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DIY Murphy Beds – The Solution For Small Apartments

By Life, Family Fun Team


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Do you know what a Murphy bed is? The fact that you landed on this page tells us that you probably do. However, here is a brief explanation, just in case:

Murphy beds are a type of compact bed that can retract from the wall.

Murphy beds are a type of compact bed that can retract from the wall. Their very nature makes them ideal for small spaces and part-time guest rooms. The term Murphy bed is most common in North America, but it can also be called a pull-down bed or a fold-down bed elsewhere. The term “murphy bed” comes from an Irish immigrant by the name of William Murphy who invented the bed as a space-saving solution for his teeny tiny New York apartment in the early 1900s.

Before we start listing some DIY Murphy bed ideas (and yes, if you are surprised that there is such a thing as DIY Murphy bed, you’re not alone), we want to give a few words of advice:

  • Making your own Murphy bed can be dangerous. You should always make sure that you follow instructions carefully, as a Murphy bed that has not been properly secured can cause serious injury.
  • If you are not comfortable with basic woodworking and furniture-building, you may want to skip the idea of making a Murphy bed by yourself. Instead, we would recommend that you work with a professional. As we mentioned above, a Murphy bed that is not secured can cause risk of serious injury and even death.

Okay! Now that we have those words of warning out of the way, here is a smattering of our favorite Murphy bed tutorials.

Chic Guest Room Murphy Bed

The first idea comes from a couple who made the decision to turn their existing guest room into a child’s room when they found out that they were expecting their second child. This meant that they had to find another space for guests to sleep, and decided that a murphy bed that fits into the wall was the best decision for them! The end result is something that looks straight out of an Ikea catalogue (if Ikea made Murphy beds). Be warned, though: there is a lot of work involved in getting a Murphy bed to look this professional — luckily there is a very in-depth tutorial to guide you along (it also comes with a lot of pictures). It also involves the use of hydraulics which sounds more complicated than it really is, promise. Check it out at the DIY Village.

Murphy Bed Plus Sofa

Many of the people who seek out a Murphy bed are living in houses or apartments with limited bedroom space, but what about those who don’t even have an additional bedroom? We are talking about the families who opt to live in a city center in exchange for a large amount of living space. Sometimes this means that they only have one bedroom (or two bedrooms if they have kids), a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. There is simply nowhere for guests to stay within this arrangement, which is a real pity because if you live in a big exciting place you are going to get guests!

That was exactly the dilemma that this Imgur user set out to solve. The end result is a Murphy bed that actually transforms into a sofa which in turn turns into a bed. This means that they can keep this Murphy bed in their living room and benefit from either a couch or a bed, depending on their needs! This is simply a genius idea for anyone who is living in a very small space that still wants the option to entertain guests within their home.

The Cheap Murphy Bed

First thing’s first: when we say cheap, we mean cheap. This Murphy bed clocks in at not even $150 in total supply costs — you would be very hard-pressed to find a bed frame in a similar price point. That being said, it will involve elbow grease from your part. Don’t stress, though — Your Modern Family says that it can be done within a weekend. To back up this claim they offer very clear pictures and step-by-step instructions, which should ideally be enough to inspire confidence in the nervous builder!

Murphy Bed Bookshelf

If you are looking into using a Murphy bed, you probably have some rooms in your house that serve more than one function. If you are using a room partially as an office space, then you might want to consider this DIY Murphy Bed plan from Family Handyman. It takes this whole DIY Murphy Bed business to the next level, because it provides you not only with a stowaway bed solution but also with a beautiful bookshelf for storing all of your belongings!

The Murphy Bed From a Kit

If you have made it this far down the list and realized that a homemade Murphy bed is not a 100% good fit for you, then you might want to find a happy medium. We mean that you might want to consider using a Murphy bed kit — yes, such a thing exists! Lori Wall Beds are held in such high esteem that they’ve been featured in places like the Spruce, Reader’s Digest, and Apartment Therapy. They are built on the principles that a Murphy bed should be affordable and should also be easy to install. All of the Murphy beds offered by Lori Wall Beds come with 100% natural wood, and cost under $800! You may find that the limber costs of the other DIY Murphy beds on this list come close to that, anyway. Chances are that a Lori Wall Bed might just be the right choice for you if you are looking for a space-conscious bedding solution for a spare room.

Thin and Practical Murphy Bed

If you are working with a tight — and we mean tight — space, then some of the options on this list might not even fit into your guest room. They may just be too thick or stick out further than you need them to. Since you are only using this as an occasional guest bed, you might be content with using a thinner mattress that won’t stick out as being poor-quality if only used for a few full night sleeps. You can pair a thin mattress with this narrow DIY Murphy Bed solution from Creative Decor by Brooke.

Murphy Bed Bunk Beds

Do Murphy Bed bunk beds sound too good to be true? They’re not, and we have the tutorial to prove it. Check it out over at DIY Network, where they will take you through the step-by-step way that you can put together a Murphy Bed that folds out into bunk beds. This is ideal for anyone who is looking to provide sleeping arrangements for children at a family vacation house or somebody who is truly trying to be as space-conscious as they can be.

Ikea Murphy Bed Hack

You should have known that there was going to be an Ikea hack of some sort on this list! The Ikea Murphy bed hack comes courtesy of Renos and Old House who show you how you can make a Murphy bed using parts from the Ikea series called Pax. Unlike other Ikea furniture that you can buy and easily assemble, you will need to do a lot of finagling to get this Murphy Bed to work out. Fortunately, this tutorial is very thorough and will tell you step-by-step how you can make your Murphy bed dreams a reality using only Ikea materials.

One final warning: once the word gets around that you have a Murphy bed, you can expect lots of requests from guests that want to stay at your house. Don’t blame us if high school acquaintances whom you haven’t heard from in years start to show up! It’s your own fault for offering such comfortable guest accommodations.

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