Most people feel the need for an extra bed when they have guests coming over for an overnight stay. However, it would be pointless to buy a bed when there isn't enough floor space to keep it. Moreover, keeping a standard bed would make the room look crammed.
This is a major problem faced by home owners especially those who live in small apartments. So what should people living in smaller apartments do? Well, there is no need to despair. Installing a Murphy bed is the perfect solution to this problem.
These beds are named after William Lawrence Murphy who first came up with the idea of such space-saving wall beds that work on a fold-away mechanism. The bed frame and the attached mattress are enclosed within a cabinet. You can simply pull it out from the cabinet whenever you need extra sleeping space and fold it back to free up the floor space.
Fold-away Bed Mechanism
The traditional fold-away beds consisted of a box that contained a bed frame, foundation and an attached mattress. The box was fitted or stored inside a cabinet attached to the wall. Springs, pistons, hinges, screws and mounting hardware were used to create this space-saving furniture.
This bed cabinet was hinged at one end and a piston-lift system was used for folding away the bed into the closet. One could pull open the bed and tuck it back into the closet as and when needed. This was a very innovative concept that gave one the option to store an extra bed along with the freedom to use the floor space in whichever way one wanted.
These days interior designers have combined functionality with style thereby making the modern fold-away beds much more than a functional space-saving piece of furniture.
Things to Consider While Buying Hardware Kits
While a basic bed may cost you a few hundred dollars, stylish wall beds with cabinetry would cost a lot more. So if you who don't wish to spend a lot of money, you could build a fold-away bed yourself. It goes without saying that you should have good woodworking skills to build and install this functional bedroom furniture using a hardware kit.
Before you head out to a home store to buy a kit or order a hardware kit online, make sure that you have a clear idea about the type of bed you want for your home. Murphy beds are classified into panel beds and bi-fold beds. Panel beds that are enclosed in beautiful cabinets are definitely in demand, you can order a bed plan and hardware kit for a panel bed.
You also need to decide whether you want a vertical or a horizontal bed. Vertical beds that are stored vertically in a closet or cabinet are quite popular, but people living in homes with a low ceiling should opt for a horizontal bed.
DIY Bed Plans
These days freestanding fold-down wall beds have become extremely popular. If you surf the Internet you will come across DIY Murphy bed kits by Create-a-Bed, Rockler Woodworking and Moddi. These kits provide the cut sheets, bills of materials and mounting hardware required for attaching the bed to the wall.
These kits will contain a manual having all the required information on building such a bed. The plans and hardware offered by Create-a-Bed will cost you around $300 to $400. The kit contains the piston-lift mechanism, screws, hinges, bolts and nuts.
Since the kit comes with a detailed construction manual or an instructional DVD, those who are good at carpentry will surely find this task easy as well as interesting.
There are various websites that offer the bed mechanism with springs, connecting bar, legs and steel frames for king and queen size beds. You can check out the DIY kits that are available online.
You will need to shell out $650 to $750 for the handyperson kit from Disappearing Wall Beds by Cabinetworks Ltd. This kit will provide you with the mechanism, hardware and wood foundation. Though you will get the foundation, you will still need to build the cabinet and the face panels.
There is a cheaper Cabinetmaker kit which is priced at $349. Since the kit includes the cut-list, hardware and directions only, you will have to buy the building materials on your own. You will not only have to build the cabinets but also have to make the foundation on which the mattress will rest.
If you don't want to build cabinets, order their complete assembly package. All you need to do is assemble the pre-cut wooden panels as per the directions. If you are ordering a customized fold-away bed and plan to have the bed installed by professionals, be prepared to shell out more money. The complete package may cost you anywhere between $1200 to $2000.
If you have been thinking of getting an extra bed for your home, look for plans that would not only go well with the interiors of your home but will also help you utilize the space in the best possible way.