New Looks for Time-Honored Murphy Beds

Space has been tight in San Francisco for a long time. Around 1900, resident William L. Murphy was frustrated with how much room his mattress hogged up in his studio apartment, and a lightbulb turned on. He devised a mattress that turned vertically and could be stowed behind cupboard doors. The Murphy bed was created.

Among the most hilarious physical comedy I’ve ever seen involved a Murphy bed (check out the “Dinner for Four” episode of Laverne and Shirley), yet this notion isn’t a joke; it’s amazing staying power. Most recently, it’s become a crucial area of the microunit apartment movement.

The notion is not only for little studio flats, either; it’s being adapted in all sorts of homes to create multipurpose rooms. Designers have enlisted talented carpenters to freshen the mattress closet’s door as part of the equation, but the basis of William L. Murphy’s notion is here to stay.

R Brant Design

Hiding behind this gorgeous French polished Macassar ebony wall is a mattress. This permits the homeowner to consciously use the room most of the time when home alone, and also to readily accommodate overnight guests.

Along with the way the room looks when the mattress is stowed, you’ll also need to consider where you’ll set the furniture when it’s down.

“I picked the Corbusier chairs so that they can park under the cantilevered, lacquered desk when the mattress is down,” says interior designer Brant McFarlain.

Crisp Architects

Crisp Architects

In this lakeside house, “My clients wanted a true multipurpose room, in which the husband would have his buddies over to watch a match with no seem like a bedroom,” says architect James Crisp. “Then when they have guests if some of the buddies need to stay over, they can simply fold the bed out after they are done watching.”

Crisp’s carpenter custom built the cupboard doors that hide the mattress and then slip to both sides to reveal it. A seat or 2 is moved out of the way, and the mattress pops down.

“It is really interesting; Murphy is a classic brand, and it functions the distance perfectly today,” Crisp says. “Plus, it’s a lot more comfy than a pullout sofa”

Michael K Chen Architecture

Michael K Chen Architecture

Murphy mattress inspiration helped Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Regular Projects create an apartment that unfolds in all types of ways. It transitions to match the owner’s needs — by a living room to a bedroom into an office into a sofa with a bar — all thanks for their ingenious cabinetry layout.

Watch the way the rest of this apartment unfolds

Radius Architectural Millwork Ltd..

When actor Billy Campbell wanted to take advantage of his one-bedroom Vancouver attic, he enlisted Rick Wilson of Radius Architectural Millwork to help him gain additional storage and sleeping space in the large 25- by 25-foot alcove.

Using the exact same technology as for the president’s mattress on Air Force One, a built-in headboard comes down when a hook catches a panel as the Murphy beds have been pulled down.

Radius Architectural Millwork Ltd..

Watch the rest of the imaginative ship-inspired distance

A complete cupboard is not required. This lovely armoire is not as it appears …

… a bed complete with overhead reading lights easily folds down from behind its facade.

Murphy bed: The Bedder Way

Visionary Kitchens

A bed can also unfold out of a smaller, low cupboard. A full size Zoom-Room Murphy bed system is hiding behind this television.

Visionary Kitchens

You are able to click a distant to get the aerodynamic bed out in minutes. The slatted bed framework pulls out from a vertical trail.

Harrell Remodeling, Inc..

Murphy beds do not only turn home offices and TV lounges into guest rooms; this room doubles as a ballet studio. Note the built-in shelves on either side; they could serve as nightstands.

Amy Renea

This one is squeezed into a laundry room for as soon as the house overflows with overnight guests.

Watch the rest of the home

Valet Custom Cabinets & Closets

Along with headboards, lights and markets, you can even add art inside the cupboard to provide the mattress a more durable look when it’s down.

Alla Kazovsky Architect

You can even gain additional storage space by following this case: A sliding bookcase and ladder operate across a track, readily moved over during bedtime.

This Murphy mattress includes a convenient table that can be folded down or stowed while the mattress is up.

John Hill

John Hill

Part of the Making Room exhibition in New York City, this microapartment has an ingenious space-saving alternative: The mattress folds down and straddles the sofa, eliminating any requirement for moving furniture around at night time. The project was a collaboration between Clei and Resource Furniture, with architecture by Amie Gross Architects. The mattress is the Atoll 000.

See more of the exhibition

Art of Construction Inc

Your turn: Have you ever utilized a Murphy bed? Tell us how it worked in your space — or even better, share a photo in the Opinions section.

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