How to Disguise a Murphy Bed

The original Murphy beds were inclosed in closets and cabinets. Unfortunately, a closet or cabinet stuffed with a bed can't be used for much else. That's why contemporary designers have figured out ways to disguise Murphy beds while at the same time retaining utility and aesthetics. These attractive and functional Murphy bed options are well-suited for anyone in need of small bedroom ideas.

The Murphy Library Bed

This clever design uses sliding bookcases mounted on rails to disguise a Murphy bed. The basic arrangement consists of four bookcases of equal size. Two stand on either side of the bed. The other two bookcases can sit in front of the upright bed, concealing it from view, or directly in front of the stationary bookcases, allowing the bed to be lowered. It's a simple but very effective set up: the bookcases can hold books or other items, the bed is entirely hidden, and only the small footprint of the upright bed remains unusable. This design is especially popular because it is so easy to implement, and because it maximises the use of available storage space. The Murphy library bed is a terrific solution for a renter looking to complete a studio apartment design, or even a homeowner interested in a dual-use library / guestroom combination.

Side Tilt Murphy Beds

The twin is one of the most common sizes for Murpy beds. A twin is just the right size to accommodate the occasional overnight visitor. With a bit of searching, one can locate special Murphy bed hardware that allows horizontal mounting of a twin mattress. Depending on configuration, an upright "side tilt" twin mattress will be no more than about waist-high. This means that a thoughtful designer can disguise a side tilt Murphy bed using a wide variety of non-traditional methods. For example, a horizontally mounted Murphy bed will fit under a bar counter, with a few barstools hiding any remaining traces. Entertainment centers, large side console tables, and decorative mantlepieces are all legitimate hiding places for a side-tilt Murphy bed. All of these arrangements permit maximum use of available space while thoroughly disguising a twin-sized mattress.

Rethinking Murphy Bed Cabinets

Careful planning can turn traditional non-functional Murphy bed furniture such as cabinets and armouries into much more appealing and useful household items. Adding door mirrors or a drop-leaf folding table will turn a Murphy bed cabinet into more than just a hiding place. Installing mirrors and folding tables or desks is quite straightforward; the only requirement is that the cabinet doors and hinges be sturdy enough to support the extra weight.

Exotic Hidden Beds

Adventurous designers won't have a problem finding innovative ways to conceal Murphy beds. It's possible to create suspended bedframes that disappear into the ceiling--all it takes is an electric pulley system properly anchored to ceiling joists. Some homeowners may favor a seamless Murphy bed installation with a hiding spot that is recessed into the wall. For the ultimate in dramatic and dynamic furniture, mount a Murphy bed on a turntable: flip a hidden switch and a bookshelf spins around, swapping places with a hidden upright Murphy bed!