Considering installing a Murphy bed? See how we redeemed some precious space in our spare bedroom with this DIY Murphy bed the easy way. Plus, find guidance on choosing the right Murphy bed for your space, budget and DIY skill-level!
Ahhh Murphy Beds- Are they just another trendy piece of furniture to have in your home? Are they just another flash in the pan for youtubers to catch some views on? Are all of us Murphy Bed owners just succumbing to a product that we will look back on in a few years and ask ourselves…why?
Julie and I (Drew) had these questions. But as we weighed through them and reasoned through taking on this project, we found that this project was a worthwhile endeavor for us to take on.
So…how did we arrive at this conclusion?
It all circled around one primary issue.
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We had valuable space that rarely provided value!
Julie and I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 3 kids (soon to be 4). Our house isn’t large, and we like it that way.
We also enjoy hosting friends and family that want to stay for a few days (or even longer), and it is really important to us that they have a space to call their own when they come to visit!
However, especially in 2020, visits have been less frequent and extensive. We hope this trend changes soon!
But being home more and having fewer guests has helped us assess the space we live in and the things we put in it. And we have realized the valuable space in our spare room wasn’t accessible or useful to us 95% of the time.
The Culprit? OUR GUEST BED!
First of all, I am thankful that we have a guest bed! It isn’t a necessity but it is extremely helpful and valuable to us when we have guests. However, the value is greatly reduced when guests are not here.
After all, just a full-size guest bed was taking up 35-50 square feet of living space!
Turns out we’re not the first ones to be in this predicament. Hence, someone named Murphy now has a bed named after them!
SOLUTION: Reclaim the space!
So, we weren’t willing to sacrifice the guest bed, but we greatly desired to make one of our three bedrooms a more livable space in our home. For us, a Murphy bed would let us reclaim that space!
NEW PROBLEM: How do I choose a Murphy bed?
If you haven’t figured this out about us already, Julie and I like to “do it ourselves” whenever possible. Save money. Flex our creative muscles. Enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Like with most things, there is a spectrum of choices when it comes to building and installing a Murphy bed. In our research, we found three main options and DIY levels:
1. Completely DIY
2. Somewhat DIY
3. Very Little DIY
Rundown on DIY Murphy Bed Choices:
Option 1: Completely DIY
This is basically DIY in is purest form. In this how-to video, DIY Tyler gives a great look at a completely DIY Murphy bed, a great option for the intermediate DIYer. You can save some cash and customize your Murphy bed as much as you want. In the beginning of our research, I was heavily leaning toward this method. I was confident I could pull this off, and DIY Tyler even has plans available for $8 to help you get this done.
- Cheapest Option
- The sky is the limit when it comes to customization
- Plans available for a small fee
- Free videos available to help explain the process
- Greatest level of DIY satisfaction
- Moderate Difficulty, most difficult option of the three
- Requires the use of several power tools
- Requires greatest amount of time and effort investment
- Hardware may not be as reliable as hardware that is specifically designed for this application
ESTIMATED PRICE: $250.00 – This is my best estimate based on materials used in a build similar to that of DIY Tyler. Considering the plywood, brackets, and other materials needed, this estimate should be in the ballpark.
Option 2: Somewhat DIY
This option involves purchasing a Murphy bed hardware kit (like this one) that is specifically designed for this application. These hardware kits are available through several retailers and have a variety of build options based upon the size of your bed and the space that you choose to build it in. There is still a fair amount of DIY. But even if you don’t have all of the tools required, there are some alternatives to still get this done yourself.
- Mid-range price point is still more affordable than the pre-manufactured Murphy bed price point
- Lots of customization options, such as wood, paint/stain color and pulls
- Kits are often designed to be taken apart and put back together somewhat easily, in case you need to move it
- Hardware is specifically designed for this application, so some of the liability of the safety and durability of the hardware (if installed correctly), falls on the manufactured
- Additional resources, including customer support, often accompanies the hardware kit
- Kits are often warrantied
- Good level of DIY satisfaction
- Beginner to intermediate DIY difficulty level
- Requires use of several power tools
- Requires moderate amount of time and effort
- Price is higher than the Completely DIY option
ESTIMATED PRICE: $500 – This is a pretty standard price for all materials including a hardware kit like this one from Easy DIY Murphy Bed. You are essentially doubling the cost of the first option, but gaining a safe and reliable hardware kit to get the bed done.
Option 3: Very Little DIY
This is the easiest option of the three and involves purchasing a pre-manufactured Murphy bed to assemble and install. Very little setup is required in comparison to the other two options. There are a variety of styles and options to choose from, and the retailer is likely going to provide you with a safe and reliable design. However, the price tag gets out of reach for many families. As we explored this option we found we would rather just let the guest bed conundrum continue than shell out what the manufacturers were asking.
- Variety of styles, designs and quality levels available
- Very little setup required on most beds
- Quickest, easiest option
- Warranties often available
- Customer service available
- Highest Priced Option
- Low level of DIY satisfaction
And the Winning Option for Our DIY Murphy Bed The Easy Way…
If you haven’t guessed it already, our research ultimately led us to go with Option 2: Somewhat DIY.
We used this full-size Murphy bed hardware kit generously provided by Easy DIY Murphy Bed. The hardware is designed specifically for the Murphy bed application, which gave us the peace of mind we were looking for when installing a Murphy bed in our home. The hardware was excellent quality. And we found the customer service and instructions to be well beyond our expectations.
We want to be intentional about the things we choose to have in our home. So before we bring anything in, we like to consider if it brings utility, fosters joy, and just makes sense for our family.
While we never want to look to a piece of furniture to be a sustainable source of joy and contentment in our lives, there was a great level of satisfaction that came through the creative process of making this bed ourselves!
Check out our Murphy Bed Build here:
Pin It For Later:
See how we created a cozy reading nook beside our bed here:
Thanks for stopping by Feast and Fasten!