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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Award for combined bed-bookcase
Karen Babel and the Bed-Case
Karen Babel and her space-saving Bed-Case
A Nottingham designer has come up with a space-saving solution by inventing a bookcase that turns into a bed.

The Bed-case was created by Karen Babel as part of her BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design degree at Nottingham Trent University.

The aim is to overcome a space shortage as houses are getting smaller. The design won an award at the New Designers exhibition in London.

A mattress stands upright in four bits and forms the bulk of the bookcase.

These surround five storage shelves which are suspended in mid-air by a wall mounted frame.

The mattress sections are placed on the floor and slot together to form the bed - with two parts for a single, or all four to make a double.

A drawer at the bottom can be used to store linen and cushions.

'Effective and spectacular'

Karen said: "The most unused space in anyone's home is vertical space and I wanted to make the most of that.

"As well as being a great looking bookcase, it offers a comfortable night's sleep as a bed."

Steve Rutherford, her tutor and senior lecturer in furniture and product design, said: "I doubt anyone has thought to do anything more simple, effective and spectacular with an ordinary household object before.

"When people hear what it does, they simply don't believe it."

The design award was given by the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA)

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