Murphy's Law

written by:
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.
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  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 KellyCourtesy of: Drew Kelly

    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

    Courtesy of: Drew Kelly

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  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.  Photo by: Drew KellyCourtesy of: Drew Kelly

    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.

    Photo by: Drew Kelly

    Courtesy of: Drew Kelly

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  "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.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    "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.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

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  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.  Photo by: Grant Delin

    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.

    Photo by: Grant Delin

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  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.   Photo by: Grant Delin

    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

    Photo by: Grant Delin

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  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.  Photo by: Raimund Koch

    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.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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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. Click to see more of this open space apartment in the Upper West Side.  Photo by: Raimund Koch

    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.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  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.

    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.

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  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.

    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.

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