Design Lesson
Mar 3, 2010

Design lesson: 7 smart pieces

By: Kimberley Seldon

Design lesson: 7 smart pieces Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Mar 3, 2010

Design lesson: 7 smart pieces

By: Kimberley Seldon

Your room is nearly finished, but when you look around, something seems to be missing. A versatile furniture item just might fill the void. Each of the options here promises flexible serviceability in a range of styles and price points. When investing in your home, look to these multitasking pieces to bridge the gap between decorative and functional with ease.

1 Armoire
Graceful proportions and strong vertical lines make the hardworking armoire an ideal purchase. Highly adaptable, it provides serious storage as well as a focal point. Here's where and how to use one.
In the living room: Hide electronics or stock a bar.
In the dining room: Keep dishes and stemware at hand.
In the bedroom: Store bulky sweaters or increase hanging space.
In the kitchen: Create an instant pantry.
In the bathroom: Stow towels and linens out of sight.

2 Daybed
A multipurpose alternative to the sofa, an upholstered daybed offers an oasis of relaxed style. In a small bedroom or apartment, it's a space-smart necessity, providing both daytime seating and nighttime sleeping. And when positioned in the centre of an open-concept space and piled with decorative toss cushions, a daybed can be a chic way to delineate the living and dining areas without blocking views.

3 Chest of drawers
Winner of the most adaptable award, a sensational chest of drawers can suit any purpose -- from storing linens in a hallway to baby clothes in a nursery to tableware in a dining room. With some modifications, a chest of drawers can also be transformed into a sophisticated bathroom vanity.

4 Bench
Consider using a bench as a simple space-saving alternative to dining chairs or as an additional perch in a living room or entrance hall. When space is limited, a backless piece offers a convenient surface at the foot of a bed. Layer a bench under a console table to create some visual depth and to pull out as needed for occasional seating.


Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.

5 Ottoman
Place an ottoman in front of an infrequently used chair to turn it into a desired destination for reading or watching TV. But wait -- this flexible piece of furniture is not just for tender tootsies. A generously proportioned one offers extra seating, and some provide storage. Rather than the standard hall table in an entrance, go for a round ottoman and watch your guests gather and linger.

6 Folding screen
The versatile folding screen stylishly fills a purposeless corner, divides an open-concept space and hides storage in nearly any room. Use a screen to offer a sense of privacy to an overnight guest sleeping on the pullout sofa in the living room. When criss-crossed with lengths of ribbons, an upholstered folding screen can be transformed into a unique display board for invitations and family photographs.

7 Console table
Add extra style and loads of practicality by including a console table in your decorating plans. It doesn't have the visual weight of a secretary or buffet, but it still provides an additional surface just where you need it. Tuck a console table behind a sofa to hold a lamp and reading material, or in the entranceway, ready to capture keys and handbags at day's end.


Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.
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Design Lesson

Design lesson: 7 smart pieces