Want to save some floor space? Get a wall bed!

I never thought I’d live in a studio apartment again. Not that there’s anything wrong with studio apartments. But I came to enjoy having a bedroom with a door on it.

Even the tiny 325 SF sixth-floor walkup I lived in for 12 years on the upper east side had a bedroom, albeit a 7′ x 11′ bedroom. With no closet.

So when I bought this apartment in April 2012, I made the compromise knowingly. I chose to surrender some square footage for amenities and location. For more on that process, see The New York Times piece here.

I wasn’t in the apartment for more than two days before people started suggesting wall beds. Actually, many of them suggested aMurphy bed, but that’s a trademarked name for a specific brand of wall bed. I learned a lot about wall beds once I started researching them.

While a bed hidden in a cabinet and up and off the floor sounded like a good idea, I wasn’t ready to move forward with anything that major so soon after moving in. I settled in, but my curiosity was piqued.

A year later I was ready for more space and a project, so I started shopping in earnest.

My first stop wasApartment Therapy and my search expanded from there. Resource Furniture has a showroom here in NYC so I stopped by to see several of their beds in person. While I LOVE many of these designs, particularly this rotating bed, I decided to get something custom built to fit perfectly into the niche since I intend to include the bed if/when I ever sell.

What I found at many of the retail outlets that offer “custom” wall beds is decent cabinetry with sub-standard hardware. This might be fine for a guest room or someone on a limited budget or a more temporary situation, but I wanted a solid-feeling bed that wouldn’t fall apart with daily use.

That lead me to SICO hardware.

I’m no Rockefeller, but I learned some time ago that when it comes to major purchases, it’s best to think about them as investments rather than shopping for a bargain. And like most investments, it’s better to save up for what you actually want than to compromise for the quick purchase out of impatience or fear.

The satisfaction of owning something well-made and made to last, of buying the best quality you can reasonably afford, long outweighs the temporary discomfort of paying for it at the time of purchase.

I’d rather have fewer things of higher quality than a bunch of things that are intended to make me feel rich because of volume, regardless of quality.

This has proved true with appliances, cabinets, furniture and clothing. I’ll go into this more in a future post.

Now that I had identified the bed hardware I wanted, I placed an order from Patrick Mackin, who also provided me with some great ideas for the desk I integrated into the final design.

Hardware ordered, it was time to find a cabinet maker who would build the frame to enclose it. Enter CustomMade.

This great website allows you to post any kind of custom work you want done and qualified contractors make contact and then bid. It’s kind of like a cross between Ebay, Etsy and Angie’s Liston steroidsbut only kind of. I’ve done several projects through them and always been beyond satisfied.

That’s how I met Clark Peaslee.

Here is a pic of the wall in my apartment before installation, the design for the wall bed with side cabinets and the actual cabinets in Clark’s shop. Tomorrow I’ll detail the installation.




2 thoughts on “Want to save some floor space? Get a wall bed!”

  1. Looks great! How did you fit the cabinet in with the sockets on the wall? I plan to install a Murphy bed but there is an electrical socket (not in use) and a television arial and cable (which protrudes several inches from the wall).

    1. The lower part of the cabinet, where the bed mechanism is, has no back—so it open where the outlets are. Even though this bed and cabinet was custom made, I believe all wall beds are constructed the same way. You need that space open for the bed to pivot as it folds out. Good luck with your project!

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