George Carlin does a great comedy routine about people and all their “stuff” – and although it’s funny, it’s also true. Even minimalists who choose to live in the most compact of condominium suites still have things such as stereo equipment, books, home computers and the like that they have to store somewhere. To offer more affordability in condominiums, square footages of suites have decreased, but developers and builders have worked hard over the past few years to make the most of every square foot in modern suite design. We provide built-in storage wherever we can, as well as closets where space will allow. But condo owners can also turn to today’s furniture manufacturers for a helping hand.


Modern multi-purpose furniture is both ingenious and beautiful. The armoire, for example, is available in a multitude of configurations and finishes. House your entertainment system in this piece in the living room, or move the armoire to the bedroom to double as an extra closet for folded sweaters, shoe boxes and a mini television set.


Speaking of bedrooms, today’s day beds and sofa beds are amazing compared to those of yesteryear, and can turn a den into an instant bedroom for guests. And did you know that there are ottomans that can pull out into a bed?


Back in the living room, the ottoman may serve as a coffee table, or even a blanket box if the top can be removed. I recently saw a wood coffee table with a hinged top that lifts up and toward you to create a makeshift dining room table. That would be handy for those evenings when you’re eating dinner during a cliffhanger episode of “24.”

Nesting and drop-leaf tables are also excellent pieces that can serve numerous purposes, from bedside stands to foyer repositories for briefcases and keys. When it comes to storing small items, floating shelves are a popular choice. They don’t require any floor space to be installed, and they can claim an otherwise unusable spot.

Just look around for ideas. There are numerous furniture stores in downtown Toronto, and you’ll also find great selections in the 905 area code. Be creative to make your furniture work as well for you as your condominium suite does.

Linda Mitchell is vice-president of marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award. In 2003, she received the Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding and consistent professional achievement in residential sales and marketing.