Furniture That Fits – House Proud, The Toronto Sun

A video of Felice Cohen’s New York City apartment went viral earlier this year.  In a city where the average rental unit goes for $3400 a month, Cohen found a relative bargain for $700.  The catch?  The entire space is only 90 square feet.  A professional organizer, Cohen does a pretty good job of making her tiny quarters liveable but she obviously hasn’t seen what she could do with the products carried by Resource Furniture.

Manufacturers such as the Italian line of Clei, carried exclusively by Resource, aim to solve the problem of too little space with furniture that starts out as one piece and morphs into another.  We’ve all seen tables that extend and Murphy beds.  Makers of the items at Resource revolutionize those concepts and create others that will leave your mouth agape.  

The Ulisse desk features a wall that comes down to reveal a Queen bed while the desk stays parallel to the floor so you don’t even have to clear it. This is a real bed, with more than a cheese-slice of foam with a sheet on it. The attractive and functional Poppi book shelf has a lower panel that folds out to reveal a twin-size bed.   The roomy shelving unit is only 12 inches deep, so it doesn’t eat up precious space when the bed is not in use.

President of Resource Furniture Ontario, Howard Klerer, has a background in design and was blown away when he first saw the upscale line.

“If it wasn’t a decent product, there is no way I would get into it.  I went to New York to see the showroom and I was just thrilled with the quality and the technology and the thought process that goes into it.  These guys thought of the engineering enough to install hydraulics and pistons so you can bring a bed down with one hand.”

Klerer says his customers generally fall into two main categories:  those who are getting into their first owned home, a smallish condo, and those who are downsizing and have sold off their old furniture because it doesn’t fit in the new place.

“They’ve got to buy new furniture but the problem is, their grandchild is coming over to stay and where do they put them?  The study can become a useful bedroom with a real bed.  Or you can have the dining area which can be a desk which can be a bed.”

Even in a much smaller space, Grandma and Grandpa can still host a family dinner with a sofa table that’s only 15 inches deep but opens up to accommodate ten people.  It’s beautiful furniture, too, timeless contemporary with sleek lines and a host of available colours and custom options.  Mechanisms have a lifetime warranty.  You can see the pieces in action at .

Prices begin around $5000.  Klerer says the quality is completely worth it.

“If you’re going to spend $5000 on a sofa and $2500 on a bed and none of it fits, well, what do you have?  These pieces meet all my personal criteria.  They’re going to last.” 

Resource Furniture also carries accents like rugs and lighting and other non-transforming designer furniture. The New York location opened in 2000 and Klerer’s Toronto store on Adelaide Street East is Canada’s first location.  Klerer is amused  by the numbers of visitors who come in just to see how the furniture works.

“There’s a yoga studio a couple doors down and the lady that runs the studio must bring in two or three of students weekly for a tour.  It’s something so different that people just have to see it.  It’s amazing.”

Now if someone would only get word to Felice Cohen, she could really start making the most of her tiny Manhattan flat.