I have written before about the importance of creating a dedicated workspace that can be office from 9-5 and cocktail lounge by half past. It’s certainly an aspirational idea now that so many of us work from home and, crucially, so many of us don’t have a “spare” room that can be turned into an office.
This time last year for many of us the home office was a desk – either in a room or a corner – where we could escape for an hour on a Saturday morning to “just catch up on some admin darling, can you watch the kids”. Which was code for reading the paper, scrolling the gram and generally not doing anything that much resembled work.
And then 2020 blew in and blew up. And suddenly that home office corner became a space where we actually had to sit and be productive for hours on end. Even the kids had to find somewhere to work as well. No wonder a survey found that nine per cent of people were “working” (hiding/crying/drinking) in the bathroom.
One of my suggestions for a multi-tasking space has always been the console table. If possible with a drawer that means you can put stuff away at the end of the day and replace the laptop with a tray of drinks. This is my current favourite and it is promised back in stock in three weeks (the black one is in stock now).
But I’m pleased to see that other options are now emerging from companies new and old. First up the new. Fuzl is a new crowdfunded start-up focused on responsible & sustainable furniture, starting from design concept all the way through to packaging and final construction. All of their designs are self-assembly and are the first furniture pieces in the UK that simply clip together (using specialist QIK-Clips™) – so there is no need to use any tools when building their designs. That’s already helpful isn’t it? In addition they design all of their pieces to allow for refurbishment and replacement parts, instead of the whole design having to be disposed of should any damage occur.
And this table can be a desk or a dining table or turn to be a coffee table. So for £600 you get three pieces of furniture. In addition to these two colours above (black and tomato) it also comes in moss, pollen, lobster (that’s the living navy version) and natural birch. AND, because they are so new they are offering a 10 per cent discount with the code MATH10. There are also benches and chairs, side tables and stools available. And if you are unsure how it works then here’s a video.
Another new idea which landed in my inbox recently is the tablebed by the couch potato company. It converts from one to the other in a simple movement which can be done by one person. So you can combine working or eating with sleeping and relaxing in one piece of furniture. The single version would suit apartment living or whenever you need to create a workspace that doubles up as a single spare room and it comes with a mattress included.
The idea came when Dine Renfors (the Finnish inventor) wanted to find a way to make the space in his home more efficient and realised that the two largest pieces of furniture are the bed and the dining table and that yoyu never use both at the same time (yes clearly he either has no sofa or he’s not getting in to that here, be quiet at back!). So, anyway, this realisation led him to this piece of furniture. The single version, see below, works as a desk that then flips out to be a single bed.
There is both a single (£2,600) and a double version (£3,500).
Sadly I don’t have a video for this one but the company says the mattress stores inside and the seals are waterproof so even if you spill something during dinner your bed will still be dry.
Sticking with adjustable tables, and Philippa McFarlane bought this adjustable crank table from Dutch company DT-69. You have have it low with chairs for dining or crank up up and add stools for more of a bar/party feel.
In a smaller version this might also work either as a standing desk or a dining table. Or maybe you want to forget about work and just have a room that goes from dining to party and bypasses the 9-5 altogether. Philippa can also raise the height of the lights too.
Next, less pretty but very practical, is the Izzy from made.com which is billed as a wall-mounted dining table but I think it might work really well as a desk in a kitchen as you could store the paperwork and pens etc inside and drop it down to work, and eat lunch come to that. It’s not wide enough for the printer but that can go in another room. My printer is in my office even though I am often on the sofa.
And finally, this desk comes with adjustable panels so if you are in a one room and don’t want to be rebuilding furniture every night you can just use the panels as a screen to hide the desk mess from view.
And while wandering around the corridors of La Redoute I found this single storage bed with pull out truckle which would be perfect for tweens and teens who don’t want cabin beds but like to have everything to hand. This would be great in a large bedroom with its back facing out (although it would be hard to get at the second bed) as it could zone the space.