Murphy Beds: Smart Solutions for Small Rooms that Need to Double Up in Function


Murphy beds (or wall beds) are not a new concept, but they’re being used increasingly in Boston condos for space saving purposes. These beds are built into a wall, cabinetry or furniture—hidden by day—and typically fold down (vertically or horizontally), transforming into full-fledged bedroom furniture at night. Not only does the hidden bed concept allow you to maximize space, but it also makes the space multi-functional, particularly in homes with limited rooms and square footage.

As a real estate broker in downtown Boston, I’ve seen Murphy beds in all sizes, shapes, materials, configurations and styles from contemporary to traditional, from basic to elaborate. There are even high-tech versions that actually retract into the wall using a remote control.

Several of my clients have installed wall beds to accommodate their space saving needs. One installed a Murphy bed in a studio apartment so the room could function by day as a combined living and office space, yet serve as a bedroom at night. Another client installed a custom-made furniture system in a room most often used as an office, and the incorporation of a Murphy bed enables my client to house occasional overnight guests comfortably and in style. Another client has a kitchen table that pulls out of the cabinetry when the Murphy bed is hidden.

For condos in Boston where space is at a premium, modern Murphy beds that incorporate, or that can be converted to, other useful functions are highly desirable. If you can think it, it can probably be done with efficient design and style, depending on your taste, the space you’re working with and your budget. It’s up to you and your designer’s imagination and creativity to leverage double-duty functionality. For example, you can incorporate a pullout dining table, a desk or a complete office set-up, a sliding bookcase, shelving, a TV, a sofa, a sectional or a chair so that the room can serve multiple functions as you need them.

Here are some of my favorite examples of clever, yet stylish wall bed concepts:


This multi-purpose room looks nothing like a bedroom when the bed is concealed in the cabinet, but it comfortably accommodates overnight guests when it’s time to turn the TV off.


This Murphy bed pulls down when the desk chair is slid to the side creating a multi-functional home office. The shelves provide additional storage and serve as a handy night stand.


Here’s a cool play space with the bed up and a comfy sleep space when the bed is folded down.

Clei, a UK-based company, offers an extensive collection of sleek, streamlined wall beds. I love how this one flips down horizontally from the home entertainment unit.

Here’s another stylish example from Clei where the pull-down bed is integrated with a great-looking home storage system.


This vertically opening queen size space saving wall bed system features a 4 1/2 foot dining table on the front that ingeniously remains parallel to the floor when opened. Double-duty functionality for small space living at its best.


 Though I’ve shared this photo in a prior post, the gorgeous design — with the handsome, dark paneling detail to serve as the headboard — is still a winner in my book.

Have you used a Murphy bed to save space in your condo? Let me know how it worked in your space, or share a photo in the Comments section.