6 Murphy Bed mattress tips

wall bed, mattress tips,  toronto

Select the right mattress for your Space Solutions Murphy Bed

Here are 6 important mattress tips when planning your Murphy Bed installation – most often you supply your own, so these mattress tips can help ensure that your custom Murphy Bed is ideal for you and your space!

Mattress tips #1: Know your size requirements

Space Solutions uses genuine Murphy Bed hardware produced by Murphy Wall Beds of Canada, and builds the cabinet to suit, so you are getting not just a wall bed, but a genuine Murphy Bed. The Supreme Steel frame is sized for a standard Single, Double or Queen-size mattress in the standard length. (Space Solutions does not make Murphy Beds for extra-long or King-size mattresses.) 10″ is the standard maximum thickness that can be accommodated by the hardware. In special circumstances we can use a longer leg for thicker mattresses, which requires the cabinet to be built to a larger size; this is more costly, and may not be a fit for all spaces. The minimum thickness recommended for long-lasting comfort and to properly fit the hardware is 7″. So, any standard Single, Double or Queen size mattress between 7″ and 10″ may be used.

Mattress tips #2: Spring or Foam?

There are many types of mattresses available these days, and the good news is that most can be used in your custom Murphy Bed. This means that there is a good chance that you may already own a mattress that is appropriate! But assuming you do need a new mattress, one of the most important mattress tips is to get a spring (coil) mattress. They can offer the best long-term use in your Murphy Bed. Many of the “pillow top” varieties available are thicker than the maximum tolerances and are therefore excluded, and foam mattresses are not recommended at all – consider that most often a Murphy Bed is left in its closed position, which effectively stores the mattress on its side for extended periods of time; a foam mattress is more prone to settling, and this can affect long-term comfort, and also cause uneven balancing of the weight against the springs in the hardware.

Mattress tips #3: Frequency of use

Murphy Beds are useful for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have a very small condo, and you need a Murphy Bed as your every day bed so that you can fold it away and make other use of your space. In this case you will want to make sure you invest a long-lasting, highly comfortable mattress. Other times, Murphy Beds are meant for occasional use – in a room to be used for guests once in a while. Your guests still deserve a comfortable sleeping experience, which a Murphy Bed can provide, but it may not be necessary to invest in a brand-new mattress if you already own one that is suitable.

Mattress tips #4: Take advantage of mattress sales

Many of the “big box” mattress retailers have frequent promotions and sales on overstocked and discontinued models. This can allow you to source a quality mattress at a reasonable price! You don’t need a boxspring, since the mattress rests within the frame on the back side of the doors that you see when the bed is closed. As there are metal supports connecting the doors to serve as that platform, that is another reason why going no thinner than 7″ for your mattress is recommended for comfort.

Mattress tips #5: Have your mattress on site ahead of your installation

When we install your custom Murphy Bed, we need to have the mattress on site during the installation so that we may adjust the springs in the mechanism to perfectly account for the mattress’s weight. Different mattresses, even of the same size, will weigh differently depending on their composition, and we need to ensure that your Murphy Bed will open and close safely and smoothly. If you don’t already own a mattress that will be used, it is best to arrange for its delivery ahead of the installation to ensure there are no unnecessary delays or callbacks. When you place your Murphy Bed order we will remind you of the need to have your mattress on site on installation day; if we need to return at a later date because the mattress was not there the first time, a surcharge may apply. So making sure the mattress is there ahead of time guarantees a smooth installation.

Mattress tips #6: Space Solutions can help

mattress tips, wall bed

The Basset Fairchild mattress, at 10″ thick, fits standard Murphy Bed installations

Still need a mattress for your Murphy Bed? We’ve always said that Space Solutions does not supply mattresses, mostly because we are in the custom cabinet business, not the mattress business. But good news – we have recently partnered with a local Canadian manufacturer named Kingsdown, and if you are purchasing a new custom Murphy Bed from Space Solutions, we can offer you one of their mattresses! We are able to offer the Basset Fairchild series, which is a 10″ continuous coil mattress. It is guaranteed to fit the standard Murphy Wall Beds of Canada hardware that we use, and is available in Single, Double and Queen-Size options. We currently have a Basset Fairchild on display in our showroom in a Double Murphy Bed, and you are welcome to come and check it out in person! If you would like more information about mattresses for our custom Murphy Beds, please contact your Space Solutions designer, or you are welcome to email us at info@spacesolutions.ca.

Ready to get started on your custom Murphy Bed project? Call the showroom during business hours at 416.322.5575 to request an in-home consultation, or fill out this request form and we will call you to set one up!

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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!


The Room Divider and obstructions

We know that our custom sliding doors make an excellent room divider, but sometimes there are challenges, in the form of columns, moldings or other obstructions. What do you do if there’s a variance in the height that prevents the doors from sliding all the way to the end of the space?

No Problem: we think outside the box, and come up with a unique effective solution!

Sliding door room divider Toronto 2012

In this case, our customer had a valence running parallel to the end wall of the space, left over from a curtain that used to hang in the room. The molding is a nice architectural detail, and removing it outright from the entire room was not an option. Nor did we want to cut a wide channel into it for the width of the three doors required to fill the space – it wouldn’t have looked right when the doors were open exposing it, nor would it have looked right when the doors were closed, and the remaining molding would have hung down in front of it. And lowering the entire opening, by filling in a space equal to the height of the molding for the width of the space wasn’t practical.

Sliding door room divider Toronto 2012 detailInstead we cut a small channel into the top of the molding at the ceiling, just enough for the track, such that the doors, when closed come up against the lower portion of the molding. Against the wall, we filled in the space below the curve of the molding with white melamine to create a level top surface, and below we installed a skinny, stationary door panel to match the mobile panels.  The result is a clean, even look.


What is a Professional Organizer?

POC logo

Something we get asked about a lot at Space Solutions  is about Professional Organizers, and how are they distinct from what we do. Think of it like this: a professional organizer guides you through the process of organizing your life – and to what degree will vary based on your needs and the services offered. Their goal is to bring order to chaos, and they help their clients reorganize and structure their homes, and in many cases sort and purge.  (Why go through the effort of organizing something you don’t need?) It’s about helping you become more efficient, and find what you need when you need it. It’s a great service. Many times, a professional organizer will bring us in at some point in the process so that we can provide storage and closet solutions. We work closely with many organizers, helping them bring their vision to life, and order to their clients.

Professional organizers have different specialties – some focus on downsizing, some on moves, others on specific areas in the home like a closet or home office, and others still with the entire home. There are many we work with on a regular basis, and will happily recommend them if one of our customers has the need. You can search for a Professional Organizer near you on the Professional Organizers of Canada website, and find someone who specializes in the area(s) you need most help with.

We’ll soon be featuring guest blog posts by some of the professional organizers we know, and they’ll be taking the time to tell you about their services, where their specialties lie, and how they can help you. Stay tuned!


There’s more than one kind of closet

Space Solutions designs and builds all sorts of closets. Sometimes we hear, “It’s just a closet.”  Well, there are closets and then there are closets.  From one to the next, closets vary in size, style and purpose, as unique as their owners and the homes they are within.  We wanted to talk a bit about closet styles and variances to help give a better understanding of what we can do for you.

Reach In Closets

Simple White Reachin Closet Space Solutions Toronto

A typical reach in closet is about two feet deep. Width and height will vary from home to home. In Toronto, many older homes (say, from the early 20th century) and newer condos will have reach in closets exclusively. Even in some larger houses and condos, the entrance closet is commonly a reach in closet, and bedrooms may have them as well. Depending on the type and size of the doorway, a typical solution for a bedroom will be to place a tower of shelves and/or drawers in the center, with a combination of single-hung long clothes and double-hung short clothes on either side, like in the picture to the left.  You may add a shelf or two for shoe storage below the long clothes section. While not always the case, you are probably less likely to add a lot of decorative detail to a reach in closet. Some things, like moldings or baseboard details will eat up a little space, and in a smaller closet that isn’t always practical. The closet to the left is white, but changing the finish, or in the event of drawers, you may add a decorative profiled face to them, which can beautify the space without reducing capacity.  Linen closets and closets in spare bedrooms, dens and such are also often reach ins, even in a larger home.

Walk In Closets

Maple Walk In Closet Space Solutions Toronto Now a Walk In closet, as the name implies, is a closet deep enough to walk into.  Again, they will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: some condos in Toronto have walk ins that are long but narrow, sometimes resulting in using the space as an L shape; other walk ins may be more square, allowing for a U shape in what goes inside, assuming the doorway is centered on one wall.  We’ve encountered walk ins which have angled walls, spaces that have more than four sides, and even closets with windows in them – all things that we can work around. In a walk in closet, there is naturally more room to work with, so decorative detail is more practical.  The closet shown to the left features built-up trims on the gables and shelves that beef up the appearance, and there is also a simple base detail.  A walk in closet may be a shared space, in which case each person using the closet may get a side, with the balance of the space being shared.  A man’s side typically will have less long clothes hanging than a woman’s side, unless he prefers to hang his pants long by the cuff.  Whether one or two people are using a walk in closet, there will often be a bank of drawers or two, with the goal of letting you do away with a potentially bulk dresser out in the room.  There’s also the potential for a tower for shoes and handbags, a jewelry drawer, even a wall mounted mirror. But walk in closets aren’t just for bedrooms – we’ve organized them for entrances, mudrooms, pantries off the kitchen, even general storage in the basement.

Dream Closets

Antique White Dream Closet Space Solutions Toronto

A Dream Closet is a walk in closet, fully dressed. This usually means that whatever arrangement we build, it likely has a base detail, flutes (columns), crown molding, perhaps decorative moldings on shelves, and back panels throughout. A dream closet generally wraps around all available space, and will have a lot of decorative upgrades. The one shown to the left is in Antique White, has the aforementioned flutes, base, moldings and backs. You’ll also note the upgraded drawer faces, crystal knobs (to match the chandelier), doors with glass inserts and a vanity mirror – not to mention the island. Not every walk in closet can accommodate an island, as you need to leave walking space between your clothes and the cabinets. But if you do have room for one, it is a great touch to have. This island even features a bench area, so you may sit and tie your shoes in your closet!  A dream closet can double as a dressing room.  We often find ourselves designing dream closets in an unused spare bedroom, which is when working around a window may come into play.  This example uses a somewhat traditional style in its detailing, but we can certainly achieve more contemporary looks by using more urban looking profiles, hardware and finishes.

What if I don’t have a closet?

Antique White Wardrobe Space Solutions Toronto

Let’s say that for some reason, your bedroom does not have a closet attached to it. Maybe the house has been renovated, and the bedroom expanded at the expense of the closet. Now what? Well, there’s a couple of things we can do. For one, Space Solutions can design and install a custom wardrobe in the room. Something like this does not need to run wall to wall, and can be positioned and laid out according to your preferences. The wardrobe in the picture on the left, again in Antique White with a traditional style, features deeper sections on the ends that have clothes hanging within; the middle section is recessed and had drawers below with shelves behind doors above. That recess makes the overall appearance less imposing in the room, and provides an attractive, effective solution to the space. Again, you can achieve different looks depending on profiles and color options. (We have found this look to be quite popular, and have replicated it for multiple customers!)  As an alternative to building a wardrobe, consider using our sliding doors – choose either the Niagara or Aventura profile and choose from a wide range of insert materials, and we can install doors along the end of the room to section off part of the bedroom and then fill that space inside with organization.  Don’t want to go wall to wall? No problem. The doors are made to order and if you prefer, we could take a portion the space, install panels at the place you wish to have them stop and make a smaller closet.

At our showroom in The Sunnybrook Plaza we have examples of reach in and walk in closets, and portions of the dream closet above are on display here too.  As always you can request a free in home consultation by filling out and submitting this simple form, or you may call the showroom during business hours to speak to one of us.