Building a Murphy Bed in Your Guest Room

Murphy bed in a room
  • 5-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-500

The space-saving design of a fold-away bed, also known as a Murphy Bed, is becoming popular once again. Smaller homes and a shift to metropolitan living has left many homeowners searching for ways to save space and arrange the necessary furniture. Patented in 1916 by William Murphy, the Murphy Bed was popular during the 1920s and 30s when homes were smaller and space was limited.

As today's homeowners retreat to smaller living spaces, Murphy Beds are making a comeback. Building a Murphy Bed in your guest room will help create a multi-functional space that allows guests to enjoy a comfortable stay and the room to function differently when they have gone. When building a Murphy bed there are some points to consider to make the process easier and less stressful.

1. Space

Murphy Beds do not take up much floor space when they are folded up, but when folded down there needs to be enough room for them to be fully extended. Although a wall may be big enough to hold a king size Murphy Bed, if there is only enough floor space for a double bed, that is a consideration that must be taken into account before construction begins.

Also keep in mind that two tall bookshelves or armoires will flank the bed and provide stability for the design. The wall chosen to hold the bed must be wide enough to accommodate the side pieces as well. To measure the space needed, calculate the width of the side bookshelves and the width of the mattress being used. Add a few inches onto the resulting number to allow for miscalculations and any needed adjustments.

2. Construction

murphy bed

For the handy, do-it-yourself homeowner a Murphy Bed should be relatively easy to build. There are many websites that describe the process and provide plans for creating one from scratch. The major components to the bed are the solid frame and hinges. Simple tools like a hammer, saw and tape measure will help complete the project accurately. Choosing strong material that will not warp or crack will keep the Murphy Bed in use for many years.

If plans alone are not enough to inspire confidence with the building process, consider investing in a kit. Many manufacturers offer kits that contain the necessary materials and sell them to specialty and furniture stores. As always, if a question arises during the building process, be sure to ask for help. Due to the customizable measurements of the bed, measuring the material twice before cutting is an applicable rule to follow while constructing a Murphy Bed.

3. Multi-Functional Guest Room

Since guests come and go, it makes sense to build a Murphy Bed in the guest room so the space can be used for other purposes when visitors have gone. A home office, exercise room or crafting retreat can all be part of the multi-functional space when the Murphy Bed is folded away. Be sure the furniture required for the room's other purposes can be moved or does not interfere with the space needed when the bed is fully extended.

With a good plan, an accurate tape measure and a bit of do-it-yourself spirit, most homeowners will be able to construct a Murphy Bed in their guest rooms with little difficulty. Proper planning and a thorough assessment of the actual space available in the room will make the process run smoother. If space is limited and guest accommodations are necessary, consider building a Murphy Bed in your guest room to create a dynamic, multi-functional space.