The trend towards Tiny Spaces, micro-apartments and one-room flats poses new challenges for the furniture industry and increasingly brings the need for multifunctional furniture into focus. Companies like Clei, Priess Möbel or Smartbett have recognised the change and have continuously developed the idea of the cabinet bed.
The multi-talent: fold out, sleep, fold in, tidy up
In the past, when you thought of a foldaway bed, images of a dark brown wall unit into which a bed could disappear immediately came to mind. Even though the folding bed was certainly a practical alternative to the classic bedstead in small rooms, the lying comfort was not infrequently so poor that the image of this functional piece of furniture was rather dusty.
However, this has changed in recent years as the lack of space in metropolises has increased and the desire for furniture that can take on several functions in one's own home has grown. The folding bed has become a piece of furniture that meets the demand for design, comfort and multifunctionality.
Clei: functional furniture made in Italy
"The development of the cabinet bed never disappeared after the war," explains Christoph Brenner, Clei's contact and distributor for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. "It's just that people were building quite large at the time, whereas for years now the trend has tended to decline again, as architects are planning smaller living units due to the high prices per square metre.
And for that, you need high-quality, functional furniture in which you can sleep well every day and which has additional uses, such as a fully-fledged sofa or a work or dining table." For years, the Italian brand Clei has been designing furniture that combines design and function and thus puts the murphy bed in a new light as a multifunctional talent.
One example of the brand is the LGM model. LGM is a piece of furniture with a double function. The transformation system is modular, has open shelves when closed and wardrobe sections that can be closed by doors.
Instead of the cabinet unit at the front, the system can also be supplemented with a large, fold-out table whose legs are stowed inside the structure. With a simple turning movement, LGM transforms into a double bed with slatted base and pull-out side shelves at bedtime.
Möbel Priess: Functional furniture with tradition from East Westphalia
"Wardrobe and transverse beds have been manufactured by us for about 40 years," says Torsten von Behren, Sales Manager Priess Möbel. "It has never been out. At all times we have generated stable sales with it." The company from Hille has been shaping the German market for functional furniture for years and has repeatedly designed new collections in which the cabinet bed has taken on an important role.
"The Achat murphy bed, for example, has always been a bestseller for us. It's hard to say where the demand is greatest. In the past, it was often used in holiday flats or as a guest bed at home. Today, due to the living space situation, it is often also ideal for one-room living solutions. Housing in big cities is getting more and more expensive, so people are looking for small-space solutions, whether it's for their regular home or for their professional second home."
The company's transverse bed, on the other hand, is a space-saving solution that usually finds its home in youth or flat rooms. During the day, the lying surface is folded up in a few simple steps, leaving plenty of space in the room. In addition, the upper shelf offers additional storage space - from books to pictures and personal accessories.
Smartbed: a murphy bed solution for any room
More living space and thus more freedom of movement and design options - that is the Smartbett approach. The aim is for the brand's murphy beds to be as large as necessary and as small as possible. In the room itself, the furniture not only takes on the role of a bed. Through individual configuration, shelves can be placed inside and outside, for example, or a minibar can be integrated. In this way, the murphy bed becomes unique and a personal one-off.
The functional furniture from Clei, Priess Möbel or Smartbett are just three examples of the transformation in your own home. Furniture that can take on several tasks and thus provide space for living is no longer a dream of the future, but reality. And regardless of whether it's a murphy bed, wall bed, fold-out bed, fold-in bed or built-in bed: a bed that folds in is as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Author: Bernadette Trepte