loading...

The Best Furnishings For a Studio Apartment: Automated Furniture

by Nena Perry-Brown

The Best Furnishings For a Studio Apartment: Automated Furniture: Figure 1
An Ori system in an apartment

UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at what DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week we are looking at not only the best but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of 2017. Enjoy.


Considering how popular micro-units and shared living arrangements have become over the past couple of years, it stands to reason that the way we conceive of how to furnish smaller spaces had to evolve beyond the Murphy bed. Now, automated furniture consoles are coming to an apartment near you — specifically on 16th Street NW.

A few months ago, Valor Development’s The Vintage on 16th became one of the first communities in North America to incorporate the Ori robotic furniture system into a selection of its studio apartments, enabling residents to convert their unit from a bedroom to a kitchen to an office with the touch of a button (or via app or Amazon’s Alexa voice control system).

Ori is short for origami, which describes how the motorized units fold inward and outward to accommodate various uses as needed. The units can sit flush against the wall, or extend or retract a combination of shelving units, a walk-in closet or a full- or queen-sized bed. “You’re able, essentially, to recycle the same square footage for multiple uses,” Valor principal Joe Bous explained to UrbanTurf.

The founders of Valor became early supporters of the Ori system when it was still in the conceptual phase, enabling them to be one of the companies alpha-testing the technology. The Vintage will gather feedback from residents on the systems to make recommendations to Ori.

The Best Furnishings For a Studio Apartment: Automated Furniture: Figure 2
Two rooms that can be separated by motorized partition, as living rooms…

The Best Furnishings For a Studio Apartment: Automated Furniture: Figure 3
…and bedrooms

Ori isn’t the only company exploring the possibilities of recycling square footage. The National Building Museum is also highlighting similar furniture concepts with its new Making Room: Housing for a Changing America exhibit, which features a 1,000 square-foot “Open House” built for customization.

Designed by Italian architect Pierluigi Colombo in partnership with Resource Furniture and Clei, the house has two moveable walls and three wall beds with built-in storage that will enable it to display as a three-bedroom, two-bath home for four adult roommates or a multi-generational family and as a studio apartment for an elderly couple. The house is packed with multi-functional finishes and universal design features that have hydraulic and touch-sensitive components.

The Rest of UrbanTurf’s Year in Review

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_best_furnishings_for_a_studio_apartment_automated_furniture/13335

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!