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February 13, 2013
Flashback to the early 1900s: After trying to woo an opera singer, but having to abide by the strict moral code of a woman entering a man's bedroom, William Lawrence Murphy invented the Murphy Bed, a bed that is attached at one side to store against a wall or inside of a closet or cabinet. With this clever invention, he was able to convert his bedroom into a parlor, which then allowed Murphy to entertain his guests (and get the girl?). Jet back to the modern world where these space-saving folding saviors have been a go-to fixture in small living areas across the globe. Click on the slideshow to view our five fold-down bed finds sourced from the Dwell archives.
Hand-cranked aluminum bed

Jeff Wardell lowers the riveted aluminum Murphy bed, custom-made by furniture designer Pat Carson, in the guest room. See the rest of his shipping container home in San Francisco here.

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Originally appeared in Modern Shipping Container Home in San Francisco
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Metal hand-cranked wheel and pulley

The Murphy bed is raised and lowered by a a hand-cranked wheel and pulley. See more of this modern shipping container home in San Francisco here.

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Originally appeared in Modern Shipping Container Home in San Francisco
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Lowering the custom encased Murphy bed

"The Cube," as it is known, transforms into a room, then back into a big box when closed. By lowering the custom Murphy bed and rolling a sliding plywood door, Aleksander Novak-Zemplinski creates an insta-guestroom in his small, industrial-style Warsaw loft.

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©Andreas Meichsner
Originally appeared in Warsaw Loft with Multifunctional Furniture
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"I think of the bed as intimate space," Hughston says, "and putting the bed away—having it out of sight when not in use—is satisfying." The custom-designed Murphy bed, concealed by day behind the gold curtain is well built; it's ergonomically easy to lowe

In this small renovated apartment in Manhattan's West Village, the mahogany headboard turns the room into a bedroom at night. "I think of the bed as intimate space," Milan Hughston says, "and putting the bed away—having it out of sight when not in use—is satisfying."The custom-designed Murphy bed is ergonomically easy to lower and has a firm sleeping surface.

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Originally appeared in One Room Fits All
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Milan Hughston's quiet street in Manhattan's West Village is moments from the neighborhood's boutique shopping and nocturnal ruckuses. Architect Joel Sanders made Hughston's space multi-functional; here it's shown as a living room, for relaxing or enterta

During the day, the folding bed goes up and transforms into a living room, fit for relaxing or entertaining friends and guests. See more of this small New York apartment here

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Originally appeared in One Room Fits All
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Perforated screen in Manhattan apartment

The dark steel blue origami-like desktop unfolds to reveal a perforated-steel divider that allows the passage of computer cables hidden inside the mobile office compartment in this space-efficient renovation in New York.

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Originally appeared in Space-Efficient Renovation in New York
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The interior of the Murphy bed compartment is lined with a stained cork panel and contains a smaller shelving unit for bedside reading, alarm clock, and reading lamp.

The interior of the Murphy bed compartment is lined with a stained cork panel and contains a smaller shelving unit for bedside reading, alarm clock, and reading lamp. Click to see more of this open space apartment in the Upper West Side.

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Originally appeared in Space-Efficient Renovation in New York
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Floor-to-ceiling maple sheathes the storage cabinets and the bottom of the Murphy bed, at right. The concrete ribbon continues as a window seat before becoming a desk.

In this diminutive apartment renovation in New York, floor-to-ceiling maple sheathes the storage cabinets and the bottom of the Murphy bed, (concealed, at right). The concrete ribbon continues as a window seat before becoming a desk.

Originally appeared in Domestic Ribbon
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The Murphy bed in its pulled-down state is backed by mirrors from <a href="http://www.sergisimages.com">Sergi's Images Mirrors & Glass</a> to help bounce light from the north-facing windows around the apartment. A cabinet hung at the upper left provides m

The Murphy bed in its pulled-down state is backed by mirrors from Sergi's Images Mirrors & Glass to help bounce light from the north-facing windows around the apartment. A cabinet hung at the upper left provides more storage. Read more about this pint-sized renovated apartment in the Upper East Side here.

Originally appeared in Domestic Ribbon
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Hand-cranked aluminum bed

Jeff Wardell lowers the riveted aluminum Murphy bed, custom-made by furniture designer Pat Carson, in the guest room. See the rest of his shipping container home in San Francisco here.

Photo by Drew Kelly.

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