In the fantasy world I am writing, I have several species, including my dozing bear farmers you may have already read of, but also much smaller, mouse-looking humanoids. These people are taller than real-world mouses, but are still struggling to reach an adult human's waist, especially younger ones who may only reach the knees.
I'm concerned that my little ones have some difficulty living among taller species, especially when wandering in cosmopolitan cities, where space may be lacking to store bulky, different pieces of furniture for them, and/or where wildly public differences in treatments between races is frowned upon. Mouse people can walk quite fast for their size, so they should have no issues regarding long distances. But height is much more of an issue, especially in order to access and use furniture, such as the ones when resting in a tavern.
Indeed, accessing chairs or tables is strenuous because you will need to climb up every time you want to sit, and climb down every time you finished what you wanted to do. I've got this part of the problem mostly sorted out, since mouse people are pretty adept at climbing (for most of them, at least), and I have devised several contraptions like chair's ladders to cheer a leader up to the top, and this while hiding it relatively well into a decoration style.
What bothers me more is how they use it once they are in place. Even though they have easy access to their seat, if they can only see the table's border when standing up, their happiness won't be standing really high, neither. Therefore, something must be made for these poor little ones!
So what highest-quality objects would you, clever furniture designers, invent for two species of different size?
Namely, pieces of furniture for a medieval-fantasy inn's dining room where you will have lunch and start your usual tavern brawls1. Don't worry about bedrooms and bathrooms, I should be able to think something up once I have a nice and cozy approach. Usable technology can include most mechanical / physic components you can think of, excluding electricity and other (post-)industrial age energies as well as magic since that's a little overkill for this issue.
Here are some specific goals that must be achieved :
- It should be comfortable enough for the two sizes.
- People of different sizes should be able to stay together. You can have lunch with your human buddy if you want to.
- No one should need external help for most tasks, aside from specific ones you do anyway like asking for that salt cellar at the other side of the table.
- Proper hygiene prevents you from walking on where you eat, however, you can put your feet on where you would normally sit, and you can bend over the table like a kid trying to reach a far-away cookie pot, too.
- I'd rather have customers not be on the floor. I have already thought of Japanese kotatsus and cushions in an oriental fashion, so I'd like to see other ideas instead. If you think this condition cannot be fulfilled, well... Tell why and your idea then. It would be sad but I can understand!
And a little bonus is given if you can keep it relatively hidden, like for instance as decoration! You're not forced to hide it, but as I said, ostentatious differences in treatment would not be really well perceived by other races, so it would be nice if you could.
1 : If you dare to make your pieces of furniture help in brawls, the innkeeper will be very sad, but it will be really fun.