Posted on July 03, 2014

Double-Duty Condo Furniture: Our Five Must-Haves

Smart condo design goes far beyond efficient floor plans and space-saving layouts. It is also about maximizing your square footage while still keeping your home uncluttered and styled the way you like. 

Over the past few years we have seen more and more retailers offer "condo-sized" furniture - slightly smaller than traditional pieces and usually with simple clean lines as to not overwhelm compact quarters. What's more, some pieces have been brilliantly designed to give condo-dwellers two or more uses in one; we like to refer to these pieces as 'double-duty' furniture. 

If you're in the midst of downsizing from a house to a condo, or if you're just looking to make your space more efficient, keep reading. We've put together a list of some of our favourite pieces and where to find them in Metro Vancouver.

1. Storage Bed

When you think about it, a bed uses up some major square footage in a bedroom. When you were a kid, you probably used the wasted space under your bed to stuff shoeboxes filled with your most prized possessions. However, as a grown-up in 2014, consider a storage bed. This can come with drawers that pull out from the sides, or the entire would-be box spring can open up as a hidden closet (as pictured above). 

One of our favourites: Spectra Storage Bed from Urban Decor (locally-made)

2. Storage Coffee Table / Desk / TV Table

Why would you opt for a simple flat coffee table when you could have one that triples as a storage case and pull-out desk or dining surface? Easily hide away all your magazines and remote controls, and use the pull-out surface as a perfect table on which to eat a meal or get some work done.

One of our favourites: Rustic Storage Coffee Table from West Elm (pictured above)

3. Ottomans & Chests

Utilizing ottomans and chests is possibly the most known and common space-saving furniture solution. They can be used for storage, for tables, or even for seating when extra company arrives. One idea we especially love is customizing the storage element for what you need, whether that means purchasing pieces with smaller storage compartments, or customizing your own. Martha Stewart has a great DIY idea to create an "Office-in-a-Chest" by turning a storage bench into a filing cabinet (view instructions here). 

One of our favourite local stores for ottomans and chests: Briers

4. Entrance Console / Shoe Shelf

With Vancouver's ever-changing weather and range of activities from hiking and biking to jogging and strolling to wining and dining, it's no wonder we all have so many pairs of shoes. Even if you have a large entrance closet in your home, there never seems to be enough space to store all of one's footwear. Most homeowners resort to standard shelves, or worse, mere shoe piles by the door. However, opt for a sleeker solution: a stylish entrance console for your keys and mail that doubles as a hiding place for your pumps, runners, sandals, and more. 

One of our favourites: STÄLL Shoe Cabinet by IKEA (pictured above)

5. Sofa Bed

If you don't have a designated guest room in your condo, definitely consider investing in a convertible sofa to give your overnight guests a comfortable spot to lay their heads - it means you won't have to give up your bed for your in-laws! That said, even if you do have a guest room, consider a convertible sofa over a traditional bed so that your guest room can more easily double as a home office, den, or games room. 

One of our favourites: Bliss Sleeper Sofa by West Elm (pictured above)

If you have any other interesting ideas that were not mentioned here, we'd love to hear them. Tweet us at @BeedieLiving and let us know.