Murphy Bed Information
How much space do I need?
Below is the sizing chart for all murphy beds. The top chart is for beds that fold up horizontally (pivot along the side of the bed). The bottom chart is for beds that fold up vertically (pivot at the head of the bed). For queen beds, it's usually best for it to fold vertically so as to not trap one person against the wall with no way to get out of bed. Twin or full beds work great horizontally unless you plan to have more than one person sleeping in the bed.
So as you can see from the chart, if you wanted a Queen-sized vertical bed: you would need 87 1/8" minimum ceiling height, a wall that is 65 7/8" minimum wide and 15 7/8" of depth. And when folded down, the bed would stick out into the room 87". You also need a minimum of 12" between the side of the bed and any perpendicular walls so that people are able to comfortably get in and out of the bed from the side.
What if I have electrical outlets or heating and cooling vents where I want to put the bed?
The short answer is: it depends. Electrical outlets are usually able to be worked around or even included as part of a build. If they are in a really inconvenient spot, it may be necessary to have an electrician move them. You also have to watch out for ceiling fans in smaller rooms to make sure the bed will not hit when being folded down.
Heating and cooling vents can sometimes be OK depending on their location but sometimes they make having a murphy bed impossible unless a HVAC technician is able to move them to a new location. Usually it's best to find a better location for the bed.
What colors or finishes do you offer?
Your murphy bed will be custom built for you and can be painted to any Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore color using a super durable Urethane Enamel paint specifically designed for custom cabinetry. It is spray finished in a controlled environment for a flawless, beautiful finish. Custom colors and color matches are an additional fee.
There are also a wide variety of wood grain finishes available. I have samples for you to look at in person if you are unsure of what you're looking for.
How do you get the murphy bed into my house?
All murphy beds are built and finished off-site then brought into your house in pieces then assembled in the space where they'll be installed.
Can I use my existing mattress on a murphy bed?
One of the advantages of murphy beds over other folding=style beds is that you can use a high quality, standard mattress and still have a bed that folds away nicely against the wall. The only requirement is that the bed be under 12" thick including any pillow toppers. The pistons used to assist in raising and lowering the mattress will be adjusted to your mattress' weight to make it extremely easy to use.
Can I have other items like nightstands, cabinetry or shelving built to match?
Absolutely! Most of my customers are getting a murphy bed to turn a spare bedroom or basement into a multi-purpose room that can function as an office, exercise space, storage room and place for guests to stay. Adding shelving, cabinetry, drawers and desks not only make the space even more functional, they also greatly improve the appearance of the room when it is all custom built to match and fit the space perfectly.
Do you offer custom lighting?
There are many options for lighting in the bed but the best is a kit sold by Create-a-Bed, the murphy bed hardware manufacturer. It consists of two recessed lights inside the bed with a simple touch dimmer switch that's also inside the bed. It plugs into a standard outlet (although most of the wiring is hidden) and also has an auto-off switch connected to the bed that doesn't allow the lights to turn on when the bed is in the vertical position.
If you are interested in other lighting options or things like USB outlets, charging stations, etc., I use Haefele lighting products and there are endless options available.
How much do custom murphy beds cost?
Because of the multitude of options available for these beds, please get in touch by filling out the contact page and I will be happy to price it for you!
Is installation included in the price?
All pricing includes delivery and professional installation by me in your home. If necessary, I will come measure and look at your space before fabrication to confirm measurements and make sure there are no obstructions.
More Questions? Fill out the form on my contact page and I will get in touch within 24 hours.
Built-in Cabinetry: The Space Maximizer
Having custom built-in cabinetry made for your home is the ultimate space maximizer. It allows you to take full advantage of the space you have in a way that most furniture or standard sized cabinetry cannot. Even though I do this for a living, I am constantly surprised at how much storage and utility you can get from a well designed built in unit while also greatly improving the appearance of your space.
Most of us don't need bigger houses or more space, we just need to use the space we have better. Choosing to live in smaller houses has many advantages: It is significantly less expensive (taxes, insurance, utilities, upkeep) and also take less time and effort to maintain and clean. The only downside being that if you don't have a place for everything or aren't using your space well, things can get cluttered or claustrophobic very quickly. This is where custom built-ins can make a HUGE difference in how functional and enjoyable your space will be to live in on a daily basis. For most people, putting some money toward custom built-ins would be significantly less money and effort than moving to a larger home.
Last year, I had a customer reach out to me had recently downsized to a two bedroom, apartment-style condo with her husband. Inevitably, the second bedroom became the multi-purpose room: spare bedroom, desk/office, storage of miscellaneous items, filing cabinets, sewing table, play room for grandchildren, small display cases, etc. This was what the space looked like before:
Together with the customer, we spent a lot of time taking measurements and throwing around all sorts of ideas for how to make everything fit in this room and to make it function as an office/play room/sewing room/spare bedroom/storage room and somehow not make the room feel too small and also look nice at the same time. After several revisions and changes, the following drawings were what the customer chose:
Like in most cases - it was going to be most effective to get everything on one wall. This wall unit went floor to ceiling and wall to wall to use all of the available space. It included a queen sized murphy bed, six large display cases with custom lighting, two large storage cabinets, a large desk with two small drawers and one file drawer as well as some upper desk storage cabinets. The murphy bed was the most crucial part of this unit as it allowed the room to function as a spare bedroom with a high quality mattress (unlike many hide-a-bed couch mattresses) but the bed is only folded down and taking up space in the room when it is needed (a few nights per year). Once the bed was folded up and out of the way the space felt significantly bigger. Here is the end result:
So if you constantly feel like you don't have enough space it may be worth considering how custom built-in furniture can maximize your space and, in the long run, be CHEAPER and EASIER than moving to a bigger home. There are TONS of empty, useful spaces throughout your home that you may not realize are there. Feel free to fill out my Contact Form if you'd like to talk more about how to accomplish this in your home.
You can also check out my other blog posts about how I did this in the basement and bathroom of my own home: Basement Murphy Bed and also Custom Bathroom Vanities
Create-a-Bed D.I.Y. Murphy Bed Kits
If you are relatively handy and don't mind doing a little grunt work yourself, I often provide murphy bed kits for people who want to save a little money and do some of the work themselves. Assembly is easier with two people but possible with just one person. All kits created using the Create-a-Bed Murphy Bed hardware sets and built according to all Create-a-Bed specifications.
What I do:
What you do:
Pricing varies a lot depending on size and orientation of bed, front paneling, location, etc. Please get in touch and let me know what you are looking for so I can get you a price. Thank you!
Custom Walnut Music Stand
The finished product:
If you are interested in having a custom music stand designed and built I would love to speak with you. Each one is carefully built to order according to your specifications (height, stand angle, sitting vs. standing, etc). Other wood species are available and are all sustainably harvested from trees in Pittsburgh that would otherwise be thrown away or burned. I can modify this design or work with you to create something original. You can call, email or fill out this form and I will be in touch shortly.
These can be shipped to your location or delivered if you are in the Pittsburgh area.
If you would like to purchase through Etsy, click here: Custom Walnut Music Stand
Recycled Oak Cabinet Doors
This is a pile of red oak taken from a kitchen down in Washington, PA. A customer was happy with their kitchen but really disliked the style of the cabinet doors. The cabinet boxes were very well built and in good shape so all that was needed were some new doors to make the kitchen new again.
When taking out the old doors (which were solid red oak), it was very tempting to just throw them in the dumpster. That was the plan until that evening. I was sitting on my front porch looking at my neighbors giant, 70+ year old red oak tree. I started thinking about how long it took for that to look the way it does and then all the work it would take to mill it up and make it in to something. So the next day, somehwat, half-heartedly, I unloaded them from my van to my shop rather than the dumpster.
All of the metal hardware, was stripped off and sent to the scrap yard with a friend of mine. The boards were ripped down, the old finish planed off and they were ready to be useful again.
Although it took some extra time and was somewhat labor-intensive to reuse them, I am very glad that I did.
From those kitchen cabinet doors, I was able to build 18 drawers and a new workbench top for my shop. (see below) If you know of anyone throwing away any old furniture or hardwoods, feel free to get in touch!
Custom Bathroom Vanities
Bathrooms are a place where custom cabinetry can make a HUGE impact. With factory built, store bought vanities, you are stuck with the sizes and layouts they offer. Bathrooms can often be tight spaces where every inch counts.
Take, for example, the two pictures above. This is a 7 ft x 6 ft full bathroom. Originally it had a single sink with a small cabinet below. There was plenty of space along the wall, but because the space between the wall and the door opening was only 18" deep, no standard vanities would fit, especially not ones that would maximize the space.
The solution was a 17" deep cabinet that stretched the entire wall, now with two sinks, twelve drawers and two cabinet openings. That's a big difference!
The other down side of many factory built vanities is the use of particle board. Particle board is essentially wood chips and saw dust, glued and compressed into a board with a thin veneer of plastic or wood glued over top of it to give it the appearance of wood. It can be OK in some situations but not anywhere where there is water. Whether it be on the floor after a shower, from the sink or from the inevitable leaky faucet or drain, there is going to be water in a bathroom. There's just no way around it.
Of course no type of wood is completely impervious to water if exposed for extended periods of time. But with the use of high quality, furniture grade plywood, topped with the correct, high quality finish, your bathroom vanities will hold up to a lot of abuse and withstand water better than any other type of sheet-good (particle board or MDF) available on the market.
Feel free to get in touch about getting a quote for a custom bathroom vanity for your next bathroom remodel.
Custom Murphy Bed and Cabinets
Aaron and Cardinal Woodcraft are now a recommended manufacturer for the Create-A-Bed Murphy Bed Hardware!! Give Aaron a call today to get a price on putting a murphy bed in your home. It can be as simple or as custom as you want depending on your needs and budget.
Products used on this project:
WHY BUILD A MURPHY BED?
My wife and I live in a three bedroom, two bath, 1200 sq ft ranch style home in Pittsburgh with our two kids. We absolutely love our house, yard and neighborhood but there have been many occasions where our little 1200 sq ft house can feel pretty small. Each of our kids have their own room and because of the age difference (6 years) and the fact that we have a boy and a girl, it doesn't make sense for them to share a room. There have been several times though when we've wanted to have family or friends who are in town stay with us but we don't have anything but a couch to offer them. That's where the murphy bed comes in.
A couple years ago we finished our basement which was great in adding about 350 sq ft of additional living space. After a couple years of living with the new basement, we noticed that one end of the basement usually just collected junk and wasn't really useful for anything. We decided that some built in cabinets and a fold down murphy bed would be perfect! It would essentially add a 4th bedroom to our house and also give us a sort of apartment downstairs - complete with full bath, fireplace, TV, couch and bed in case one of our parents or friends ever wanted to live with us for an extended period (or just a weekend!).
This is what the space looked like before:
After about a lot of planning and discussing, we decided to put the bed in the middle with two cabinets on either side to store office supplies, games, books, files and really anything else we can't find a space for. Again, our house is not huge and every little bit of storage is extremely helpful in things not getting cluttered. Using Sketchup, I drew up a 3-d model of what everything would look like, which always helps (especially when dealing with customers) to work out all the kinks on 'paper' before you ever purchase any materials or spend time building anything. After several versions, this was the design I finally came up with:
The design allows us to use ALL of the space on that end of the basement and added about an additional 73 cubic feet of storage to our house. That's a lot!! Once it was done, it didn't take long at all for those cabinets to be nearly full.
One decision I had to make in designing it was whether or not to come up with my own hardware for the hinges, bed frame, etc. by browsing the aisles of Home Depot and letting the creative juices flow. In doing some research, I found the Create-a-bed hardware kit. For the queen sized bed kit, it was around $300, which to be honest seemed a little steep. In the end, I decided that I valued my time more than the $300 so I would give the Create-a-bed kit a try. It came with instructions on how to use the hardware (which I stuck to for the bed frame, but customized everything else). In the end, I was UNBELIEVABLY happy that I went with the kit instead of making up my own. It is so sturdy and well made and honestly works so well. (I don't get any sort of kick backs from Create-a-bed. I just like their product.)
Here's a picture of the build in progress:
We could not be any happier with how everything turned out. We get an extra bedroom and tons of storage. My wife and I lived down there for about a week after it was finished and it was incredibly comfortable and functional. Here are some pictures of the finished product:
If you would like to get a price on having a murphy bed built and installed in your home. Give Aaron a call, text or email today: 412-212-8626, CardinalWoodcraft@outlook.com There are beds available for every budget and need including twin, full and queen sized mattress. There are also options for having the bed fold down vertically or horizontally.
Your bed can be as simple as a wooden box tucked up against the wall or you can also add bookshelves, cabinets or anything else you can come up with on the sides or behind the bed depending on how much space you have and how much you would like to spend. Either way, you will not regret turning one of your rooms into a dual-purpose room!
Here are some more examples of beds that I can build for you (credit: Create-a-Bed Website)
Custom Mudroom Bench
This small mudroom bench was a lot of fun to build and a great use of this space. Features of the project: