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21 Wondrous New Designers and Their Space-Saving Concoctions

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So, here we are. Your Ikea furniture has broken again. Like a fool, you ordered it online the day you moved in because you "just wanted to get it over with." Turns out "getting over it" was more expensive than you imagined; $50 for a LACK wall-shelf, $130 for a BILLY bookcase because you just had to have those glass doors, $60 for a reissued LÖVET side table you didn't really need (that your roommate said looked like a skimboard). Making it all the more disappointing when these break after a few years, because they weren't that cheap.

The following 21 pieces aren't under $100, and can't be ordered quite as easily, but will probably last you a lifetime (read: adult purchases). And your break-up with Ikea doesn't have to complete; each piece is lightweight, adjustable, multi-functional and generally meant to make your small apartment (maybe even your micro apartment?) much, much bigger. It's Ikea, just a little more grown-up.

In some cases (but not all!) a good deal more expensive kind of goes without saying. Unless otherwise noted, these are generally available through galleries or small design firms, price on request.


1. Simone Simonelli. The Maisonnette is a 3 piece set where every individual unit has a dual function, which kind of makes as good as a 6-piece set! The stand is a mini-wardrobe, the cart is a table, and yes, that basket is also a tray.


2. Violaine d' Harcourt. Fan Fan Dresser doesn't need much—a wall, a table, the arm of a friend, a low ceiling—to stand up. Balanced on two poles, it's easily stowed away. You might want to keep it out though, because it's so dang beautiful.


3. Naoki Hirakoso and Takamitsu Kitahara. The Kai Table, inspired by traditional Japanese puzzles, is the crown jewel of tables that turn into many secret compartments. A quick note of advice: try to remember which secret compartment you left your keys in. It retails for $7,417.


4. Juhana Myllykoski. Hidden breaks up the typical coat-hanger into many, small, vignettes that, when not in use, fold up into the wall. It retails for $110.


5. Michael Bernard. The Leviathan Table is pretty easy to put together, which is one thing it has over Ikea. Its German designer has reduced the dining table into the essentials: sanded wood, wire tubing, and gravity.


6. Yin Chang. Grid System incorporates a series of translucent bases and wire structures that can be assembled into infinite combinations.


7. Yi-Cong Lu. Panel is both a wardrobe and a desk, but it's hardly Lu's first multifunctional piece. Lu has been making minimalist plot-twist furniture for years now, like these room dividers that change shape at the pull of a cord.


8. Fisti-Fisti. The Backpack is a handy set of shelves that have serious commitment issues. Put together with a most minimal set of materials—backpack straps! pieces of wood!—this shelving unit can be folded up, put away, and moved anywhere. It retails for $330.


9. Fiona O'Leary. Stratera may have just given humanity the perfect object: a plant and desk organizer. It even has little holes for your pens.


10. Agnieszka Mazur. Takka is an adjustable and stackable table and stool set. Turn the red lever, make the height lower, make the height higher, stack it in a corner, do whatever you want! It's your world, spread your wings, be yourself, etc.


11. Erik Griffioen. The Bed'nTable could only be invented by the Dutch. A place to work, sleep, and eat; there's really no reason to ever leave.


12.Nimio. Manuela is specifically designed for sipping coffee on Madrid's many, many balconies, but we're pretty sure it can be used elsewhere. It retails for $90.


13. Laura Petraitytė. The Cabinet-desk isn't really a cabinet at all. Instead, it contains a built-in LED light, integrated AC sockets, and plenty of storage space.


14. Goyo Estudio. Collection 02 is just like a regular table, but hoisted onto two long stilts.


15. Bernard Vuarnesson. Hexa imagines a daring alternate universe where Mondrian had the courage to follow his true passion: space-saving desk design.


16. Tanya Repina and Misha Repin. Lo-Lo is just as cute as it sounds. It's a modular mobile kitchen that moonlights as an emoji.


17. Paul Menand. Modest Stool is ready to save your dinner party. The single stool, small and compact, is actually three nested stools that can be unstacked, revealed, and offered to the nearest guest.


18. Lucie Koldová. Cheeky Boxes—modular, angular, pastel—are the logical conclusion of all cute things that can be stacked in infinite combinations.


19. Raw Edges for Arco. Pivot has lacquered oak drawers fall instead of slide out to save room, while the center surface can be folded back into the wall. In short, it would be very easy to forget that you own this incredibly useful object. It retails for $1,835.


20. Mira Schroder. Work bed is exactly what it sounds like: a bed that turns into a desk. The concept behind the handmade wooden structure is simple—work, rotate, sleep, rotate. Do remember to clean off your desk before you go to bed.


21. Ghent for Labt. The Trolley echoes the Belgian design firm's graphic work; some sections are printed with patterned veneers, while others are left raw. Each geometric section slides into one another, like a version of Tetris that can also alphabetize your files.

· All Micro Week 2015 posts