This afternoon I’m pleased to share with you an article from a guest writer, US designer Oliver Milo Davis – an interior designer who loves to play with spatial designs. He likes being practical in his concepts and at the same time, he likes things that are pleasing to the eyes. He grew up rearranging his home’s furniture and accessories. He likes writing too as a way of expressing and sharing his many ideas. Here’s his post on furnishing studio apartments – enjoy!
First there were sofas, then sofa beds and now storage sofas; not the kind that you dismantle when your guests leave only to have to reassemble them when your next guests arrive. No, I’m talking about storage sofas – saving space for condo living.
I once had to design what used to be called a condo – short for condominium – but which I now refer to as a studio flat because there was no bedroom, thus no bed as such but it was still a home. The price I paid for it which was the main reason for buying it I have to admit, was such that it could never be a one bed flat but I did not let that put me off.
Firstly I drew up a list of the key essentials and the first unit on the list was a bed. Without a bedroom, I still needed somewhere to lay my head down, complete with a mattress and pillows. What options did I have without a bedroom?
Well, of course, there was the ubiquitous sofa bed so loved of designers throughout the 60’s and 70’s because of its dual purpose usage and space saving usability. With flexible and easily foldable mattresses, sofa beds were one of the most popular ways of providing comfortable seating in the living room while doubling up as a bed when guests retired for the night. Leather sofa beds were by far the most popular as not only did they not increase substantially in price but they also provided the smartest unit of furniture in the home and were equally adaptable when expanded into a full sized bed.
Even sofa beds did not seem to be an option since it would have added to the number of units in the room, taking up space, which I did not really have since the key thing to remember was that I had to save space not add to it with different units of furniture.
Then I came up with the idea – well I say I came up with it but if the truth be told I had actually first seen the idea – on the stage in a production of Streetcar Named Desire, even though I did not have the best view in the house. Much of the play took place in the bedroom but because of the scene changing, they had to store the bed somewhere when the stage became the kitchen. Some stages revolve in order to make scene changes but this stage was static and the props all had dual purpose uses.
Out of sight
The answer was quite ingeniously to have the bed collapse upwards into a cupboard, complete with a proper door where it could be stored out of sight and no one was any the wiser that the door was anything but another room. Thus the sofa bed was safely stored out of sight while the actors portrayed the next scene in the living room. Ingenious eh!
Well not quite as this, of course, has led to several slapstick moments in music halls and theatres throughout the world with several plays – or perhaps we should call them farces – featuring the stored away sofa bed collapsing and reassembling at inopportune moments; the main protagonists exiting through what they thought was the way out; errant husbands/wives slipping unseen out of the room when their other halves returned unexpectedly or just hiding while their other halves were exited stage left.
But in design terms, sofa beds are the answer to saving space for studio living.
Thanks for this interesting interior design post Oliver! Check out his author profile here Oliver Milo Davis