Inova Marketing Manager Janine Masiewicz shares how multi-functional furniture can improve design and ROI.

When you incorporate multi-functional furniture early on in the design process, you establish a clear vision on how to maximize any given space and can specify accordingly—which means more cohesive design from Day 1 and a better balanced budget.

Let’s explore how multi-functional furniture can improve a space and help maximize profits.

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The Inova Sofa-WallBed as a bed. Image courtesy of Inova

What Is Multi-Functional Furniture?

When I use the term “multi-functional,” I’m referring to furniture that serves a dual purpose. It can transform from one useful purpose into another, all within the same footprint. Multi-functional furniture instantly provides flexibility and the opportunity to both create and save space. Such furniture includes modernized Murphy beds that convert from a bed into a sofa, or a bed that transforms into a table or desk.

Multi-functional should not be mistaken for complicated. In order for multi-functional beds to be included in commercial properties and in use daily, they must be easy to transform without multiple steps.

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During the day, multi-functional furniture can help create more entertaining space. Image courtesy of Inova

How Does Multi-Functional Furniture Create Space?

Multi-functional furniture creates space by opening up square footage that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Space is created when one piece converts into another piece that is smaller than the original.

For example, Inova’s Sofa-WallBed is designed to serve as both the bed and sofa in the room but never at the same time. The sofa’s cushions do not need to be removed; they simply tuck inside the cabinet as the bed is pulled down. Because the sofa position occupies less space than the bed down position, an additional 18 square feet of usable space is created and available daily.

Today, whether we are working from home or limiting our exposure to the outside world, having that extra square footage is no longer only helpful but also critical to living comfortably. That extra space can be used to create a mini home office, for exercise, or to simply lounge for longer periods of time and relax.

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Multi-functional furniture is perfect for small living spaces. Image courtesy of Inova

How Does Multi-Functional Furniture Save Space?

When you think of hotel room or studio apartment design and how those spaces function, does it make sense to permanently give up square footage solely for the purpose of sleeping? After all, other types of living happen in the room. In these spaces, beds, sofas, tables, and desks are all essential—and should be a comfortable and useful size. Design fixes like going small with one or two pieces of furniture doesn’t always make the room feel larger, either. Rather, it can be a reminder of the compromise required to make that space livable.

When comparing the square footage multifunctional beds occupy to the that of an individual bed and sofa or a bed, desk and table, on average up to 40 square-feet of livable space is saved—or as I like to put it “gained back.”And this is achieved simply by incorporating multi-functional furniture, not increasing the floor plan.

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Inova Sofa-WallBed’s gives hotel visitors extra space in their hotel room during the day. Image courtesy of Inova

What are the Design Benefits?

We often hear back from our customers in multi-family and mixed-use spaces that our multi-functional furniture makes all the difference in renting out spaces and retention rates.

Studio apartments, for example, are often rented by busy professionals or serious students who are looking for affordability, convenience, location, and quiet space a small apartment provides. By having multi-functional furniture included within the space, often properties find it significantly easier and faster to rent out studios. They can charge more to help offset the costs. Then, once the resident is in the space, they tend to stay for a longer period of time than compared to other residents. We’re told that the retention rate for studios furnished with multi-functional furniture is typically double the property’s average retention rate.

Over the years, we’ve also worked closely with designers and properties looking for a flexible solution for guest rooms, meeting rooms, reception rooms, suites, and more. We understand that a flexible solution means one that is flexible in both function and style.

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At night, the Sofa-WallBed easily converts to another bed. Image courtesy of Inova

For flexible function, the more ways a property can use the same space to accommodate a variety of guests, the more likely they are to book the rooms consistently, and, in turn, maximize occupancy rate. For example, when a standard guest room with two beds is replaced with one standard bed and one multifunctional bed, the property now has the flexibility to accommodate a single business traveler during the week, plus families or groups on the weekend. Both parties benefit from the additional space saved when the bed is hidden and the desk or sofa is available.

For guests, the inclusion of a multi-functional bed should never be a compromise. The sleep experience must be equal to that of the standard bed offered, which is why all of our beds accommodate a thick mattress and include LED lighting and USB and power outlets for convenience.

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The Inova TableBed, here with coordinating cabinetry, can help residents gain more living space. Image courtesy of Inova

Can I Create Custom Furniture?

Flexibility in styling is equally important as function. When incorporating multi-functional furniture, a designer should not feel limited by styling options. Multi-functional furniture should offer a wide range of styling options and coordinating cabinetry that can achieve a specific design intent. At Inova, we continuously update our product offering and styling options. It’s quite easy for us to modify cabinetry to a specific request that will help maximize the storage space and square footage. Using vertical cabinetry and locating cabinetry above the bed is a simple but very effective way to save square footage space while gaining storage capacity.

Our multi-functional furniture can be manufactured in veneer, lacquer, and laminate finishes, with custom stains and species available. We also offer fabric selections as well as the option to provide your own. Other design options include adding trim, scribing, artwork, and power within our cabinetry and nightstands.

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The Inova TableBed transformed for nighttime. Image courtesy of Inova

How Is Multi-Functional Furniture Sustainable?

All core material used to manufacture our furniture—regardless of whether it is veneer, lacquer, or laminate finish—meets the requirement for CARB Phase II Formaldehyde Emissions. Our laminate series, in particular, is manufactured using 100% recovered and recycled wood materials and can provide up to 5 LEED credits when used on a project.

Overall, when thoughtfully included in a design, multi-functional furniture solutions optimize the way a room functions, provide flexibility, make spaces livable, and increase profit for properties.

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