Metamorphic library steps were first built in the mid-18th century for the private libraries and offices of the European nobility or the Bourgeoisie. The number of specialised rooms in the typical manor was increasing, so existing ones, like the library, had to use space more efficiently. Consequently, these rooms often had high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The topmost shelves were difficult to reach, so movable library steps or library stairs were created as a form of domestic furniture.
See also the list of desk forms and types.
Two for one: metamorphic furniture is an intriguing category, one where chairs unfold into library steps ... and pianos open up to become beds and bureaus. Really!(FURNITURE)
Jun 01, 2010; The often weird, sometimes practical, and always ingenious pieces best described as "metamorphic furniture" could just as...