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.


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!

Stained Wood Den Toronto
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.

Stained Wood Built In Den over door Toronto
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.

Stained Wood Den short wall Toronto

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 Den trim details TorontoStained Wood Den vertical trims Toronto

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.

Stained Wood Home Office Toronto

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.)

Stained Wood Home Office Smaller wall TorontoWe 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.

Stained Wood Home Office molding detail TorontoAnother 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.

Stained Wood Home Office Mesh Screen detail TorontoBoth of these projects used similar materials, but clearly they were able to 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.