Recently, I made a purchase for a client that made my day because it has many uses, and nothing makes me happier than multi-use furnishings. The piece is called a “Butterfly Table”, named for its self-contained leaves that open like butterfly wings.
The table looks like a small trestle-style table perfect behind a love seat; where it sits until the client can take it to its new home. The table struck me as a perfect kitchen island with the potential as an expanded workspace for the kitchen or to provide additional seating for larger parties. My initial thought was it could be elevated from its standard table height of 30 inches to 33-34 inches, closer to counter height of 36 inches, with the addition of large locking casters for easy mobility. The client thinks it may work just fine as it stands, as it is not too heavy to move and can be used in many places in the home.
Any table that has self-contained leaves is a great bonus for fitting into different rooms. I particularly like the gate-leg table or more common drop leaf table. The table can remain closed, or one or both leaves can be opened if you have the space for a larger table, or leave one or both leaves down for everyday use, depending on space.
If you find such a table, and it is in good condition, great; but don’t pass up one just because the finish isn’t perfect; paint is always an option. Of course, you can refinish it yourself or have a professional do it for you, depending on your skill level. As always, a “found” piece comes with its own history, so imperfections add to its charm, or make up your own story using some imagination, real or fanciful.
Another multi-use utility item that has great potential is a section of wrought iron fencing. Used perpendicular to its normal use makes a kind of ladder that might be useful in a bathroom as a multi-towel hanger or a drying rack for delicate laundry. Of course, if used as a drying rack for delicate things, you would want the rails to be smooth, or use hangers. You would need to fix several inches of chain link (sold by the inch or foot at hardware stores), to the top of each side of the piece to allow it to tip out away from a wall for hangers or “S” hooks to fall away from the wall. When not in use, this drying rack can be fastened to the wall; and if painted a bright or contrasting color, could be “art”. There may be many other ideas for this piece both inside and outside.