As our homes continue to get more portable and customizable, it feels like there’s never been a better time for modular furniture. After all, we never know when we’re going to need that one extra spot on the couch for a new friend to squeeze in, or an extra seat at the dining room table for them to eat at. Others live in exceedingly small apartments where permanent furniture placement isn’t really an option, making transforming multipurpose pieces essential to daily life.
That’s where Expand Furniture comes in. The Vancouver, Canada-based company prides itself on creating space-saving modular pieces for the modern home, offering an impressive selection of convertible beds, bookshelves, chairs, couches, and tables in sleek shades of brown, gray, and white.
We recently got a chance to put two of Expand’s hottest items, the Alzare Transforming Coffee Table and Soft Cube Love Seat, to the test at our headquarters in El Segundo, California. From the moment we took the pieces out of the box, we couldn’t believe how space-efficient — and how wonderfully different — their designs were.
The Alzare Transforming Coffee Table might look like little more than a thick tabletop upon first unboxing it, but this minimalist piece is much more than meets the eye. Sitting just 10 inches off the ground at its lowest height setting, the wooden table sits on a sleek pair of metallic legs and hydraulic gas lift system for ultra-sturdy support and easy use. The latter also allows you to raise the table up to a full 30 inches with the simple pull of a lever, at which point you can actually rotate and flip open the tabletop to reveal a much larger dining table surface.
Since the table serves two distinct functions — one more suited to the living room and the other to the dining room — the company has also fitted its legs with discreet wheels for easy transportation. We’re pretty grateful they did, too, because this thing is surprisingly heavy!
The Soft Cube Love Seat’s transforming qualities are subtler than the Alzare’s, but they’re every bit as important when it comes to saving space. Billed by the company as a “future-proof modular design,” the Soft Cube comes in pieces or “modules” that can either be paired up to form a full-sized couch or used on individually as corner pieces. The basic bundle retails for $1,500 and includes two modules, but if you feel like expanding it at any point (pun fully intended), you can always just order an additional middle or ottoman piece and add it to your set.
Each Soft Cube module is coated in a light-and-dark-gray woven fabric for a sophisticated modern look, and with a set of dark wooden feet that you can choose to install or not. Just be warned that a drill is required for this task. I tried screwing them in with a regular old screwdriver, and the resulting blisters were unpleasant to say the least.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to think of a reason the modern apartment dweller wouldn’t want Expand Furniture pieces in their home. They make saving space fun and easy, and they allow you to get creative with your furniture arrangements on a regular basis. The pieces might be a little on the pricey side, but it’s important to remember that they’re actually sturdy and won’t break down on you after a couple years.
I’ve since moved the Alzare to my own apartment, where it continues to amaze dinner guests with its shape-shifting powers. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that board games are significantly more fun when you have a gigantic low tabletop to play on. Thanks, Expand!