LA Good Questions: Murphy Bed Dilemma

LA Good Questions: Murphy Bed Dilemma

Gregory Han
Feb 12, 2008

AT:LA reader Marisa writes in regarding how to best configure her small sized studio apartment with a murphy bed space:

Hello! My studio apartment in the 1920's era building I live in has a closet that originally housed a murphy bed. The frame I sleep on is the original frame from many years ago and I am considering having it re-installed in the closet. I am having a hard time deciding where to place my furniture to facilitate this change, as I wouldn't want the room to look too unbalanced when the bed is in the wall, or too cramped when it is down...

From the head, the bed would go about 2 feet into the closet. Is there a more efficient way to layout the space using the closet as a desk or just as an entertainment unit and divide with a room divider like a screen? The ceilings are vaulted and about 10 feet at the highest point. Help! Attatched is a picture of the current layout with furniture as well as two pictures of the interior before furniture was moved in. (The prior owner spray painted those doors gold, so I can't take blame for those!

Hi Marisa,
As someone who also lived in a 1920's apartment a few years back with a murphy bed cove, I think it's great you've got the option to use the space for a myriad of solutions. I turned my murphy bed section into a recessed bookcase for a year, then afterward, turned into a home office after a career change of working from home. I installed overhead dimmable lighting and even had an electrical socket installed so I wouldn't have to run wire throughout.

Converting the area into a home entertainment area is another good use of space, as your TV set will be away from the windows and reflective light. By installing doors or pull curtains you could close off your TV and components while not in use. Here's a reader question with a similar interior area for reference.

If you do go the route of repositioning and placing your bed in the murphy bed space, you could always install overhead sliding curtains to divide up the space for privacy (which might be good for the fact your bed would be in direct view from the front entry, so a perpendicular privacy curtain might be recommended):

With this configuration, you could place your seating closer to the windows and enjoy the view and fresh air.

You could also follow the example of using tall storage units to create partitions. Or how about a folding screen which you could decorate/customize with paint or wallpaper? Regardless of which route you go, you should end up with more space, which is a luxury while living in a studio apartment.

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