8 Multifunctional Living Room Pieces You’ll Still Want Long After 2020 Is Over

published Nov 1, 2020
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COVID-19 has probably forced your home to be more functional than ever before. Perhaps your living room is pulling double duty as your office or maybe your dining room turned into an office, and your living room also has to accommodate a dining area now, too. 

Whatever your particular scenario and no matter what changes you’re making at home to accommodate this new normal, it’s worth thinking about how these tweaks will read once the pandemic has ended and you’re able to resume work and other activities outside the home. If you’re still not loving the idea of a standing desk in the middle of your living room, read on for a handful of home decor picks that you’ll still want to keep long after social distancing is over.

Credit: IKEA

Stackable stools 

If your living room is doing double duty as your office right now, you might have needed to make room for a workspace. If you’ve ditched your coffee table, these stackable stools are a solid replacement. Their small footprint means they’ll be easy to stash away in a closet when they’re not in use. Pick up a few extras to serve as seating for your next big dinner party—something to look forward to after the pandemic is over! 

Buy:  KYRRE Stool in birch, $12.99 from IKEA 

Credit: World Market

A dining chair fit for WFH

The future of work is fluid, and if you’ve been working from home for a while now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s worthwhile to outfit your space with pieces that help facilitate a healthy workspace. If you’re feeling the pain from sitting in a hard dining chair for eight-plus hours a day, try an upholstered design instead. This velvet version would look great as an accent chair in the living room, at your dining table, or wherever your workspace is and could even moonlight in a bedroom or entry one day, too.

Buy: Velvet Channel Back Isadora Dining Chair, $359.98 for a Set of 2 from World Market 

Credit: CB2

A desk that doesn’t look like one 

Now you see it, now you don’t. This see-through console table is the perfect height for a desk, but its slim profile means it won’t look like your living room is also your office. Add a laptop riser for a complete workstation that can transform into a sofa table or entryway table when *gestures vaguely* this is all over. 

Buy: Peekaboo Acrylic Office Console, $599.00 from CB2

Double-duty seating

More time spent at home amid this admittedly depressing period of history has driven many to organize and redecorate their homes. If you’re looking to refresh your living room with a touch of newness, don’t pass on an ottoman. These living room workhorses can be a coffee table, a seat, a foot rest, or just a great way to infuse your space with a touch of texture without overwhelming it. 

Buy: Torres Round Leather Ottoman, Starting at $495.00 from The Citizenry 

Credit: Article

A ladder desk 

Not thrilled about the idea of your living room looking like a replica of your cubicle? This oak ladder desk would blend right in next to a bookshelf or alongside your sofa. Hang a piece of art in the gap between the work surface and the lower shelf to make it look intentionally styled. 

Buy: Fantol Oak Desk, $799.00 from Article

Ambient lighting 

Good lighting is always a good idea, and that’s especially true now that so many people are spending so much time at home. While ambient lighting like this shelf/floor lamp combo isn’t as bright and focused as, say, the task lighting in a typical workspace, a piece like this can help to create a different atmosphere once your 9 to 5 is finished. Bonus points for the fact that this lamp also has a few handy shelves for your coffee and favorite decorative accessories, too.  

Buy: Stewart Shelf Floor Lamp, $179.00 from Urban Outfitters

Objects that marry form and function 

Is this phone stand a vase, or is this vase is a phone stand? Either way you decide to describe it, this piece is beautiful on its own and can bring a little life to your workspace when full of blooms, and it has a built-in cord keeper to fully conceal your smartphone charger. It’s marketed for nightstands, but I think it would look super stylish on a small side table or the desk you stealthily squeezed into your living room (see above). 

Buy: Bedside Smartphone Vase, $32.00 from Uncommon Goods

Credit: IKEA

A table that morphs into a space-saving console

Gateleg tables are brilliant. Unfold the leaf when you need it or tuck it away as a side table or console when you don’t. I love this one from IKEA for its attainable price and its versatile style—the natural wood would look right at home in Scandanavian and bohemian spaces alike.

Buy: NORDEN Gateleg Table in Birch, $199.00 from IKEA