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.


5 custom storage projects to inspire you in 2016

How are you going to get organized in 2016? Maybe it’s time to overhaul your closet with a custom closet design, or you’re ready to tackle the family room with custom cabinets, or maybe this is the year you get your home office fully organized and set up to take that next step. Space Solutions offers solutions for these and other spaces throughout your home with custom cabinetry in endless finish options. You’re ready to take that next step – here are 5 projects from our Houzz listing to inspire you, and get you on your way to clearing your New Year’s resolutions.

A contemporary home office

This installation showcases an L-shaped home office scenario, with included wire management channels room for two work stations. The laminates used on the custom cabinets are white “super matte” (an exciting, ultra-smooth finish, available in a variety of solid colours) and southwester woodgrain melamine. Drawers feature lateral file runners, for both legal and letter sized files. We also installed high-intensity LED strip lighting, embedded in the underside of the upper cabinets on both sides.

Custom closets

Even a simple reachin closet, done right, is an elegant effective solution to get you started on the right foot in 2016. Custom design allows us to design a custom closet that suits your needs, your space, your taste and your budget.

A custom Murphy bed

This side-tilt double Murphy bed uses chrome pulls and a beautiful melamine finish called “Linen”. The overhead and adjacent storage is stepped back, with the top-most levels all sitting just a little proud, creating a nice, simple detail. We also built a small desk area to the left of the bed, complete with over head storage and drawers. We can build our Murphy beds using a wide range of styles and finishes, and complement them with fully custom cabinetry around them, making your spare bedroom a home office, family room, library or more.

A wall unit with a fireplace

This project offers a bit of everything: wardrobes, drawer and laundry storage, a space for the TV and even a wall-mounted electric fireplace. When working with fireplaces you supply your own, and we build the cabinet to suit. Modern flat-panel fireplaces, just like flat-screen televisions, lend themselves nicely towards working with custom cabinets in any room.

A traditional library

This den was outfitted with luxurious stained wood to create a beautiful and functional library. The ultimate in custom cabinetry, featuring traditional five-piece solid wood on doors and drawer fronts, and real wood (maple) veneer on shelves and side panels, Space Solutions will have your custom den, home office, wall unit or library stained to suit and beautifully finished.

Free in-home consultation

Feeling inspired yet? These are merely a starting point of what Space Solutions can do for you. Get organized in 2016 with custom cabinets and storage solutions throughout your home. Book your free in-home consultation now by calling us at 416.322.5575 or make a request with this handy form.


Sliding doors – 26 standard board colours!

closet doors room divider custom doors
Because we produce our custom sliding doors in-house, we are able to offer a wide range of options for finishing details. The European aluminum hardware can accommodate a variety of insert materials. Most often we use what is known as ‘white lami’ glass, a composite glass product using two sheets of clear glass, joined with a white film that both gives the glass a semi-opaque frosted appearance and also acts as a safety backing to prevent breakage; you will see this in the majority of the images on our Doors page. Other glass products include mirror and back-painted glass, the latter being completely customizable, as our glass supplier will colour-match any paint sample of your choosing. But more and more we are working board panels into the mix, which can offer a wide range of looks and also a more economical price point than glass.

At Space Solutions we are happy to be able to offer the widest range of finish options for our custom products in the industry, and that includes our sliding door offerings. We currently offer 26 different 1/4″ melamine finishes for our custom doors! These 26 options are all double-sided, so they may be used in room divider applications where both sides are seen, and even better, all of these finishes are available in the thicker 3/4″ board that we use for our cabinet structures, meaning you can have your custom closet doors match your closet organizer, your wall unit, your room.

So, how many finishes can you select from for your custom sliding door project? This many*:

slidingdoorsboardoptions

* and if that’s not enough, there’s even more options; we can have MDF factory-painted to the color of your preference, or, we can also have board laminated using any of a few hundred formica or arborite laminates.


Holiday hours for 2015

For the 2015 holiday season, we will operate under normal business hours with the following exceptions:

Thursday December 24 9:30 to 1:00

Friday December 25 CLOSED

Saturday December 26 CLOSED

Thursday December 31 9:30 to 1:00

Friday January 1 CLOSED

Normal business hours resume on Saturday, January 2. During the holiday season, some of our staff will be taking a well-deserved vacation, including many of our installers, to coincide with seasonal shutdowns with many of our suppliers and product sources. We’ll be back up at full speed in early January, and indeed, we’re already taking orders for January installation!

From all of us at Space Solutions, have a great season and a very happy new year.


Complete Toronto Master Bedroom Project

Antique White master bedroomHere we would like to share this complete master bedroom project. This midtown Toronto home, where space as you can imagine is at a premium, needed a complete solution for living and storage space. And while often a Murphy Bed is the right solution, in this case our client desired a traditional bed, and had just enough space to make that work. By tailoring the design and application to meet their needs we were able to deliver a solution for them which could very well serve as inspiration for your complete master bedroom.

The first thing of note is that we actually built a platform for the bed itself, including integrated storage below, in the form of functional drawer space. Each side of the bed offers two deep drawers for storage including space for spare bedding. As you see in the detail images below (click to open them enlarged in a new window) the drawers may be opened without getting in the way of the bedding itself. By installing these drawers without handles – the fronts are oversized so you may easily pull them open from below – we avoid creating a hazard for tripping or snags.

Antique White master bedroom drawersAntique White master bedroom drawers
 

Antique White master bedroom rad cover
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
On the window side of the master bedroom, there was a radiator along the wall. To deal with that we installed a radiator cover cabinet (sometimes simply called a ‘rad cover’). We used the same antique white laminate for the structure and door frames as for the rest of the installation, and the client selected an MDF screen which we had painted to match the laminate. The radiator itself did not run the entire length of the room, but for symmetry we installed the screening panels as if they did, and behind some of the doors there is additional storage, while the remainder allow the heat to radiate, and also open for any maintenance and access. The surface below the window neatly abuts the cabinets on the right end – where we provided some wardrobe and drawer storage.

Antique white master bedroom rad coverAntique White master bedroom drawers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antique white master bedroomThe dark counter top used on either side of the bed – a popular woodgrain melamine tone called chocolate pear – creates unified night table space, and on the far side of the room, adjacent to the mirrored wardrobes, extends into a vanity area complete with its own mirrored backing. We also installed LED lights on three separate switches (which are stored inside the drawers on the relevant sides) to create display lighting for the upper glass cabinets, as well as reading lighting for either side of the bed. The LEDs blend nicely with the overhead lighting installed in the room itself. You can see detailed closeups below of the oil-rubbed bronze hardware used for the wardrobe doors (handles to match the knobs used on drawers) along with a pullout wardrobe rail used in this installation. The complete master bedroom project was designed, built and installed by Space Solution using antique white and chocolate pear finishes, with integrated mouldings, crown and other trimming details. To get started on your complete master bedroom, contact us today for a free in-home consultation.

oil-rubbed bronze hardwarewardrobe railAntique white master bedroom wardrobe

All photos by Aaron Mason.


Space Solutions reviews and testimonials

Reviews and testimonials are more important than ever, and at Space Solutions, we work extra hard behind the scenes to make sure your experience with us exceeds your expectations. We are quite proud of the reviews and testimonials we receive from our customers, as referrals and first hand recommendations are so important. Whether you are a first-time customer or someone for whom we have worked before, you deserve to have your project completed on time and accurate. And we want our customers to come back to us for their next project, whether it’s in the same home or down the line, and if you haven’t worked with us before, you need to know that you can trust Space Solutions to be the right fit for you.

Barb Larocque owner Space Solutions

Done the right way on time is my goal for every order. I work behind the scenes to make it happen.” – Barb Larocque, Owner, Space Solutions.ca

HomeStars, “the leading online community of homeowners and home improvement companies throughout Canada”, is a great resource for consumers. The companies listed on HomeStars cover the entire home improvement spectrum, from plumbers, roofers and electricians, to landscapers, designers and yes, closet storage professionals like us. HomeStars recently announced that in addition to continuing to host real, authentic reviews from consumers and providing an Average Review Score for quick reference, they have added a Star Score, which combines reviews with other factors, helping consumers make an even more informed buying decision. Space Solutions is pleased to note that as of October 2015, we have an Average Review Score of 9.5 out of 10, and the needle on our Recommendation Meter is firmly in the green.

Want to see exactly what people are saying about Space Solutions on HomeStars? You can read all our reviews and testimonials on our listing here. For more information about HomeStars and how they work, read their About page here. Have we done work for you recently, and you’d like to share your experience? Click the Write a Review box on our listing and follow the instructions.

Space Solutions Reviews and Testimonials

You can also read reviews and testimonials of our work on Houzz, which is a wonderful image-focused portal for design and home improvement companies. You can find reviews on our Houzz profile here, and again, if you would like to submit a review, click on Review Me.

Space Solutions on Houzz


Murphy Beds in the Globe and Mail

Toronto Murphy Bed double side tilt custom cabinet deskwall bed

Recently the Globe and Mail published an article about Murphy Beds and spoke to Andrew about what we can do for you. We make Murphy Beds for single, double and queen size mattresses, with both vertical and horizontal orientations. The Murphy Bed installation shown here we’ve written about before, and is a side-tilt double. The Globe article also offers some great tips on selecting a mattress (we don’t supply mattresses, so the mattress you provide is entirely up to you!) whether you’re purchasing for a Murphy Bed or a conventional bed. With a Murphy Bed, you don’t require a boxspring, as the mattress rests on the backside of the cabinet door.

Have look at our Murphy Beds gallery for inspiration on what we can do for you today!


The Murphy Bed in a multi-purpose family room

Wall Bed Rosedale midtownWe’ve posted a couple of times previously about work done at this home, but hadn’t yet showcased the Murphy Bed in the lower level family room. While often times a Murphy Bed will be used in a small bedroom in order to be able to reclaim space during the day, Murphy Beds are most commonly installed in a room that serves a variety of purposes, like a home office, a den, or in this case, the family room. The lower level of this home looks out on the back yard and its patio and pool, and features a long wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. The client wanted something dynamic for this space, something that would catch the available light and stand out, yet not distract from the wall-mounted television he was providing, and chose a laminate called Stainless. This finish is available in the various laminate forms we use in our cabinet construction, and resembles brushed stainless steel when viewed up close. We used melamine for the flat surfaces, and a thermofoil version for the raised panel doors. The use of the shaker profile with Stainless was a bold choice, and really brought this Murphy Bed to life.

Wall Bed Rosedale midtownThe room in which we installed this wall unit and Murphy Bed has a lot of features for its daily use that aren’t seen in these shots; a bar, a pool table and of course a couple of comfortable loungers for watching the big game on television – you might even call it a bit of a “man cave”.  And while that’s certainly the main use of the space, there are times when you may have guests coming for extended stays, and that’s where including a Murphy Bed is ideal. Our Murphy Beds use genuine Murphy hardware, with its patented spring-loaded mechanism, which ensures safe, smooth and easy operation and carries a lifetime warranty against failures. The best part is that a genuine Murphy Bed uses actual, standard mattresses (you provide your own) so you or your guests will be as comfortable as though they were sleeping in a regular bed. We use different combinations of springs during the installation to perfectly balance the hardware for the weight of your mattress – it’s so easy to open and close that anyone can use your Murphy Bed confidently and safely.

Other features of this multi-purpose Murphy Bed installation include a wardrobe on the lefthand side, L-shaped shelves that wrap the corner, overhead doors that lift up for bedding storage, 1 1/2″ trims and lips on the open shelves to create a more robust look, a buildup around the vent pipe on the righthand side (which was duplicated to the left of the television for symmetry) and a false door on the lower right containing a vent grill for the air circulation. All in all, this is one of the more unique Murphy Beds we have installed in the past couple of years. There are some additional angles of the finished product below, and if you would like to get started on your Murphy Bed project, you can request an in-home consultation by filling out this handy form.

Wall bed Rosedale midtown Wall bed Rosedale midtown Wall bed Rosedale midtown
Photos of this project by our friends at Metroviews.ca.


Closet planning – know your terms and needs

walk-in closet dressing room

The Dream Closet – not every home has the space for a Dream Closet, and that’s okay.

When planning a custom closet solution, it’s helpful to think about how you use your closet space. At some point in the process, you are going to be speaking to closet storage experts such as us, so you’ll want to have a grasp on not only your closet needs, but some of the closet concepts that are likely to be at play. This knowledge, in conjunction with information about your needs and preferences will better arm closet professionals like us find the best closet solution for you and your space.

Closet types

First of all, there are different types of closet spaces. Most people are familiar of course with Walk In closets – a closet that is large enough that you can walk into it. Some walk in closets may be a small as 5 feet by 6 feet, or they may be as large an entire room – and indeed, sometimes people will convert a spare room into a walk in dressing room, if you have the space to spare. More common are closets that are too shallow to walk into, which we call reach in closets – since you reach into them. We also commonly work in spaces that aren’t already closets – we can build enclosed cabinets to serve as wardrobes, or even close off the end of a room with our custom sliding doors to create closet where none exists. For more about closet types, please see this post.

Clothes hanging

short hanging closet rods

An example of double short hanging.

The greatest need and biggest part of any closet solution is clothes hanging. Your hanging needs are typically divided by short hanging and long hanging. Short hanging is usually the majority, comprising shirts, blouses, skirts, folded pants and some jackets. Grouping all of your shorter items together can allow you to more effectively manage the required space by stacking sections, known as double hanging. Typically, a single layer of short hanging requires between 36” and 40” in height, you generally you will need 7 feet (84”) in height to achieve effective double hanging. Some items may need less height – some skirts, folded pants and children’s clothes – so you may in some cases be able to utilize lower areas for double hanging. Since we most often will provide adjustability for your closet rods in our solutions, you can often re-space your rods after the installation if the need arises.

long clothes single hanging

An example of single long clothes hanging.

Most people don’t need as much space for longer things, but there are usually a few items that are longer. This may include dresses, longer jackets or coats, robes and pants hung straight by the cuff. For this you will need long hanging – the height required for long hanging will vary, but usually we will allow anywhere from 55” to 70” in height. As such, long hanging is most often not stacked with short hanging, although you can usually combine your long items with shelf space, either above or below the closet rod. Again, you can usually adjust your hanging heights after your installation, thanks to our adjustable rod holders, which easily fit into pre-drilled holes we provide in our panels.

Shelf space

simple shelf tower

A simple shelf tower.

The next most important aspect of your custom closet solution is how do you use shelf space? Open shelves will accommodate a wide range of things: folded clothes that don’t get hung, linens and bedding, smaller clothing items, accessories and mementos in containers, handbags, hats and shoes. Some things, like folded clothes, you may want in easy reach. Others, like seasonal and special occasion items, may be stored higher or out the way. While it is probably a given that you will have upper shelf space throughout your closet up top, above your clothes hanging areas, you may want to consider a shelf tower in your closet – a bank of shelves in their own contained vertical area. Store items you need most frequently in easy reach. A shelf tower, especially if storing commonly-needed items, will most often be placed in the most accessible part of a closet. If it’s a reach-in closet, likely in the center, and in a walk in closet, either closest to the doorway, or maybe at the end wall if you have clothes hanging down the two sides. Among other things, if you are setting up both double hanging and single long hanging on the same wall, you’ll need to have a division between these two areas at some point, and a shelf tower can serve that purpose functionally.

Shoes are something that everyone needs a place for, yet everyone has different needs and preferences for them, too. You may have 5 pairs of shoes, or you may have 50 pairs – either way, you’ll need a place for them that is efficient, and, if you have a larger collection, allows you to find what you’re looking for. Shoes are usually best starting at the lower levels within a closet – if you have enough, you may even need to devote an entire shelf tower just for shoes alone! For smaller collections, though, consider storing them below your long clothes hanging, or on the lowest levels of a tower. It’s not uncommon for people to want to show off their shoe collections by displaying them on angled shelves as a means of presenting them, or even to house their shoes in clear storage boxes on upper shelves.

Drawer space

custom walk-in closet

A simple shelf and drawer tower.

While not every closet requires drawers, if you can effectively manage the real estate in your closet solution by carefully planning your hanging and shelving needs, you can also free up space in the bedroom by eliminating the need for as much furniture. The types of smaller things that go into drawers are most often those that don’t easily exist on open shelves: socks, undergarments, workout wear, t-shirts and more. For smaller things, like socks, it may make sense to utilize more – yet smaller – drawers, in the interest of keeping it easy to locate things. Too many small things in a larger drawer, the more you need to rummage to find things. Larger items that may still get stored include sweaters and bulkier things, for which it makes sense to use fewer yet larger drawers. A proper closet solution is not just about finding room for everything, but making everything easier to find.

Accessories

There are many other things beyond simple garments that get stored in closets. Handbags, scarves, neckties, belts and jewellery all need homes. We can offer drawer inserts for organizing jewellery; racks for hanging ties, belts and scarves; hooks for grab-and-go things and even shelf dividers for sorting handbags. Think about what other things you may want to store in your closet – an ironing board? A laundry hamper? This is all important information for you to have at your fingertips when planning your custom closet with one of our designers.

Now you-re better armed to discuss your closet needs with one of our designers – contact us to set up your free in-home consultation today!


12 Ways to Work Your Wardrobe

Here’s a great article on Houzz with some very useful closet organizing tips! Of course, we can provide elegant, functional and reasonable custom closet solutions for you, but these pointers are useful both for maintaining your solution, or even if you’re not in the market for one.

You can visit our Houzz profile here, where we showcase many of our more interesting projects and offerings!


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