Versatility sometimes gets short shrift from people, and it's really unfair when it does. Think of phrases like "Jack of all trades, master of none". There are others, usually a little bit ruder than that, which underline that, while we way prize our versatility, others do not. The knock goes that being competent at a range of things covers for the fact that we're not great at anything.
The best response to this is, of course, Leonardo da Vinci. He could paint a bit, and he was also an incredible sculptor. Oh, and he was a designer and an engineer too. He was each of these things to a higher level of competence than most of his contemporaries were at any of them. So the next time someone calls you versatile in an attempt to damn you with faint praise, give them your best Mona Lisa smile.
Furniture that is versatile also comes in for this kind of snobbery. The thinking behind that seems to come from the idea that, unless it is bespoke for a specific purpose, it's a mishmash. But here are some reasons why that's balderdash.
The Sofa Bed
All of the best social occasions go on that little bit beyond when it's practical to go home. As such, sometimes your evening's visitors will become overnight visitors. Now, they could just sleep on the sofa or the floor, but only if they want to spend the next day wincing every time they turn around. A sofa bed that folds out quickly and easily means a good night's sleep can follow a good night.
A word of warning: While the word itself and the concept come from Japan, most of what you'll find for sale elsewhere isn't in the strictest sense a futon. A typical Japanese futon actually consists of a mattress and a duvet. What you'll find at Love The Sign and other retailers, featuring a wooden bed frame, is certainly portable and comfortable. They fold up into a low chair which is perfect for lounging on a lazy day.
Versatility doesn't need to mean that you have things that are neither one thing nor the other. If you get yourself something that can do both, then you've got more room for the extra touches that make a house a home. You don't need to sacrifice quality to get this benefit, and if some people are snobbish about it, so what? They're completely missing the point.
Every house should have at least one item within it that gives the benefit of having more than one use. Space is so important in this modern age that relies so much on having quick access to everything. So make the most of the space you have.