I looked at my own unused living room and dining room and think I can live with less space. A smaller footprint. How many of you use your dining room a couple times of year? How many use your living room at all?
With less space comes challenges. What do you do when you need the large family dining room table? Or need extra space to sit when you really don’t want to watch Sponge Bob with your kids? I literally tripped over Resource Furniture, the US distributor of the space saving furniture made by Clei as well as a dealer for iMultifunzione, both Italian companies, while “surfing” the web the other day.
A new dawn. Check out their hip and functional spacing saving furniture. See how the table went from coffee table to dining table? This is only the beginning, boys and girls.
Take a look at the below video as the actress unfolds a coffee table to become a large eating table, or when she opens the Murphy bed which is attached to a three person desk.
Each rearrange, pull down, or unfold left me with my mouth wide open with amazement. I needed to know more about this carbon reducing footprint ala space saving furniture.
Can you customize?
How green is the product?
Who thought up this ingenious idea?
And so on and so on. Readers, you know me. Lots of questions.
My emails landed in the hands of Ron Barth of Resource Furniture. Let’s start at the beginning. Think engineer meets furniture designer with furniture. Who else is going to design such practical yet functional and hip space saving furniture?
Rigorous Testing First.
Rigorous testing is done to make sure the furniture is just right. Just to give you an example, Barth explains,
“[t]he bed systems themselves take a year or more of testing and prototyping and manufacturing and remanufacturing. The engineering is done but the hardware then needs to be figured out as well. There is a manufacturing process to the hardware and the cabinetry. It all has to be figured out in concert with one another and all in conjunction with the aesthetics.
It is very, very difficult to appreciate the amount of detail and back to the drawing board there is in making one of these systems. You design it but the hardware won’t make the grade so you redesign it but the bulk is off as the hardware dominates the design, the hardware is redone and the cabinetry and fittings have to be redone and back and forth it goes. Dozens and dozens of samples are required until it is really right.
Then it has to be tested and tested for thousands of repetitions. If it doesn’t work after 2,000 repetitions then that needs to be solved as that is only 6 years of daily use and the life expectancy for the product is much longer than that. It takes different types of analyses and then more prototypes sometimes, etc. etc. there are products that came out this year that were 2 years in prototyping.”
So how does a couch become a bunk bed. Watch and learn. You remember the orange couch above?
To final product. Tada! Bunk Beds! I told you that this furniture was the ultimate in space saving furniture.
What about warranties on the furniture? Barth states, “[t]hey all come with a lifetime warranty on the mechanisms and 15 year warranty on our mattresses.”
I wondered if you could customize the furniture for your needs. Barth explained that you can customize the closets, the paneling, and shelve size and detail. There are three different wood veneers and twenty five lacquer colors. Got a custom color. No problem. However, you can’t customize a bed’s mechanism.
So, how much is this convenience going to cost me?
I asked prices for some of my favorite pieces. Â Believe me, it was hard to narrow it down to only a few pieces.
Here is the pricing for the Ulisse with desk or dining table or without and with the sofa as well. The Ulisse basic system is $3,250 in white laminate. In wood veneer and/or any of the 25 lacquer colors, the unit is priced at $3,950.
If you wish to add the desk or dining table option to the Ulisse, add $950 to the price.
If you wish to add the sofa option , add an additional $2,250 to the cost provide you choose a category 1 fabric. Note, as you choose different grades of fabric, the price increases.
The headboards costs $550 in any of our fabrics and the mattresses (starting from $1,250 for memory foam) are sold separately.
There are more mattress options such as a Latex mattress for $1,450 as well as a custom innerspring mattress priced at $1,950.
So how green is it?
I peppered Barth with my usual “what about formaldehyde, FSC woods, nontoxic finishes” banter. Â He replied that you can request water based lacquers; however, the chipboard core is E1 not E0, which is contains no added formaldehyde. The wood is farmed, but is not certified. He explained that full certification is an issue with Italian manufacturers.
As for using E1 vs E0, Barth stated,
“E0 material is not readily available in Europe, according to the factory and they were going to have to import it from the US. The cost was prohibitive and impractical and the overall benefit globally was suspect as transporting a container 4,000 miles wasn’t the most ecological thing to do to obtain E0 material.”
As for being green, Barth made one statement that really resonated with me
“Honestly, my knowledge of the real causes of pollution planet-wide gives me the understanding that buildings and not transportation are the principal sources of pollution globally and macro-ecologically. So, utilizing less space would be a priority over anything else.”
Why not be kinder to the Earth with a little less space with fully function and very hip furniture?