Furniture takes on multifunctional style

“Transformers” was one of the most popular movies of 2007. The plot had two alien robots, the heroic Autobots vs. the villainous Decepticons, disguising themselves as small objects, primarily vehicles, and later transforming themselves into giant robots.

Furniture, looking like one thing, can also be transformed into something else. For instance, consider the Clover Murphy Cabinet Bed from Night &Day Furniture.

“The Murphy Cabinet Bed is foremost a handsome credenza-style cabinet that you can put a television on top of,” said Steve Kingston, sales manager at Night &Day Furniture. “And then, with little effort and in less than 30 seconds, it can open up into a queen-size bed.

“The bed comes out of the bottom half of the cabinet. It simply folds down and out into a bed and is less expensive than a wall bed and no installation is required.”

Kingston said a video on demonstrates how to open and close the bed.

“This piece of furniture is finding its niche in two places,” he said. “It’s perfect for someone who lives in a studio or small, one-bedroom apartment. It fits perfectly under a window and is a contemporary alternative to a traditional bed.

“A second niche is as a guest bed that doesn’t take up all the space like a more traditional bed in a guest or family room. This Murphy Cabinet Bed simply has a smaller footprint.”

According to Kingston, the cabinet bed has become the most popular item his company has introduced in the past 15 years.

“The trifold mattress is gel-infused memory foam,” he explained during the Winter 2015 Las Vegas Market, the most comprehensive furniture, home decor and gift market in the United States. “It’s unique and when people see it transformed into a bed, they just love it. The original version came in a cherry-and-chocolate finish. This year we’re introducing a cottage look and that means an off-white finish that you might find in a beach house.”

An additional feature is a storage drawer at the bottom of the cabinet that can be used for storing bedding whether in the bed or cabinet position. There are also electrical outlets and USB jacks built into the side and on the bottom of the cabinet.

Another type of Murphy bed was being shown by Bestar: a full storage Murphy bed kit. The full-size wall bed has two fixed and three adjustable shelves in each storage unit.

A Euroslat mattress support system increases comfort while a safe dual-piston system makes opening and closing user-friendly — just use the handle to pull the bed toward you and flip the leg down onto the floor. When opened, the bed will require a clearance of 85 inches from the wall extending into the room.

Another transformer of sorts is VIG Furniture’s Franklin Wine Cabinet. Shirlee Yehudai, creative coordinator at VIG Furniture, said the cabinet has become quite popular after being introduced six months ago.

“When the doors are closed, this piece of furniture stands tall and lean and sleek against the wall,” she explained. “But when opened, it becomes a bar cabinet that has a pull-out shelf to prepare cocktails. There is caged storage for glasses and bottles, and the doors have magnets that can hold them open.

“Our customers like it because it’s a beautiful piece of furniture. They also like it because it keeps bottles of alcohol out of sight and children aren’t tempted to grab a glass,” Yehudai continued. “Everything is safely tucked away. Nothing is on display.”

Then there is the Sauder Carson Forge Lift Top Coffee Table, a stylish and functional table with hidden storage under the tabletop and one more external shelf with a divider to store and organize even more necessities. It is rectangular in shape and can be easily converted into a worktable as its removable top moves upward and forward on hinges. When this is done, a hidden storage area is revealed under the tabletop that is perfect for keeping work supplies.

In addition, there is one more external shelf with a divider to hold magazines and remote controls. The table is supported on four straight legs, is nontoxic and eco-friendly, and resists staining.

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