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The critical need and growth of multi-functional design

18th May 2020

To really advance – and in these challenging economic times survive - it is imperative that brands, creatives and designers, adapt quickly and efficiently to a changing world.

As the landscape of our homes and lives transform – the brightest and the best are those that meet disruptions head on and quickly pivot to adapt to new norms. The fact is, as history has shown, it is the change makers and creatives that shape a new world, drive creative solutions and help us find new and enriching ways to live.

One of the primary concerns of this age and indeed the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in in lockdown and the phasing out thereof, has to be the usage and availability of space. The demand for space and the demands on the space we live in is, in 2020, unprecedented. Many more people require their space to work harder and this has, naturally, led to an upsurge in multi-functional and innovative design.

The growing trend

One of the fastest growing trends in architecture, furniture and interior design is creating multi-functional design solutions that save space. Combining design with functional benefits is becoming more and more necessary, as city populations surge to millions, levels of lockdown persist, working from home becomes a norm and the number of students being home schooled increases exponentially. Further to this, office space goes for a premium and in times of economic downturn, which we inevitably now face, multi-functional spaces and designs will become increasingly popular.

Versatile solutions need to be found to optimise living and working space to allow a high level of efficiency coupled with comfort, even in the tiniest of homes or offices, while at the same time, there is a higher demand for elegant and stylish solutions within our space.


Which brands in the market are heeding this call?

A great way to keep abreast of the trends and exciting designs is to play close attention to international design award winners.

We commend the space saving solutions found by international furniture design brand VOX which is distributed by Clever Little Monkeys here in SA. The Scandinavian-inspired look and feel is an absolute winner in this sector.

The space-saving, multi-functional range provides unique solutions with their chairs, shelving and the extendable dining room tables. The tables are perfect to extend into a space for a home office or study area, and the drawers in the seating go further to provide storage space for books and files. This range has, very effectively, met the demands to create a workable space that can remain clutter-free.

Just as the 14th century Black Plague created a resurgence in learning and creative arts that changed the face of the world, many people have returned to and found comfort in the arts in these strange times we find ourselves in. But, with limited space, there is now a larger demand for functionality from art.


We particularly like brands that celebrate creative design in innovative ways by coupling multiple functions with effective space saving while still ticking the box of an attractive and artistic visual aesthetic.

A brand that has stood out from the crowd for nearly a decade is Boxetti.

Their BOXETTI/ element large set made of brass/copper and nabuca leather is a unique luxury objectand a multi-functional art work.

The Elementwall system gives an interactive experience and allows you to transform the wall by rearranging the elements. It’s a living art that is not only visually appealing but also practical.

The Largeset contains fourback side wall panels with brass or copper polished edges, twelve small brass/copper modules, onelarge brass/copper module with electricity port, thirty-eight small nubuck leather modules, four large nubuck leather module with electricity port, one reading light, one decorative lighting, one painted steel book shelf and one brass/copper digital led clock.

The tiny home movement has to be the epitome of where multi-functionality meets the demands of modern day life. In a time when we are more aware than ever of our footprint on the planet, and the economies around the world go into free fall, this movement is likely to gain even more traction with those eager to live mindfully, in modern realities at a reasonable cost. Multi-functional design is obviously a cornerstone of this movement.

In South Africa, Wanderlust Co. is at the forefront of the growth in this sector. Wanderlust Co. offers a variety of custom made tiny houses that can sleep up to six people, with the aim of reducing living costs and the negative impact on the environment for a mainstream market.

Essentially, these unique houses offer the chance to live wherever you want thanks to their unmatched mobility and are designed with multi-functionality in mind while not sacrificing the aesthetic. We salute this.

How to adapt

We can’t all live in a tiny home or purchase the latest innovations and designs (especially until lockdown is phased out) but we can adjust our mindsets. Our advice is to consider ways that make your space as efficient and enjoyable as possible, allowing you the freedom to live happily in a changing world.

Consider creating flexibility with moveable items and take your design decisions with care and careful thought.

Celebrate innovation with Taylor Blind’s and Shutters and together we can shape a brighter future within our homes.

If you require help to find multi-functional solutions in your home within the blind and shutter sector, feel free to contact Taylor Blinds & Shutters for a virtual consultation.

While our factory is temporarily shut as a result of the lockdown, all our certified Taylor sales teams are at home and more expert advice is still available to you.

You can schedule the consultationon your preferred digital platform: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook, even Instagram to help you plan the changes required to adapt our lives and homes to accommodate a new normal.

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