Since its inception around 1900, the Murphy bed has been an honored piece of furniture. Thanks to its innovative design, the bed is easy to raise and store vertically when not in use. The versatility of this piece helps to transform a single room into a multi-purpose space. The continual evolution of the Murphy bed and the design options around it allow for a modern sleeping solution that adds great functionality and style to your home.
If you are working with an existing Murphy bed that folds up to create a flat wall, several methods will achieve integration of the outline of the bed when not in use. Paint and wallpaper both cover a Murphy bed wall beautifully. Tie the wall sections together visually by hanging a row of paintings (secure the paintings that will fold down with the bed). Paneling and siding in a room that holds a Murphy bed also incorporate the bed’s outline. Add your own configuration of molding along the wall to disguise the bed’s outline. In a more playful atmosphere, cover the wall of the upturned bed with chalkboard paint.
Whatever version of a Murphy you are dealing with, the bed offers the opportunity to work with other furniture. Choose mobile pieces for the bed area since you will need to move them back and forth. The pieces surrounding the bed should have a function and place for when the bed is both in use and not. For instance, a pair of wing chairs in front of the unused bed can separate to cozily flank the pulled-down bed. End tables can be used as nightstands or can be pushed together for a longer single table when the bed is closed. A rectangular bench against the wall finds a home at the end of the pulled-down bed.
Embed the Bed
A Murphy bed doesn’t have to fold up entirely into the wall. Several modern options offer the functionality of the bed’s original design without the hassle of incorporating it into your actual wall. For a less recessed Murphy bed, surround the bed with bookshelves that line up evenly with the folded bed. Book facades could even be added to the bed’s underside to offer a whimsical touch to your library when the bed is put away. A heftier wall unit that surrounds the bed entirely allows for track lighting above the pillows when the bed is brought down.
Switch Things Up
Murphy beds traditionally place the head along the wall. But if you’re looking for a new spin on the concept, check out other versions. For instance, one or multiple side-mount twin beds fit within a built-in wall structure and allow for a work surface, bookshelves, and drawers around them. This allows you to decorate your office or leisure space as you naturally would, without having to plan entirely around that hidden guest bed.