Before and After: A DIY Murphy Bed for a Third of the Cost of Store-Bought

published Feb 8, 2020
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In small homes, rooms often have to serve double duty. That’s why Brittany Goldwyn Merth was looking for a way to maximize the efficiency of the office space in her two-bedroom home. “Before we started working on this room, it was just an office space for my husband,” Brittany says. “He had his desk and a bookshelf down here, as well as a brown recliner that we’d already sold by the time I took this before picture. This side of the room was really underused.”

With two adults and an 8-month-old baby all under one roof, Brittany didn’t want any piece of the home to feel like it wasn’t being put to use. The couple decided the room would make a great place to host overnight guests—hello, grandparents!—but it definitely still needed enough space to function as an office and a sometime-playroom.

“When we had our daughter, our guest crash space turned in to her nursery,” Brittany says. “We thought the underused side of the room would be perfect for a Murphy bed.”

The project took a few weeks, since the couple DIYed the whole thing themselves. They started with a coat of black paint on the wall to make the new white furniture pop. Then, they built the Murphy bed in place using plywood, molding, and a Murphy bed kit like this one. They anchored it to the wall for extra security around their young child.

When it’s closed, the Murphy bed looks like a stylish cabinet, especially with the addition of side shelves. “I modeled after a Murphy bed/built-in shelf combo I saw on a major retailer’s website for about $1,800,” Brittany says. Theirs came to just $600 all-in— “and it looks nearly exactly the same,” she says.

If you’re looking to create a similar project at home, Brittany’s sound advice is to not leave anything to chance. “Come up with a solid plan and invest in a hardware kit with a piston system,” she says. “If it comes with a plan, read through the instructions, and then read through them again before getting started.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.