People under the age of 35 move more often than any other age group, whether they’re leaving the nest for the first time, graduating college, or starting a new household altogether. Instead of purchasing homes, young people often end up hopping from one rental to the next — a process that doesn’t exactly encourage the accumulation of belongings. Who wants to haul their heavy antique family heirlooms from one place to the next, year after year? The need for millennials to be mobile may also be driving a trend toward lightweight, modular home furnishings that are easy to pack up and move when the time comes.
Living spaces are also getting smaller, especially in urban centers, so furniture that transforms or serves more than one purpose is extra valuable. Why not take advantage of every available square inch of space? Beds, for example, typically hog the bulk of a room while being too low to the ground to offer much storage space underneath. Lucky for us all, a new design from Yeseul Jang, graduate of Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ÉCAL), is looking to fix that problem with a few simple tweaks.
The “Tiny Home Bed” is elevated on a platform to fit two levels of shelving underneath. Designed for students and other young people living in compact spaces or shared accommodations like dorms and group housing, the bed hides its built-in storage behind a pleated fabric curtain.
“Today, the number of people living in small dwellings is increasing due to limited housing capacity in urban spaces,” says Jang. “I have focused my project on the development of a storage bed for compact living. My objective was to develop a bed that was not only practical but also simple and aesthetically attractive because most of the space-saving furniture in the current market is quite massive and focuses on functional features such as foldable or transformable furniture.”
That gives the Tiny Home Bed not one but two major advantages: saving space while also being lightweight and easy to carry. It boasts a simple, airy wooden frame wrapped in polyester fabric that’s just large enough to fit a twin-sized mattress on top of. Underneath, there’s room for luggage, folded clothing, shoes, books, bins of personal care products, and whatever other items you like to keep handy. The curtain runs along a track system, and it can be opened almost all the way around to offer access from any angle.
The Tiny Home Bed also packs down small for moving, and it’s easy to assemble — two qualities Jang found crucial as she considered the lifestyle of her target customer. She cites the rise of single-person households in her native Seoul as inspiration for the project. Jang’s Master Course in Product Design at ÉCAL focuses on “the question of how design can soothe people with daily objects while maintaining the product value in markets from a business perspective.”
It’s easy to imagine a design like this becoming available at a retailer like IKEA in multiple sizes. After all, who doesn’t need more hidden storage space in the bedroom?