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.
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 
Originally appeared in Modern Shipping Container Home in San Francisco
1 / 9
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
2 / 9
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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Courtesy of 
©Andreas Meichsner
Originally appeared in Warsaw Loft with Multifunctional Furniture
3 / 9
"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
4 / 9
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
5 / 9
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
6 / 9
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
8 / 9
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
9 / 9
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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