2 Great Kids Bedroom Built-ins

Here’s a good example of how we contributed custom built-in storage for one family’s son and daughter. Solving storage needs for kids can be a challenge – children can be notoriously picky, and as children grow their needs can change. Finding a custom solution that endures and appeals is essential, and this project does that.

builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted

Creative color selection for the exposed wall above the desk adds depth and interest.

Our client had two adjacent bedrooms for the children, and in typical Toronto style each bedroom’s closet was nestled against each other. This limited the storage space available in each bedroom, as the other bedroom’s closet essentially backed into the room. The client had their contractor remove the defined closet spaces by taking out their walls, and this freed up more space for functional storage in each room, and by installing built-ins for each child we were able to not only make more efficient use of the space, the staggered depths of the built-in cabinets help prevent the space from being taken over by custom cabinets.

builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted

Recessing the toekicks and using a cap shelf across the tops is good for the toes and the eyes.

There’s a number of little details applied here that make these custom cabinets great built-ins. For the bases, the toekicks – and the side of the drawer pedestal under the desk – are recessed. This helps keep people from stubbing toes and also adds interest. As with many older houses in Toronto, walls and ceilings are out a bit, and while our custom cabinets are square and have right angles, maybe your room doesn’t. The cap shelf applied above the wardrobe cabinet helps minimize the fact that the ceiling slopes upwards towards the right hand wall. The exposed wall area behind the desk was painted out by the client to complement the walls adjacent to the custom cabinetry, adding additional visual interest, and a glass desktop allows for their daughter to display some of her favourite things on her desk while she does her homework.

builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted

When you have an effective design already, why change it? Stick with what works!

In the other bedroom, we mostly replicated the design with a mirror image of the layout, and installed another custom built-in wardrobe with desk. The most obvious difference is the colour palette; for the son’s room, a different colour scheme was selected, and as with the daughter’s room, the exposed wall area behind the desk was painted out a complementary colour. The built-ins for both kids feature factory-painted exteriors, and factory-painting is a great choice for any built-in. Pick a colour and our paint shop will do it – and not only do you get a gorgeous finish, factory painted cabinets can offer more flexibility in decorative details including trims and mouldings, which once painted all match perfectly. The daughter’s cabinets were painted Chantilly Lace as a softer contrast to the bright hues in that room, while the son’s cabinets were painted Chelsea Gray as a bolder contrast to his wall colour.

builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted

For factory-painted built-ins, we paint the exteriors – what you always see – and use melamine for interiors.

Aside from the exterior colour, the other main difference between these two kids’ custom built-ins is what happens inside. As with any factory-painted built-in, you paint the exteriors mostly, the things you see all the time: doors, sides, trims, drawer fronts and any exposed shelves or surfaces. For the interiors, we usually will use a standard melamine finish – in this case white – as that keeps costs down and as the interior surfaces will get more contact the melamine wears better. As you can see in the photo above, we did still paint out the leading edges of the shelves and side panels, as small aspects of them are visible around the doors and would otherwise stand out. For the son’s and daughter’s wardrobes we installed slightly different interior configurations, tailored to the kids’ needs. Alternate views of both cabinets may be seen below.

builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted builtin, wardrobe, armoire, closet, desk, factory painted

We have full-size examples of custom built-ins on display in our showroom, both painted and otherwise. If you are interested in getting a quote on your next custom storage project, we start with free in-consultation, and will come to your home to measure, present samples and portfolio examples and discuss options with you. To get started, call us during business hours at 416.322.5575, or after hours, use this handy form to request an in-home consultation!

Photos by Aaron Mason.

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Murphy Beds and Wall Beds

Wall Bed Murphy Bed Toronto Shaker LightsMurphy Beds, sometimes known as Wall Beds, are a great solution for a multi-functional space that needs to be able to accommodate a bed, be it for occasional or everyday use. Consider Murphy Beds for your home office, den, a family room, even an open-concept space without a defined bedroom – a custom Murphy Bed offers you a real bed, with a real mattress and real comfort, that may be concealed when not in use.

We start with genuine Murphy® hardware – the lightweight steel frame provides unmatched reliability and strength, is rated to hold up to 1200 lbs, and is designed for everyday use. The patented fold-over steel leg not only keeps clear when open to prevent stubbing toes, but when closed, rotates in to hold bedding in place. The spring mechanism counterbalances the weight of the mattress to allow gentle “fingertip” raising and lowering. Our trained installers will adjust the springs to ensure smooth, easy operation, and guaranteed installation. And our solid 3/4” cabinet construction simply can not be beat. You supply a standard-size mattress (single, double or queen, with a maximum thickness of 10”), and we mount your Wall Bed against the wall – so your floors stay intact, and your cabinet is safe and secure. Most often, you can close your Wall Bed fully made-up with sheets and blankets, instantly ready for use.

Side Tilt Wall Bed Murphy Bed desk table TorontoHave a low ceiling or other height restriction? Consider a side-tilt Murphy Bed – with the mattress oriented sideways, you can still make use of the space’s full height with storage for your bedding. Small room and only expect to need the bed once in a blue moon? We can mount a fold-away table to the closed bed exterior, which you can close up before turning your work area into a sleeping space. Converting a windowless den in your condo and concerned about light? We can add LED lighting to your Murphy Bed cabinet, providing low-energy/low-heat yet bright light for you to read and work by. We can help you solve your situation, and it all starts with our complementary in-home consultation. Or drop by our showroom to try out a Murphy Bed in person!

Like all of our projects, our Murphy Beds are custom-designed and fitted for your space and style – add-ons available include profile exteriors, mouldings, endless finish options (including factory painted MDF in the color of your choice) and as usual we will manufacture drawers, shelves, desks and wardrobes to make your Wall Bed, or Murphy Bed Solution a total Space Solution.


Stained Wood Built Ins

Wood, as opposed to woodgrain melamine, might be considered overly extravagant for use in a simple closet, but for a built in in your den or family room, you can achieve a beautiful look, stained to your specification. Our designers will meet with you to go through options for moldings, 5-piece door and drawer profiles, wood species and we will even have a sample door stained with the colour of your choosing for you to approve. Here we’ll show you a couple of stained wood built ins we have installed in the past year, so you may see exactly what it’s all about!

custom cabinets home office

Stained wood offers elegance and richness to a den

Here we see the main walls of a stained wood built in for a den. The cabinets run wall to wall, and stop short of the right hand wall as there is a full height window there. The backs of the cabinets are, in this case, painted MDF, which the client had painted to complement the remaining wall colour, as well as the antique rug. The back panels help anchor the structure physically, but also visually, and the dark stain applied to the wood accents the room beautifully.

custom cabinets

A painted MDF back contrasts stained wood in this project.

On the left hand side, the cabinetry extends over top of a doorway, providing additional overhead storage and bridging the space to the left, which was a shorter wall, so it received a shorter version of the cabinet on the wall opposite. You can see it in the image below.

custom cabinets corner shelf

Angled corner shelves provide excellent display space.

Below are a couple of looks at trim details on this project. You can see that the cabinets and crown went right to the ceiling, and on the left side some tricky corners were mitered and applied. Where sections of shelves and doors are divided, we used a combination of wide and narrow fluted columns.

stained wood trim detail   stained wood trim detail

 

This next project was for a home office in a spare room with unusual angles. We designed two separate wood built ins for this couple, essentially a His and a Hers home office. The His side was larger, and the two adjacent walls met at less than a 90 degree angle, which would have made the interior corner of the desktop unusable. So we actually installed a false wall across the corner, bringing the end point further forward to allow the cabinets to wrap the corner more effectively.

custom wood cabinetry

This installation into an awkward corner makes excellent use of space.

On the opposite side of the room we installed a smaller version of the desk arrangement, again wrapping the corner and going to the ceiling. On both structures we used a combination of details – fluted columns, crown molding, baseboard ogee moldings on shelves and 5-piece constructed drawer fronts and doors. (You’ll notice that the profiles on this home office differ from the doors used in the den project shown earlier.)

corner desk custom cabinetry

The cabinet sides are recessed from the corner so the crown and counter don’t protrude.

We also created finished end panels on the cabinets using applied moldings. An added challenge on this project were the finishing details top and bottom: the crown was brought right to the ceiling, which was finished with a “popcorned” stucco, but our craftsman, Joe, performed this perfectly. At the base of the unit, which can be seen in this detail closeup, the cabinet baseboard is obviously not the same size or profile as the room’s own baseboard. Again, the pieces meet beautifully, another challenge successfully met.

Another nice accent on this project were the screen panels added to some of the doors. Screen panels are often used in radiator covers or entertainment centers to obscure a piece of equipment, but in this case the antique copper panels provide a nice accent to both cabinets, and break up the facing with some extra depth. The antique brass knobs and handles bring everything together.

applied trim ouldings   wire mesh inserts

Both of these projects used similar materials, but clearly they achieve very different results. For wood, most often maple is used, but different species – such as walnut, or ash – are available, which can produce dramatically different results in terms of grain and color. Panels used as sides of cabinets and shelves are most often wood veneer applied to a particle board or MDF core; this keeps costs manageable yet still provides a real wood appearance. Moldings are solid wood, so that they may be milled to their patterns and profiles. Drawer fronts and doors are made in a 5-piece construction, meaning they literally have 5 pieces to them: horizontal pieces top and bottom, vertical pieces left and right, and an insert piece in the middle. When things are stained, the natural variances in the wood are often revealed, and it is this genuine aspect of working with wood that you simply can not achieve when using laminates with prints.

A stained wood project does mean a longer than typical turn around time – usually at least 6 weeks rather than the more typical 3 to 4 weeks that most of our work requires. The installation of projects like these can take longer too; both of the projects featured here took a little over a week each to complete, as many things need to cut and fitted on site. The results speak for themselves.

If you are interested in exploring a stained wood solution it’s time to get started with an in-home consultation, or visit our showroom at Bayview and Eglinton.

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New Showroom Murphy Bed Display

Glossy White Showroom Single Side Tilt Murphy Bed closed

We now have two Murphy Beds on display at our showroom, and can now show you two different sizes, as well as two different orientations, in completely different looks. Both beds use the patented Murphy mechanism, which is rated for 1200 lbs, and carries a 25 year manufacturer’s warranty. (Like all of our installations, however, we will guarantee your installation for the lifetime of you owning it.)  We already had a Queen Size bed on display, with a traditional (sometimes called “vertical”) orientation, which you can see by clicking here. We have now added a Single Size (also known as a “twin”) Murphy Bed cabinet, with a Side-Tilt orientation.  Singles are great for small spaces, and are popular for students, as well as any space for which a larger mattress isn’t required.  A Side-Tilt orientation is a great thing for a couple of reasons; one, if it is a narrow room, having the bed tilt out sideways means it won’t come out as far into the room, providing more passageway around it. Secondly, even a single bed, in a regular orientation, requires the cabinet to be 80″ tall (Doubles also need 80″, and Queens 85″) – if you have a height restriction, due to a bulkhead, a vent or window, or simply a low ceiling as in a basement, orienting the bed sideways is the solution, as it needs far less height.  A Single Side-Tilt Murphy Bed requires only 48″ in height for the bed section (a Double requires 63″ in height, and a Queen requires 69″ in height), and in many cases this means you can add additional storage above the bed area.

Glossy White Showroom Single Side Tilt Murphy Bed open

For this display, we have built a Side-Tilt Single bed, with a depth of 16″, which is the minimum depth required for a Murphy Bed. Above the bed, we created a row of three open “cubby” spaces, and above them, we have added enclosed storage, which is covered with doors that lift up. To the left of the bed section, we have put in a small desk area, with a pullout drawer. Above the desk we have added closed storage behind two swing-out doors, and illuminating the desk top we have installed an LED light, with a three-stage dimmer switch. Framing the entire structure are 1 1/2″ built-up trims, covering seams in the construction and making the overall cabinet more robust and giving it a very modern appearance. The entire structure is fabricated using white melamine board, and all the exterior surfaces – doors, drawer front, trims and outside side panels – are in a High Gloss White thermofoil finish. The cabinet is completed using long stainless steel handles, with an extra large one on the bed – we often call these handles “towel bar handles” due to their appearance.

We would love for you to come in to our showroom and see these cabinets in person, so you can see how a genuine Murphy Bed operates, and see the possibilities for yourself. You can see more images of Murphy Beds by visiting the Murphy Beds page on our site, or by clicking the Murphy Beds category to the right on this page. And as always, you can request a complimentary in-home consultation by using our convenient online form, or by calling the showroom.


A Murphy Bed With A Drop-Down Desk

Side Tilt Murphy Bed Open - Space Solutions - Toronto

This is a Murphy Bed that we recently installed for a customer.  What we have here is what we call a Side-Tilt Murphy Bed; the bed is oriented length-wise along the wall, so that it a) does not come out as far into the room and b) does not require as much vertical height on that wall. (We also build them with a regular orientation.) In this case, we built the cabinet to accommodate a Queen-size mattress, but we can also build for Singles and Doubles.  The room is in the basement, which is where we often find Side-Tilts to be ideal, and the room functions also as a general storage space as well as a a music room for the family.  So occasional use as a Guest Room makes a Murphy Bed a great solution for a mixed-use space.

Side Tilt Murphy Bed Closed - Space Solutions - Toronto

When the bed is closed, you can see that we have provided storage to the left and above the bed cabinet.  The lower section is covered with doors to hide loose clutter, and the upper shelves provide great storage for the family’s boardgame and jigsaw puzzle collection.  This cabinet was built primarily using Hardrock Maple melamine, with White doors.  The structure is accented with thick Hardrock trims to frame the look and matches nicely with the home’s flooring. On the outside of the bed door, we ordinarily will install handles, but in this case, there’s a structure that becomes a drop-down desk, and you can simply grab on to that framework.

Side Tilt Murphy Bed Closed with Side Table - Space Solutions - Toronto

When the desk is not in use,  it is locked shut, with a combination of latches and locks, so that it does not come down accidentally. When unlocked, the legs swing out, and you lower the desktop on a piano hinge, and now you have a solid desk top, which this customer intends to use as art space.  When you need to use the bed, simply clear the desktop, fold it up and lock it, and lower the bed normally.

Update March 30, 2011: Here is a video demonstration of this Murphy project and its features. You can also of course visit our youtube page for other Space Solutions projects!  And, you can see another Murphy Bed on display at our showroom.