Personal project: a foldable bedside table for small bedrooms with no space for standalone tables
This project aimed to solve a personal problem. Small bedrooms often result in limited space for additional furniture. In my case, I must place my bed against one wall to optimise space, however the other side is too close to the door to allow for a standalone bedside table.
My aim was to design a space-saving bedside table that could be oriented in multiple configurations and adjustable at different heights. The mechanism had to work such that the table could lock into place and be robust enough to hold objects without running the risk of accidental collapse.
Upon doing a quick search, commercially available solutions to this problem are either non-adjustable, can’t fold to save space when not in use or only serve as ‘pockets’ to hold objects instead of surfaces.
I first looked at the mechanism for which I wanted the table to work. Foldable furniture works by either: swinging/swivelling, folding in, sliding or concertina folding:
The problem is, to design the most functional foldable beside table, that is one which incorporates as many configurations and degrees of freedom as possible such as adjustable height, stowable, rotatable etc. many different types of mechanisms must be used. This makes the overall table bulky and complicated and would require the user pulling, twisting and pushing in too many different ways. I wanted a ‘click-in’ mechanism – something where the table could adjusted as easily as possible from a sitting position in bed without having to stand up and screw knobs or tighten screws. The solution to this was to design a ratchet hinge.
By attaching 3 different panels with ratchet hinges, the table can fold down and up to create 3 different usable surfaces as well as fold down completely when not in use. At certain angles, the spring latches cause the surfaces to securely lock into position.