Living with Space-Saving Furniture: An Architect's Take
Matus is a resident at ALTA+, an all-inclusive micro-living development in Long Island City. ALTA+ features two- and three-bedroom micro-suites fully furnished with sofa wall beds and convertible coffee-to-dining tables from Resource Furniture. We sat down with Matus to ask him how living with transforming furniture influences his work designing space-efficient housing.
You have one of our sofa wall beds and one of our transforming tables in your suite. How has that transforming furniture made the space more livable?
I don’t think life at ALTA would be possible without kinetic, operable furniture, especially considering the size of my room. Then again, when I think about the size of my room now, it’s really not that much smaller than some of my previous New York City apartments.
To that point, as apartments get smaller and smaller, transforming furniture becomes almost a necessity. Honestly, it has doubled the size of my room. At night I pull out my bed, and I have a nice, queen-sized bed to sleep on. I can put it up during the day, and then that room becomes a living area or a lounge space with a comfortable couch.
Once you complete that transformation, there is a mental conversion that creates the feeling of more space — and that has been key to keeping me happy. You can just fold the bed up and you have an operable, height-adjusting coffee table. You can hide it under the couch, or it can be a coffee table, or it could be a desk. It just makes the experience of living in this type of space so much more flexible and enjoyable.
Do you think your experience living in ALTA, and your experience living with transforming furniture, has affected your work as an architect and designer?
We are involved in a few co-living projects in the office, and I see more of this happening in the future. It’s definitely affected my designs. I feel more comfortable with smaller and smaller spaces now, and not necessarily because I want them to be smaller, but because I feel like I know how to make them more comfortable, and I know how to design friendlier environments for the user.
After living in ALTA and using kinetic furniture, I feel more comfortable designing small spaces now. Having experienced co-living on this scale — in a large building with two roommates in my suite, a shared bathroom and shared kitchen, and kinetic furniture in my own private bedroom — I see how these elements can come together to actually give you a good deal of space and flexibility.
I actually put one [sofa wall bed] into a recent project. It’s a combination office and guest room. The occupants can put the bed up and have a couch; then, when their in-laws come to visit, they can pull out the Murphy bed and use that space as a guest room.
Architectural Project Manager