October 2005DoubleSpace Kitchenette

The DoubleSpace kitchenette caters to those with a taste for unique, compact living. People living in crowded cities such as New York can appreciate the value of flexible, efficiently used living space. This roomy easy chair converts easily into a countertop with two electric burners.

SMALL IS THE NEW BIG

"After more than 30 years of steady increase, the size of the typical American house appears to be leveling off," reports the New York Times. The average American home rose to over 2,300 in 2001, from 1,500 square feet in 1970. Across the Pacific, Japanese families live in homes that average only 1,000 square feet, according to Azby Brown, author of The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space.

You'll never sit and cook at the same time

It's so true that Vestal designers overlapped the two functions to create a new kind of convertible. (Safety features include not being able to turn on the burner while the DoubleSpace is in the chair orientation.) A carefully placed axle allows the perfect sitting height to swing upward to become the perfect cooking height. Such designs can make it easier for people to take up less space, as well as use less energy and raw materials.