Get in touch via Email:        +254740959995                  Nairobi, Kenya    

Double duty furniture.More than meets the eye

In my previous post here, I mentioned getting pieces for the home which do double duty. These pieces which I refer to as double duty furniture, would give more functionality due to their inbuilt uniqueness, as well as have a long-term economic advantage due to the fact that you get more function (double) out of one piece and one price. Often times and among most people I know, such items come in handy where space is a bit tight or limited. For many people this is the only way to live –if you want peace and harmony within your walls. The good thing about these pieces is you get to use very space in your house to the max!

However, space challenges aside, and for those for whom space is not an issue, it is still very rewarding to have pieces that cleverly hide their multi-functionality while still displaying their beauty. The other trick with small spaces is to add double duty furniture that besides doing more for you, can be moved out of the way and hidden easily. A great example I can think of and which we had while growing up, were those tables which had 3 or 4 stools tucked underneath them.Nested tables,remember them?

Double duty furniture
Nested tables and stools


In some cases, the multi-functionality is built-in, whilst in other cases the clever ways that the piece can be used is really up to you. Take for example the case of beds with underneath storage. This is built-into the design of the bed. The piece of furniture’s core function is for sleeping/lying down. However, it also has the added value of having drawers at the bottom which allow one to store items like bedding or books. This also ensures that the items are hidden from view.

Double duty furniture
Bed with built-in storage

Another example of a piece that can be used cleverly and also enhances the home decor, is using a photo frame as a storage space for jewellery while it displays some interesting image.Other examples of pieces in the home that do double duty are :

  • Ottomans that can serve as storage space:The ottoman can be used for hiding toys, board games and just stuff that lies around in the living area. It can also be used for seating, a footrest as well as a coffee table!
Double duty furniture


  • A dresser or chest of drawers used as a TV stand.

This is also cool as the drawers can be used for storing all manner of stuff.


  • Using a book-case as a room divider.I love this idea and it is feasible to carry-off especially if you take some time to consider the dimensions of the room visa vis the book case. You don’t want an overpowering book case in the room-this ‘swallows’ up the space and makes it look smaller. This creates cosy rooms within a larger room and makes for interesting visual appeal. Not to mention that the items on display on the book case can also be cleverly positioned to play against this theme/idea-they don’t have to be books.


  • Seats and shelves:

I have seen this especially well executed where you have a bay window in the house. This is a window that projects outward from the main walls of a building forming a bay or a recess in a room. The curvature of the wall at this section of the window, provides a great space for fixing a bench for seating which can also have shelves underneath for storage or if the front facing panel is covered, the top part which forms the seat can serve as an opening for storage. This is one of those aspects I will definitely pull off when we get our own house *sigh*


  • Seats and trunks/storage

In the absence of structural designs like bay windows one can also makes use of seating/benches that also have shelves underneath them or storage units that serve as seating spaces-padded or unpadded. I will share a picture of what my ‘fundi’ (carpenter) made, that comes close to this idea.

The opportunities abound, almost as much as the mind can imagine especially with technology going where it is nowadays. That’s another post for another day.

The interesting thing about these pieces of furniture is that they have also undergone a transformation. Before they were purely utilitarian and did not have much by way of aesthetics, there are now more stylish pieces which are not demoted at the cost of, but instead serve the purpose of function. Dror Benshetrit explains it best when he says ‘the best multifunctional furniture often conceals its other side, whether it’s a simple storage bed, a bookshelf that separates to become two chairs, a table or end table that when flipped over works as a serving tray, or a chair that transforms into a step ladder. These pieces have to stand alone because they are prized now just as much for looks as for use’ Enough said.


How have you incorporated your pieces in the home to give you double duty? or do you seek double duty furniture from the start? We would love to hear your take. Please leave a comment in the reply section below.




4 thoughts on “Double duty furniture.More than meets the eye”

  1. Julius Kabiru

    I do have a bed that comes with ‘extras’ or is it ‘fully loaded’ a real make shift and quite handy cant complain. Sometimes in life I feel with tough choices to make we need to equally equip ourselves with life skills to match the daily stresses of living,,,,

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more Julius! We have to, in a sense, bolster ourselves for what gets thrown our way.
      I like the fully loaded phrase…it applies to these kind of pieces in more ways than one and certainly speaks to their worth or value.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love IT! Been looking for the coffee table that also acts as storage. One of my thoughts is perhaps a lamu chest……Onward to saving 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.