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As a part of the broader trend towards shrinking living spaces, we’re seeing design become more intentional and a renewed focus on functionality. When living space is ample, designers happily focus on the single-function object because homeowners have seemingly infinite room to store things. When space is limited, however, each object needs to work harder to earn its place.


The buzzword here is “double-duty furniture” – pieces that are as functional as they are stylish. They can be big, such as beds that double as desks or tables at the flick of a switch, or small, like Ikea’s newly launched wireless charging solutions. These either come integrated into products or as kits to be installed in existing pieces, adding another layer of functionality that is particularly relevant to our connected lives.


A great local example of a design that speaks to this trend in a slightly different way is the Play Play furniture range by De Steyl in collaboration with Renée Rossouw. The latest evolution takes the form of modular stacking units that can create storage solutions of varying sizes, allowing you to mix and match patterns and create the piece that fits into your home.


As the way we understand the function of our living spaces changes, the way we choose to define that space does too. The trend in homes is towards spaces that are fluid and responsive, rather than rooms dictated by single functions, so people are increasingly looking to designs that help them to do more with less.

Words: Chris Reid
Images: De Steyl


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