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2November

Benefits Of A Wall Bed

If you’re like most people, you’ll want to use every bit of the space in your home to its fullest potential. Standing in your spare room, perhaps you’ve thought about getting rid of that standard bed and opting for a wall bed, or Murphy bed, as they’re also called. One end of a Murphy bed is hinged so it can be hidden beside a wall, or inside a cabinet or closet.

How it all started

Inventor of the Murphy bed, William Murphy, applied for his first patent around 1900. He was living in a small, one-room apartment in San Francisco and courting an opera singer. Since a woman of good moral standing never entered a man’s bedroom, Murphy found a way of turning his room into a parlour so he could entertain his beloved. Although fold-up beds already existed, Murphy came up with the idea of adding a pivot and counterbalance to the design. He received patents for both a “disappearing bed” and for a “design for a bed.”

Popularity in the 1920s and 1930s

Murphy beds gained popularity around the war years. With factories in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, Murphy was producing more than 100,000 beds a year. In fact, it became such a standard in many people’s living spaces, that the bed was often featured in many films of the day. But during the depression when steel was rationed, production dwindled. More people began to build homes after the war, which also lowered the demand for the beds. They began to become popular again over the last decade or so.

A modern take on an old idea

Murphy beds have always been popular in places where space is tight–like small apartments, mobile homes, college dorms and in some hotels. They have taken on a more modern look these days with the additions of lighting and storage. Wall beds with fold-down tables or desks are popular; there are also models that double as sofas. Some can even be found as horizontally-oriented bunk beds! There are many designs to choose from these days—you’ll even be able to get a great custom design from the folks at Lancaster Custom Cabinets and Closets.

What a wall bed could offer your home:

  • If you live in a smaller apartment, a Murphy bed will definitely give you more floor space, especially if your bed doubles as other furniture like a desk that pulls out. You will enjoy your space more when it’s less cluttered;
  • You’ll be able to use your spare room as an office as well if you install a Murphy bed. It’s the perfect addition to a guest room;
  • Children’s rooms can double as play rooms if they have wall beds. And you’ll find your kids will like showing off their “hidden” beds to their friends. They find the concept very cool.

More than an average wall bed

You can use your imagination and the expertise of the team at Lancaster Custom Cabinets and Closets to design your own wall bed. Here are some ideas:

A fashionable library. Your Murphy bed can be hidden during the day by lovely bookshelves which pull apart to reveal a comfortable, spring-balanced bed that can be easily unfolded and folded.
A bi-fold bed. This option turns into a fashionable cabinet when the bed is not being used. Bi-fold doors conceal your Murphy bed.
Flip desk. The underside of the mattress highlights a flip-up desk that can be used when the bed is hidden against the wall.

Answers to some questions you might have about Murphy beds

How comfortable are they, really? Comparing a Murphy bed to something like a futon or a sofa bed would be a mistake. Wall beds are very comfortable. With a conventional mattress, there are no bars, lumps or bumps that inhibit a restful sleep.

What if I move? Can I take my Murphy bed with me? Absolutely! Murphy beds aren’t floor mounted and use brackets to attach to the wall. They won’t harm the floor either, so they are also a space saving solution even if you’re renting.

Are they easy to use? Yes. Modern wall beds use spring-loaded mechanisms, which make them simple to lower and raise. They’re also counterbalanced so the bed won’t accidentally fall.

I have a mattress I would like to use. Can I do that? Any coil spring mattress up to 10” thick can be used. When your Murphy bed is being installed, it would be a good idea to have the mattress there.

A built-in is a perfect way to utilize space in a room used for more than just sleeping. They’re fun, functional and a wise addition to any multi-use space. Give Lancaster Custom Cabinets and Closets a call today to talk about creating a wall bed for your home.


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  • Posted on November 2/2016 By Mark David

    Thanks for mentioning the history about wall bed in your post. I like to read and love this.