Have you had that dream? You know, the one where you discover another entire room you had never noticed before in your apartment? It’s a weird, but true, NYC rite of passage, even for those of us who are lucky enough to love our apartments. Sadly, those are just dreams, but it is possible to eke out a little more functionality from your apartment with space-saving furniture. These five pieces (we also found some drool worthy options last year at NYCxDesign Week, if you want more options) will give you extra square footage to stretch out in, with style. They might be pricey, but think of them as investments in the New York dream.
Foldaway office Open offices are all the rage nowadays, but at home it’s much nicer to have a separate space so that work doesn’t intrude on the rest of your life. If you don’t have the space for an office, let me introduce the Mayfair Steamer Trunk Secretary by Restoration Hardware ($3995). This oversized trunk, crafted by Timothy Oulton, an antiques dealer and furniture maker in London, is beautifully configured with shelving and a fold-down desk. Working on something top secret? No one will ever suspect what’s in there when it’s all locked up. Otherwise, just closing down for the day will give you a true feeling of being able to leave the office. Out of sight, out of mind. Now let the happy hour begin!
Pop-up table Let’s face it, most of us eat the majority of our meals at home standing at the kitchen counter or sitting at the coffee table in front of the television. But we’re grown ups and we like to have people over for dinner on occasion, maybe hire an affordable personal chef, and have a proper place to sit eat. Resource Furniture should win a lifetime achievement award for building a coffee table that actually transforms into a dining table. Just pull it up, extend it out, and you can host Thanksgiving every year. It has an aluminum base, an array of finishes to choose from, and a smooth lifting mechanism that makes it adjustable to any height. Called the “magic” table, this sleek piece will be your favorite party trick. Made to order, price upon request.
Loft bed It’s a mistake to think that loft beds are just for kids. Consider how much room a bed takes up, and suddenly you have space for a home office, a dining table or band practice. The trick is to stay far away from IKEA and invest in elegant construction that feels more Soho artist’s loft and less summer camp. Zen Carpentry specializes in these constructions, which can be built in a rustic stylle complete with tree branches or in a sleek, modern design. Cubby staircases make running up and down less hazardous than a ladder, and provide built-in storage space. Owner, Sander Hicks has worked as a writer, indie publisher (Soft Skull Press), and cafe builder/owner (Vox Pop in Ditmas Park) before fully realizing his passion for furniture design. He sources much of his material from Build It Green, a salvage yard for reclaimed materials, and works with the mindfulness that his company name would suggest. The average bed runs between $2500 and $3500, but you’ll be gaining an entire floor for a fraction of a gut reno, provided you have the ceiling height to accommodate, of course.
Bike storage you can live with You’ve finally mastered the bike lane, now it’s time to master the art of bike storage. If you’re not lucky enough to have a basement or hallway storage option don’t despair. This gorgeous bike shelf made by Knife and Saw adjusts an unused wall into a superior storage space. Designer Chris Brigham, who is based in San Francisco, set out to create “a piece that kept bikes off the floor but didn’t look like it belonged in a garage.” Mission accomplished with this convenient shelf, which allows you to drop off the mail, your keys, and your helmet and bike in one spot. Really, it transforms your bike from a mode of transportation into a work of art. Choose between solid walnut or solid hickory (both $299) and use drill-in wall studs to keep the rack secure.
The Murphy bed Murphy beds either conjure up a sort of mid-century comedy slapstick scene, or horrific true tales of human suffocation, but a properly installed Murphy bed is both practical and safe. Although many forms include a boxy wall attachment, the best looking versions come from California Closets, masters of transforming a space with custom built-ins. This isn’t going to be your cheapest option, but the results can include storage, decorative trim and full customization. Plus, the effect is very modern, and, dare we say, chic even. Also, a full range of bed sizes are available so you can put one in every room in your apartment. Since these are fully customizable, the price ranges wildly, but expect a simple bed to be around $3000 and shoot up from there. And don’t worry, with a lifetime guarantee, you’ll be protected should any problem unfold.