A guest bedroom is a rare commodity in rental living for the average renter. Of course there are people who rent that extra room because they enjoy house guests and have them often enough to make it worth while, but for many – especial the budget-conscious, the small-space denizen or the large family, an extra room is as magical and mythical as a time machine like Dr. Who’s TARDIS.
But there are other ways of creating space for visitors – or even working up a tidy little bachelor to function better by day and night. Hide-a-beds, futons and davenports are the most common ways to serve up extra sleep space, but the Murphy bed is often overlooked! The great advantage of a Murphy bed – room to sleep but no room wasted.
A popular trend 40 years ago, you still see Murphy beds in 70’s TV shows like Welcome Back Kotter and Laverne & Shirley. Movies utilized them for gags – getting stuck in a bed that shut on you made for great slapstick. But the fact is, William Lawrence Murphy had a darn good idea. (And yes, that’s why it’s called a Murphy bed!) It was Murphy’s design, which used a counter-balance and pivot mechanism, that allowed the bed to glide up easily, out of the way; or be pulled out for a good night’s sleep. Now they’re making their resurgence – even in modern TV shows like Two Broke Girls.
With lots of usable wall space in an apartment, a narrow Murphy bed can sit out-of-site until guests arrive. Today they come in a range of designs, from cabinets to shelving, the bed frame doing double duty, adding great function and storage. Skip the guest room. Buy – or build – yourself a Murphy bed and add it right into the den’s decor, and then go redecorate your new office, sewing room, man-cave or art studio.
From buying a kit or a prefab bed, to making your own, you can make it look like a piece of furniture, a cabinet, shelves – or even Dr. Who’s TARDIS.