Murphy Beds are a great option for people looking to make the most of a home that has limited space. It is a bed that can fold up vertically or fold across horizontally into a cabinet when it is not in use. This leaves you floor space to use for whatever you want. There are many ways this offers an advantage. If you are tired of the guest room being dead space that is rarely used you can put in a Murphy bed and use it as a hobby room, a crafting room and so on until the next guests come to stay overnight. If you live in a studio flat you can put your bed away during the day and have space to live and entertain.
There are several options of the Murphy Beds appeals to you. There are beds you can buy from stores that you can then install in your home. There are companies who offer to sell and install them for you. There are a wide range of styles in cabinetry and extras you can get, like a desk, storage and so on. Or you can build a Murphy Bed yourself either from scratch or from using Murphy bed plans and Hardware Kits. DIY Murphy Bed is a great option as it will save you money. You do need to have some skills and tools though or have someone do it for you.
Murphy Bed Plans
By using a Murphy Bed plan you can have a bed that is out of the way and offers storage by day and is there to fold down at night when needed. It gets its stability from having multiple points of contact between the durable wooden frame and the floor. You can get plans for as low as $200 and then need to pay for the wood and the hardware. How difficult it is to build a wall bed really depends on your skill level and how complicated the plan is. There are simple Murphy bed plans for those with basic skills or those wanting something more simple and straightforward, and then you can get more complicated ones if you have more skill.
Your own DIY Murphy Bed
When you use a Hardware Kit or plan you can still customize if you want to. Change the wood to one that suits the room better, or stain it to suit the look you want. In one weekend you can have it put together and in use. If you are not sure if you have the skills, if you have built any other furniture, cabinets, or something else that is on the large side then you can probably take on this project. There are three main sections to this build the frame, the lift mechanism and the cabinet. Whether you use Murphy bed plans or not here is a guide on what to do.
Building the cabinet. This can be as simple or as decorated as you want. You can add things like bookshelves, shelving or other side options at a later date. The face frame for the cabinet will be the panel on the mattress frame though you can also build separate doors if you are looking for a more formal or elegant look. To get the sizes you need for the cabinet and the frame make sure you have the mattress already and you know the measurements.
Build a frame for the mattress. When building the bed frame take into account it needs to fit into the cabinet and it will not be holding a box spring. The mattress will need to be 12 inches thick at the most. You will need enough room to work as there are large plywood pieces involved. You will need to use either a circular saw with a straight edge guide in which case have the plywood’s good side face down, or a table saw in which case the plywood’s good side should face up. Use heat activated edge banding on any edges that will be exposed. When it is fastened, sand it and apply whatever finish you are using. Make sure it has legs that fold or are integrated.
Begin assembling. Join the frame and the rails with butt joints using glue and finish nails or wood screws. Attach the rail assembly and the face panels. It is important to make sure everything is assembled properly for safety reasons. When you are finishing the frame position it two feet away from the wall you want it up against. Connect the headboard and cabinet and the pivot hardware.
When considering your choice of Murphy bed plans to make a DIY Murphy Bed there are two lift mechanisms to choose between, a spring and a piston. Both work by creating force that helps lift the bed when someone wants to shut it away. That force needs to be balanced. With a spring system you can adjust the tension over time as needed, with a piston system you cannot. With a piston system you need to make sure the mattress weight is taken into consideration as if it is too light the bed will not stay grounded. The final step before you secure the cabinet to the wall is to connect the ballstud plates and the pistons.
Securing the cabinet. It is important that the cabinet is properly attached otherwise it could pull away from the wall and fall down onto the bed when it is in use. The size of your DIY Murphy bed is a factor on how many fasteners are needed. When it is secure you can get someone to help you pull down the frame and hold it while you place the mattress. If once the mattress is in it is still floating it needs to be weighed down more under the mattress. One way to do that is fastened a medium-density fiberboard under the mattress to the panels there. There should be a latch to hold the frame in the cabinet when it is folded away and there should also be straps for the mattress to hold it taught. One of our favorite murphy bed design is one combined with IKEA cabinets found here.