A Murphy Bed with an eye for design

A perfect custom Murphy Bed should blend into its surroundings so that the room is transformed smoothly into a multi-function space. Murphy Beds will most often be part of a custom cabinet scenario that includes additional storage, but can also be used in conjunction with a desk in a home office, a wardrobe in a spare bedroom, a media / game center in a family room or toy storage in a child’s play area. In this case, it’s a home office; a desk runs underneath the window and there is more than enough room for a Murphy Bed on the adjacent wall.

wall bed custom cabinets

Double Side Tilt Murphy Bed in Sand and Southwester with stained wood desktop

This Murphy Bed design features a newly popular woodgrain melamine finish called Southwester, which has been getting a lot of use lately on our projects; it has elements of gray mixed in with the brown wood hues and conveys a natural, almost rustic look which really pops in a variety of projects. Here it serves as the foundation in this custom Murphy Bed, used as the trim, open shelving, back panels and fronts for the drawers under the desk top. Playing with the direction of the grain (subject to size and orientation of the piece) allows for some creative usage; on the backpanels the Southwester grain runs vertically, but on the drawer faces it runs horizontally.

wall bed

Double Side Tilt Murphy Bed in Sand and Southwester showing angled headboard

Two-tone combinations have long been popular on any type of custom cabinet installation, including wall units, wardrobes and entertainment centers, but traditionally the contrasting finish has often been white. In this Murphy Bed design, a supermat laminate called Sand Beige was selected. Supermat is a type of finish that is ultra smooth, and matte; it doesn’t have a gloss sheen to it, or even a typical melamine texture to it, it’s that smooth. Here it is used to great effect, as the door panel on the Murphy Bed itself, the overhead flip-up doors (concealing bedding storage) and the lower door and file drawers on the desk side. Using Sand Beige with Southwester here brings out the warmer tones in this layout and brightens the space, will keeping it soft and subtle. Supermat laminates are available in a variety of colours, and we have samples at our showroom – you’ll want to feel them for yourself!

custom cabinetry

Upper detail around Murphy Bed, showing varying grain direction, depths and top cap treatment

Anytime we are installing custom cabinets around a corner or window (or both, as in this case) this gives us an opportunity to creatively solve a problem or how to bring materials together and keep the flow continuous. Sometimes walls aren’t straight, angles may not be perfect and at the end of the day the solution needs to make sense functionally as well as structurally – it has to go together somehow. Here we elected to have the shelving next to the Murphy Bed step back twice, with the deepest shelving directly over the bed, and the shallowest – display depth – in the corner facing the side of the desk, overhanging a recessed backer. This stepping feature is also mimicked across the top where we have provided cap shelves to fill the space at the ceiling, with a simple yet elegant detail as those pieces sit proud. The vertical trim next to the shallowest shelf area tucks in neatly behind the window frame.

computer desk, work station

File drawers (left) and pencil drawers (right) sit underneath the stained wood desktop

For the desk surface itself we used solid wood, and had it stained to compliment the flooring in this space. Under the desk at the seating area we provided a pair of pencil drawers, and on the lower left, in easy reach from a seated position, a pair of drawers for hanging files. While it is unlikely you would be sitting at that desk while the Murphy Bed is in use, there’s just enough space in this arrangement to do so if you wish. Contemporary brushed chrome handles on the Murphy Bed, file drawers, liftup doors (and the little door in the corner) unify the design and add a touch of flair to the space.

This Murphy Bed project is one of 5 areas in the same North Toronto home that were recently custom designed and installed by Space Solutions, and we’ll be sharing more from this shoot with you soon. Photographs by Aaron Mason.