Exploring creative ways to use Murphy beds in small spaces can transform your living area into a multifunctional paradise. Named after William Lawrence Murphy, these innovative bed frames are designed to easily fold up against the wall when not in use. With the rise in the cost of housing, maximizing the square footage you use has never been more critical. 

This post will explore the practicality of modern Murphy beds and how they make an excellent choice for smaller spaces like studio apartments, container homes or tiny homes that often need a multipurpose area. We’ll discuss how you can seamlessly incorporate them into various rooms, such as home offices, guest rooms, and children’s playrooms.

We’ll also touch on some DIY options using IKEA units for those who prefer a hands-on approach. So reimagine your space with these attractive Murphy bed cabinet ideas and let’s dive in.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I can earn commissions. If you decide to purchase through my links, it is at no cost to you.

1. Home Office and Guest Room Combo

Murphy beds are an excellent solution for small spaces, offering dual functionality that can transform your home office into a guest room. This concept has been expertly utilized by those with small or studio apartments and those living in other small spaces such as Tiny Homes or Container Homes. By installing a folding wall bed, you can maximize living areas during the day and provide a cozy sleeping space at night when you may not have a spare room to dedicate to guest use.

Designing a Dual-Purpose Space

The key to designing a successful dual-purpose or multipurpose (why limit yourself to just two purposes) space is ensuring each function does not compromise the other. A Murphy bed lets you maintain an organized workspace during the day without sacrificing comfort for overnight guests. By choosing furniture pieces with multiple uses, such as desks with ample storage or convertible sofa beds, you can maximize productivity and relaxation within one room.

Unlike sofa beds which typically take up 3-4 feet of space, the fold-up bed frame offers maximum space flexibility as, on average, a folded-up Murphy bed typically protrudes around 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 centimeters) from the wall. 

Workspace Organization Tips

To keep your work environment productive even when it doubles as a multipurpose space, consider incorporating built-in shelving or floating shelves above where the bed folds out. This provides plenty of storage without taking up valuable floor space. Also, ensure there’s adequate lighting available for both tasks – working and reading in bed. 

Guest Accommodation Considerations

  • Sleep Comfort: When selecting your Murphy bed mattress, make sure it offers good support and comfort since it will be used by guests with different sleep preferences.
  • Ease of Use: Your Murphy bed should be easy to set up and put away to make your office into guest accommodation manageable. New technology has made this a breeze with fancy pistons and counterbalancing mechanisms.
  • Aesthetics: Choose bedding that complements the rest of your decor of the guest rooms so that when folded down, it feels like part of the overall design rather than an afterthought.

These considerations will help you and potential guests feel comfortable in this versatile space. Impress your visitors with impressive design talents because you can maintain style to save space.

Key Takeaway: 


The article discusses the use of Murphy beds in small spaces, particularly for dual-purpose rooms like a home office and guest room. The key to designing such spaces is ensuring that each function does not compromise the other, with tips on maximizing productivity and relaxation within one room. Considerations for guest accommodation include sleep comfort, ease of use, and aesthetics that complement your decor.

2. Studio Apartments and Open Floor Plans

In small residences or studio apartments, Murphy beds provide an innovative solution for creating a separate living room and sleeping area. The flexibility of these transformative pieces of furniture can make a significant difference in the functionality of your space.

Murphy Bed in open space
From Amazon

Creating Separate Living and Sleeping Areas

Murphy beds are designed to easily fold into a wall or cabinet when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space during the day. Homeowners have cleverly put their coffee tables and sofas on casters, allowing them to be easily moved out of the way when it’s time to lower the bed. This creative approach enables you to maximize every square foot available.

Divider Solutions

Beyond just providing a place to sleep, some Murphy bed designs incorporate built-in shelving around the bed frame, integrating it seamlessly into the interior architecture. These shelves serve as storage solutions and room dividers, helping separate different zones within open floor plans without obstructing light or views.

  • Sofas: Some models come with sofas attached that flip down when you pull down the bed – perfect for studio apartments where seating is at a premium.
  • Dining Tables: Others feature drop-down tables ideal for dining or working from home. The drop-down table design can save floor space when not in use. 
  • Cabinets: There are also options with integrated cabinets offering additional storage space.

The key is finding what works best for your needs – more storage, extra seating area, workspace requirements, etc. There’s likely a Murphy bed design tailored precisely toward those needs.

3. Kids’ Rooms and Playrooms

Designing children’s bedrooms is a delicate balance between creating a fun, engaging play area and ensuring there’s ample space for restful sleep. One innovative solution that meets both these needs is the Murphy bed.

Murphy Bed in kids room
From Dornob.com

Optimizing Play Areas and Sleep Spaces

A twin-sized Murphy bed can be an excellent choice in this regard. During the day, it can be stowed away against a wall to create more space for entertainment. At night, it pulls down quickly to provide a comfortable sleeping area.

Safety Considerations

You can’t just explore creative ways to use Murphy beds in small spaces without also considering the safety of the bed. Murphy beds explicitly designed for kids come with safety features such as locking mechanisms to prevent accidental opening or closing of the bed. Ensuring any unit you choose meets all necessary child safety standards is essential.

Storage and Organization Solutions

Specialty Murphy beds with built-in storage and cabinets provide an excellent solution for storage and organization in kids’ rooms. These innovative beds offer hidden compartments and shelves, allowing you to neatly store toys, books, and other belongings while maximizing the available space in the room. With the convenience of a Murphy bed and the added benefit of integrated storage, these designs help create a clutter-free and functional environment for children.

The successful implementation of Murphy beds in urban development projects highlights its potential widespread adoption trend in future housing developments, especially within small living spaces where optimizing every inch becomes crucial.

4. DIY Murphy Beds Using IKEA Units

Are you a crafty person seeking to economize? Building your own Murphy bed using IKEA units is a great option. Constructing your own Murphy bed with IKEA components can be a great way to personalize the style and size of the furniture while also saving money.

Save Money With DIY Options

Murphy beds can cost between $2000-$3000, but you can significantly reduce that cost by going the DIY route. Some homeowners have successfully built their versions using IKEA storage units, saving on setup costs while adding a personal touch to their living spaces. These IKEA storage units can open up a world of creative ways to use Murphy beds in small areas.

Murphy Bed with IKEA PAX

The process involves purchasing an IKEA PAX wardrobe unit or similar product that fits your space dimensions and modifying it into a functional wall bed system. The key is selecting sturdy furniture pieces that can withstand the weight of the mattress and frequent folding/unfolding operations.

Here’s how you can build your custom Murphy bed:

  1. Purchase suitable IKEA storage units like wardrobes or shelving systems.
  2. Select appropriate hardware kits online designed specifically for DIY Murphy beds, such as those available at Easy DIY Murphy Bed.
  3. Carefully follow instructions provided with the hardware kit ensuring secure installation within selected furniture pieces.
  4. Add finishing touches like decorative panels or additional shelving around the frame if desired.

This project provides tremendous room for creativity, allowing you to design something unique to your particular space needs. The possibilities are endless, whether you’re maximizing small spaces or integrating seamlessly with your existing decor theme.

Just remember to prioritize safety during construction to ensure a stable and durable result that will last for years without posing any risk to users, especially children in a household setting.

5. Successful Implementation of Wall Beds in Urban Development Projects

Recently, the city-building industry has experienced a rise in inventive housing options. One such solution is using Murphy beds or wall beds, which are foldable and can be tucked away when not in use. These space-saving marvels have been successfully incorporated into various urban development projects to maximize living spaces.

Widespread Adoption Trend For Built-In Murphy Setups

Milhaus, an urban development company, partnered with Bedder Way Company, specialists in creating handcrafted Murphy beds, for their Artistry project. The goal was to test the market’s response to built-in Murphy bed setups within small residential spaces.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. The clever integration of these wall beds proved successful immediately upon implementation. Milhaus incorporated more built-in Murphy bed setups into phase two developments within Oklahoma City’s Midtown neighborhood.

  • Who needs a big bed when you can have a wall bed? These space-saving solutions provide residents with additional floor space during the day while offering comfortable sleeping arrangements at night.
  • Their sleek design seamlessly blends with any interior decor adding aesthetic value alongside functionality.
  • This success story serves as a testament to how versatile and practical these furnishings can be.

With the increasing demand for affordable housing options, especially within bustling cityscapes like Oklahoma City’s Midtown neighborhood, it is no surprise that developers are looking towards incorporating more such flexible furnishing solutions into their future projects.


In conclusion, Murphy beds are the superheroes of small spaces, swooping in to save the day with their incredible versatility. With their ability to transform a home office into a guest room or create separate areas in open floor plans, these beds are like magical dividers that give your space a standing ovation.

And let’s remember the kids’ rooms where Murphy beds are the ultimate hide-and-seek champions. They optimize play areas during the day and reveal a cozy sleeping haven at night, ensuring bedtime becomes an adventure rather than a battle. The options of creative ways to use Murphy beds in small spaces is a journey worth exploring.

So, if you’re looking to outsmart space constraints and add a touch of awesomeness to your home, embrace the mighty Murphy bed. With Murphy beds, your home becomes organized chaos, where every nook and cranny has a purpose. Enjoy more laughter, relaxation, and the occasional victory dance in your cleverly optimized space.

Reclaim your room and enjoy creating!

Frequently Asked Questions

What else can you use a Murphy bed for?

The underside could be a decorative or focal piece if the bed is folded up.

Are Murphy beds good for small rooms?

Murphy beds are perfect for small spaces, providing a comfortable sleeping area that can be easily stowed away to free up floor space.

How big of a room do you need for a Murphy bed?

A typical queen-size Murphy bed requires about 6 feet by 8 feet of floor space, but smaller models are available for tighter spaces. 

Should I put a Murphy bed in guest room?

Yes, installing a Murphy bed in a guest room is a practical and space-saving solution. It allows you to have a comfortable bed for guests while maximizing the usability of the room during the day.

What is better than a Murphy bed?

A wall bed is a good alternative to a Murphy bed.

How big of a room do you need for a Murphy bed?

A typical queen-size Murphy bed requires about 6 feet by 8 feet of floor space, but smaller models are available for tighter spaces. 

Are Murphy beds practical for everyday use?

Murphy beds are designed to be used daily, providing comfort comparable to traditional mattresses while offering versatility and saving valuable square footage in any room. 

Are Murphy beds and folding beds the same?

Murphy beds are slightly different than actual folding beds. A Murphy bed frame and mattress will not fold up as the folding bed will. Folding beds can also be stored away when not in use in a closet or under another bed.

  • Erin Hybart

    Meet Erin, a real estate enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and an insatiable curiosity for all things Real Estate and living with intention. She passionately advocates for alternative, affordable, and eco-friendly housing solutions. She believes in pushing the industry's innovation boundaries and thinking outside the box. As a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana, Erin dedicates herself to assisting clients in buying and selling properties and mentoring fellow agents to succeed in their own Real Estate businesses. In addition to her professional pursuits, Erin channels her expertise into captivating house-flipping adventures.

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