Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If It Won't Fold, It Ain't Sold; Objects That Fold Away to Save Space Have a Special Place in the Hearts of London Homeowners, Says Barbara Chandler

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If It Won't Fold, It Ain't Sold; Objects That Fold Away to Save Space Have a Special Place in the Hearts of London Homeowners, Says Barbara Chandler

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER

THEY'RE just so clever, all those things that fold away at the flick of the wrist.

In the home, they save precious space, easing the problems of cramped city life. On the move, they become portable, taking up minimal room in a bag or car. And now the whole fold-down, foldaway, fold-flat genre has been explored in a fascinating book by Per Mollerup, the Danish design guru.

Collapsibles: A Design Album of Space-Saving Things (Thames and Hudson, [pound]16.95) finally awards these clever pieces of folding functionality the high design status they deserve. Household basics, such as ironing boards, butler's trays and stepladders, can now be seen (when achieved with flare) as design triumphs. Consider, for example, the smart ironing board in the latest Ocean catalogue, or its brightly coloured stepladders in red, blue and yellow for [pound]125.

Ingenuity has brought us the folding wheelbarrow, marketed by Presents Direct (020 8246 4366, www.presentsdirect.com), so gardeners can sweep up the autumn leaves then hang the barrow with their potting-shed apron on a hook behind the door.

Venetian blinds are collapsibles par excellence.

They originated in Persia before being adopted by 12th century Venetians who enjoyed the easy way they filtered bright sunlight.

They reached British windows at the start of the last century and have recently enjoyed something of a renaissance, thanks to their "minimalist" use of space. More contemporary is the folding shower cubicle that fits flat back against the the wall.

The idea, Swedish this time, comes from bathroom specialists Svedbergs (717 Fulham Road, SW6; 020 7371 9214).

The classic camp bed, still essential equipment in the British Army, is, at [pound]45, a cost-effective way of accommodating occasional guests. Camp beds, and a wide range of folding chairs and tables are available through www.shoponlineatmanchester.com.

Lakeland's catalogue is full of folding brainwaves 'Even Venetian blinds have enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, thanks to minimalism' (015394 88100; www.lakelandlimited. …

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