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Italian family shapes high end space-saving furniture

A half century ago, the Colombo family took the ugly wall bed and remade it into something stylish, easy-to-use, and a lot more than just a moving bed. In the 1970s, they added a table to the pull-down bed, then a sofa, and eventually began to remake all furniture in the home.

Today Clei creates morphing bunk beds, pop-up desks, slide-out tables, “bookish” open-out kitchens, and even entire walls that open up to create pop-out, fully-furnished rooms.

We stopped for a visit with the family at their offices and showroom in the Brianza region of Northern Italy where “every corner” is a furniture company, according to architect and designer Pierluigi Colombo, who took us for a tour.