Wooden roll-top desks are clever classics that depend on segmented wood slats to close and open without sacrificing classy curves. Though it owes a lot to this now-traditional (if not downright antique) desk design idea, this extendable bench-or-table piece (suited to suit on and with space to set things in between you and another person) is definitely contemporary in every other way.

A secret seam in the center of the horizontal metal supports conceals a hidden set of wood beams, revealed fully only when the furniture is expanded. The slats slide up the side and become the surface for additional bench-style seating or coffee-table space. Treated wood, aluminum and plastic make it a flexible, elegant and minimalist candidate for entry halls, porches, decks and gardens alike.

What sets this idea and execution by Stefan Weiser apart in the world of convertible couches, transforming tables and other multi-functional furniture designs is that it looks good and works at any point of the process – you could slide it to the shortest configuration or pull it out to full length and it would still be an attractive and useful object, indoors or outside.

Whether they work well with the other piece would be a worthy question, but these other designs by Stefan warrant a look as well either way: wooden chairs featuring a combination of functions on the same basic frame, including a lamp, clothes hanger, drying rack and cute little ladder for children.