The Murphy bed has an interesting and colourful history. Does the name ring a bell? You might recognize it more easily when referred to by one of its other common names like “wall-bed,” “fold down bed” or “pull down bed,” or simply “bed-in-the-wall,” the words many Google users enter as a search term for the Murphy bed.
You might have guessed that it gets its name from its inventor. You’d be partly right. It’s named for William Lawrence Murphy (circa 1900), but he didn’t develop the initial concept. Prior to 1900 there were other fold-up beds on the market, but Murphy had very personal reasons for taking the concept further and creating what we know today as the Murphy Bed.
Murphy lived in a tiny bachelor apartment in San Francisco. It made city life easier, but dating a bit of a challenge. These were the days of moral sensitivity, and common morale dictated that single woman did not visit the bedroom of a man. Since Murphy’s bedroom was his sitting room, this posed a dilemma.
To solve the problem, Murphy used the concept of the commonly-available fold-away bed and designed a cavity into which the bed could be discreetly folded, making it flush with the wall. He also added pivot and counterbalancing features, and the Murphy bed was born.
While materials used for building a Murphy bed have changed and improved, the basic design of today’s Murphy bed is the same as the one Murphy created. And with today’s city dwellings getting smaller and more compact, there is a great deal of renewed interest in this innovative and space-conscious piece of critical furniture.
Here in Greater Vancouver apartments, condos and town homes rule supreme. These dwellings allow a person or family to enjoy benefits like being close to town, schools and city amenities, leave maintenance and yard work to someone else, live within a safer micro-community and to own a home when they otherwise may not have been able to afford one. To do this, they’re willing to sacrifice some square footage, and most are keen to make the absolute most of what little they do have.
After more than one hundred years, the Murphy bed is still one of the greatest home space-saving pieces of furniture you can buy. A queen size bed takes up approximately 33 square feet of space and even more when you factor in clearance. It’s only needed at night, yet it takes up space all day long, space that could be devoted to actual living in a small residence. In fact, people have lived comfortably in apartments as small as 90 square feet with a Murphy bed installed.
A nice little side benefit to owning a Murphy bed is that you don’t necessarily even have to make your bed. Simply fold it away, tousled sheets and all. No one will ever know the difference.
Murphy beds aren’t just advantageous for those who live in small spaces. Property developers can incorporate Murphy beds into their condo designs from the ground up. Doing so allows a developer to build more dwellings in the same amount of property and increase profits.
Tailored Living offers customized Murphy bed solutions for all styles and sizes of Greater Vancouver dwellings. Visit Tailored Living’s Murphy bed page to discover your options and learn how to free up space in your home.