I’m a fairly huge fan of multifunctional, transformative furniture — a recent hit on this here blog: heirloom-quality cribs/daybeds/toy chests/desks from Nashville’s Gro Furniture — given my own space-strapped (okay, more like space-sensitive) living situation in Brooklyn. I can tell you this much: all I want for Christmas is for my landlord to knock out a couple of walls so I can have another closet. Also, I’ve been fussing for days because even though I have a fancy storage basket-cum-end table in my living room, I have nowhere to put my AC unit once I take it out of the window. Oh the humanity.


But I digress. Recently featured as part of an excellent several page layout dedicated to renting in the small-centric November issue of Dwell is The NewYorker, a space-saving, dual-function piece of wheeled furniture that’s strictly business during the day (a desk) but can be spun around for some serious cutting loose (a bar) in the evening ... or during the day, I'm not to judge. Business up front, party in the back ... I guess you call it the mullet of space-conscientious home furnishings?


The lovely desk/bar combo in question is the brainchild of architect, furniture designer, former contributor at the dearly departed ReadyMade, and fellow Brooklynite, Jen Turner, who tells Dwell: “I tend to approach everything with a double-use, with a ‘more-is-more' mindset when it comes to function. When you rent, you don’t know when or where you’re moving and you need to make the most of your space. This fulfills both needs.”

When its doors are folded up and it's not in use, The NewYorker doesn’t exactly razzle-dazzle: it’s a simple and handsome wooden box (Turner uses brown ash veneer) perched atop a burnished steel base with wheels. Dwell refers to it as a “strong, silent type.” Inside is where things get exciting. Open one side to reveal a traditional secretary with a recycled leather-lined desktop, ample open compartment space for stashing pens, paperwork, office supplies, and what have you along with several nifty pullout storage boxes. There’s even a grommet for keeping cords organized. On the reverse side is a full-on drinking station with room for several bottles of your preferred booze along with two sliding components: a drawer for stashing barware and a work surface. 


For more info on the most hard-working, hard-drinking pieces of space-saving furniture that I've certainly ever seen, head on over to Turner’s website where you can also check out another one of her multipurpose creations: Garden-in-a-Table, a piece of dining room furniture where the name says it all. The made-to-order NewYorker is available for purchase with the price available upon request.


And be sure to pick up the November 2011 issue of Dwell or read it online — it’s filled with plenty of eye-catching downsized homes and small-space living solutions and while the Renting 101 section is slim it's also super-informative (love the “red flag Craigslist phrases" list). And totally coincidentally, it’s the inaugural Renter’s Week over at Curbed meaning that’s there’s entertaining/horrifying/envy-inducing rental-related stories aplenty (just a taste: weird renting laws in San Francisco, Amanda Knox-worthy apartment rentals in Seattle, and, from Queens, the sorriest rental listing of all time). Plus, Curbed is inviting readers to send in their rental horror stories for the chance to win a free month’s rent (up to $2,500).


I can't imagine a better piece of furniture than The NewYorker where to write out my own rental horror stories (they mostly involve the city of Boston) and then have a drink to celebrate the fact that my current rental situation is pretty non-horrific despite my closet and AC storage woes.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The NewYorker: Space-saving furniture for working hard, playing hard
Ideal for urban renters with minimal square-footage to spare comes Jen Turner's The NewYorker, an ingeniously designed secretary desk/bar combo. You'll never ha