and attach the hardware, hinges, and latches. Finish by mounting your clever storage solution.

Purchase the Wooden Fold Out Convertible Wall Mount Desk at Walmart for $149.16

Tansus put the fun in functional

According to Tansu Conservation, tansu boxes and chests originated over 400 years ago during Japan's Edo period. These beautiful and functional tansu chests are optimal storage for tiny homes. A tansu is a traditional wooden Japanese chest of drawers characterized by its portability. Some, made in the stair-step style, are a popular tiny home adaptation. Tansu stairs are sturdier than ladders and are used as steps up to the loft in a house. They sit next to the wall, providing extra security while climbing and descending. Tansu stairs could be one of the best storage solutions for tiny home dwellers (via Super Tiny Homes). Safe, full of storage space, and customizable, tansus can be a do-it-yourself project. You can assemble multiple wooden boxes to suit your surroundings.

More than stairs, the attractive step design is an elegant piece of furniture for storing everything from blankets and books to miscellaneous cords and remote controls. Originally sturdy wooden cargo containers, these antique pieces feature cedar, elm, or pine construction (via Houzz). These often carved pieces maintain their clean lines, so go ahead and introduce them into all types of interior design schemes.

Purchase the Japanese Style Step Tansu Chest at Houzz for $2,934

Adjustable height desks and tables

Taking a page from the office furniture playbook, standing and adjustable desks are some of the latest in tiny home multi-purpose furnishings. Haiken reports that adjustable desks increase productivity and mental acuity and reduce back pain. Since living on the road often means working on the go, having a comfortable yet space-conscious work space with adjustable surfaces is essential. Coffee tables can now serve double-duty by raising and lowering to convert into a desk, table, dining, or craft areas.

Heavy-duty storage tables weigh hundreds of pounds and can feature hydraulics. Lift-top coffee tables look great by your couch and provide ample storage, family dining, and overall versatility (via Coaster Furniture). They suggest measuring the area before shopping, and when choosing a table, inspect the hinges and hardware to ensure it's strong and well-attached. Some tables even come with stowable stools to help complete the dining room vibe.

Purchase the Ford Adjustable Height Desk for $2,927 at Zuri Furniture

Yep, the bunk bed is back

The iconic bunk bed is back, baby. Today's bunk beds feature the top bunk treatment and are incredibly comfortable. Far from use in sleeping porches and kids' rooms, the flimsy bunk beds of yesteryear have grown up into well-constructed loft beds, beds with stairs, and large deluxe mattresses. These sleeping arrangements can work for large family groups in smaller footprint homes. Bunk beds are great for vacation homes, dorms, apartments, lodges, and summer cabins.

Maxtrix Kids found that adult loft or bunk beds are getting more popular and are stylish and comfortable sleeping solutions. The main features of adult bunk beds include longer mattresses — like twin XL, the dorm room mattress — and extra sturdiness to support adults (via Heavy Duty Bunk Beds). They recommend looking for beds with qualities and warranties and ensuring the bed will accommodate the sleeper. Strong frames are made from welded metal tubes and can support 500 pounds.

Purchase the DHP Studio Loft Bunk Bed at Amazon for $420

Add an adorable door

This incredible storage idea helps hide clutter and gives it a place to call (tiny) home. Picture a cabinet and a door — creating a door-sized medicine cabinet, and you've got the Cabidor. Little House Lovely Home says this unique cabinet solves the most common tiny home problem: storage. Make the most of that hidden space that sits behind your doors. These store doors are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, craft and sewing rooms, or any room that needs a stuff repository. This storage idea is easy to install and use (via Tiny House, Huge Ideas).

There are two fixed shelves and eight adjustable shelves in both the basic and the deluxe models. The moveable shelves made storing bathroom potions, kitchen herbs, or craft supplies fully customizable (via New York Magazine). This solution is a great way to store small and narrow items, like makeup, pet supplies, baby items, canned goods, jewelry, and cleaning products. The door/cabinet attaches to your existing door hinges.

Purchase the Cabidor Deluxe: Mirror for $259.99 at Cabidor

It's hammock time

The simple hammock is lightweight, strong, portable, and perfect for sleeping, storage, and tucking in for a snack and book break. Use hammocks and netting to make the most of all the available height in your tiny house's bedroom, porch, or living area. News18 reports that swinging in a hammock has health benefits, including reducing stress and increasing concentration.

Hammocks are an ideal bed alternative, and they come down in the morning (via Tiny House Blog). Millions of people sleep on these inexpensive and space-saving hammocks every night. Instead of getting a hammock with a bulky stand, install some sturdy hooks to support the hammock. Before you start hammocking (yep, that's a thing), make sure you choose one that is the right size, material, and support level you need. They're the perfect place to solve a word puzzle or watch a few crazy cat videos surrounded by nest-like comfort. Hammocks are also great for loft and storage space (via Living Big in a Tiny House).

Purchase the Cotton Queen Size Hammock at Seaside Hammocks for $59

Smarter than your average table

Every once in a while, we discover a product that appeals to everyone who wants to make their living space more comfortable. Smart is this coffee table's middle name. The Sobro Smart Coffee Table has a little something for everyone who wants to connect from the comfort of the couch. This coffee table caused quite a stir on TikTok, according to House Beautiful, because it's got a fridge drawer. It also has two other drawers for snacks, remote controls, and power cords. It's deep enough to store your favorite beverages, and there are other cool electronic features. Of course, there are two USB charging ports, four 110V outlets, and remote-controlled rainbow adjustable LED lighting. Make any movie or show sound even better by connecting them to the upgraded built-in Bluetooth speakers.

Impress your friends and wow your neighbors when you host game or board game night. Plus, it's not complicated to use since everything is right at your fingertips. The sleek, black tempered glass-topped coffee table conceals touch-screen controls to make connecting to your devices and screens simple. This table gives you everything you want without moving — including setting the mood with those multi-colored under-mount lighting (via Homedit).

Purchase the Sobro Smart Coffee Table at Wayfair for $1,299

A transforming table

There are no robots, but this ingenious table does deliver far more than meets the eye. These hardwood dining sets feature everything you need to seat a couple or a couple of families. Living Cozy claims this is the last table any home will ever need. While it can fold up to a narrow accent table, five sets are included with the Transformer Table to enable five additional configurations. You can seat up to 12 people on the expandable benches that reach 135 inches. The collapsed table is only 18 inches long but can extend to 118 inches for all your guests, projects, parties, and events.

Crafted from sustainable and strong hardwoods — American Mahogany, Siberian Birch, Canadian Dark Oak, or colorful Australian Acacia — the benches can hold 1,200 pounds. Plus, the alluring tables are water and fire-resistant. The creative design is a real space and money saver, expanding to be seven times larger than its compact size (via Yanko Design). Who doesn't need dining, studying, craft, entertaining, and gathering areas suited to current needs? It's rare to find this amount of table space unless you're in a college library.

Purchase the Transformer Ultimate Dining Set at Transformer Table for $2,749

Not your grandmother's folding furniture

Where is the best place to enjoy a TV dinner? On an updated and upgraded folding tray table, of course. Folding accent tables are great for enjoying a little decadent screen time and function as tables, entry tables, and even nightstands. Invented in the 1950s, when the television reached homes across America, these portable, storable spaces are essential for every tiny home. When choosing TV trays, Popular Mechanics says to think about the size of the tabletop and what you will use it for. If you have kids, choose sturdy, waterproof, and weight-bearing tables. All grown up? Consider an elegant lucite topped brass table or glass-topped chrome TV tray.

Folding chairs have evolved since the days of those brown metal chairs in the high school auditorium. From bamboo and exotic woods to woven, caned, and padded panel chairs to sculptural and armchair styles, there are so many folding chair options that you're bound to find great options (via Home Designing). With folding furnishings, you have a portable office and study area that conveniently stores away when your task is complete. Also, it keeps the space clean and clutter-free.

Purchase the Novo Acrylic Folding Table at CB2 for $169

A mid-century modern dream

From space-age-looking sleeping pods to multifunction bedding systems, these contemporary sets are the bed solutions of the future. It's a bedroom in a box. Straight from the 1960s TV show "The Jetsons," these futuristic beds could be in your tiny house, apartment, or cabin. They are super cool and offer a ton of space-saving comfort for your home.

My Modern Met claims these beds are so comfy and functional that you'll never want to leave your bedroom. With charging stations, lights, and Bluetooth speakers, beds like these even come with massaging chairs. These modular bed units are perfect to maximize small spaces like apartments (via Home Harmonizing). There are many models and varieties, but most don't include mattresses. These beds are also great for dorm rooms and additional dwelling units due to their storage drawers and cubbies. They will help you stay organized and save time by having everything within an arm's reach. A room outfitted with this level of functionality is forward-thinking. You can also customize it based on your preferences!

Purchase the Gracie Modular Smart Bed at Jubilee Furniture for $2,900

Go for wooden storage

Last but certainly not least, we are taking you back to school and back in time. These wooden trunks provide ample mobile storage. If you have kids or love crafting and sewing, these rolling, deep storage carts make it easy to keep your projects together. This tote holder is a problem solver. Both styles are 53-inches tall, certified sustainable, and can hold hundreds of pounds. iTinyHouses loves rolling cabinets because you can roll them away when you're project is complete.

Want something different? Rolling trunks or gentleman's chests are a sophisticated way to store clothing, accessories, and dressing items. Wood dressers are great because there are so many designs, styles, and features (via Home Stratosphere). Almost three feet tall, dark and handsome, these five-drawer replica trunks provide a comfortable sleeping area for any room in your home or apartment. The solid wood is painted black, so it looks sleek and stylish. The top unlatches, making the top area perfect for storing dressing and personal items, serving coffee, or even an open bar.

Purchase the Kerens 5 Drawer Gentleman's Chest at Wayfair for $1,299

Full, queen, and king of convertible furnishings

Sometimes big things come in small packages. Take this four-in-one multi-function furnishing, for example. The ottoman unfolds into a sofa bed, sofa, lounger, and bed. According to Go Downsize, these furnishings are perfect for any small room or a tiny house, and it's easy to transform from one use to the next. There are plenty of creative ways to decorate an ottoman. Picture a humble upholstered ottoman in dark gray linen. Then add an adjustable headrest and use it as a sofa or a couch. Relax or recline, knowing the sturdy metal frame can support 440 pounds. Make sure to check the weight limits and look for high-quality construction.

Accent your living area with a salmon pink, black, or gray velvet-covered multi-function ottoman. Even ottomans with revealing hidden storage areas are a must-have (via Simply Storing). An ideal blend of comfort and space-saving, these convertible furnishings are perfect for small spaces like offices, guest rooms, and tiny houses. Pieces like these make thoughtful gifts for the happy couple, the new homeowners, or any college grads in your life.

Find the Vonanda Sofa Bed at Amazon for $399.99