Someone with limited house space might be faced with the challenge of maintaining a cozy and intimate feel in the bedroom and yet still be able to accommodate many items such as shoes, clothes, bags and a dressing mirror because there is nowhere else to store them.
Dorothy Nabunjo says she has managed to have it all in her small room without losing the comfort and ambience that the bedroom ought to have. Her trick is to avoid adding too much furniture to a small space.
“Instead of buying a wardrobe which will take up a lot of space and make the room darker, make or buy a book shelf that has well-sized tiers,” She says.
Nabunjo says the shelf can be used to store clothes.
“You can use the lower part of the shelf as a shoe rack. Some of the shelves can also accommodate documents and other reading materials, while the upper part is used for folded clothes,” she explains.
Multifunctional furniture can be used interchangeably according to a given need.
Examples include sofa beds that can be used as chairs by day and as beds by night, chairs that can be used as tables and shelves that can double as cloth and shoe storage furniture.
Eve Zalwango, a professional carpenter and chief executive officer of The Concept and Design Interior Limited, says this kind of furniture is now popular.
“More people are opting for smaller spaces and this has intensified competition among furniture-makers to cater to this growing market, meaning we can no longer get away with ignoring style.
Zalwango points out that this type of furniture has its fair share of disadvantages.
A few of them being the quick wear and tear because of frequent movement and the fact that such furniture cannot be custom designed because it is fabricated and sold as ‘ready to use’ pieces.
Zalwango says this furniture is already popular in modern-day European designs mainly made in China and exported all over the world, Uganda inclusive.
Zalwango, an Executive Director of Awaka Foundation, adds that multifunctional pieces range from beds, chairs, shelves and tables.
“In Africa, we build big homes because we have the space to do so which is not the case elsewhere”, she says.
A sofa bed in supermarkets and furniture shops ranges from Shs500, 000 and more.
Detachable shelves and tables will cost you at least Shs200, 000. All these are available at furniture shops and in furniture sections of supermarkets.
House Beautiful, an online platform, lists styling tricks that make a small living room seem larger. for example, decluttering, use of large rugs, dark, glossy paint, even colourful bold items and also resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.
With such arrangements, Zalwango and Nabunjo agree that one needs to be keen on arrangements. For example, unlike the conventional arrangement where a wardrobe allows you the luxury of keeping your clothes on hangers, with improvised space on a book shelf, you will have to fold them.