As the tiny house movement rages on and rising rents in cities like New York and San Francisco force people into tighter living situations, one piece of furniture is seeing a resurgence — the Murphy bed.
, the Murphy beds fold out of the wall for sleeping and then conveniently tuck away when not in use. Generally, they're outfitted with a regular mattress, but no box spring, and the frames are made of a piece of paneling matching the wall or cabinet that holds the bed upright.
Chelsea Williams, a representative at , says the beds have seen a significant rise in popularity over the last 10 years: "Micro suites and high real estate values have created an environment where people are having to get creative with the limited space they have," Williams says. "Murphy Beds are continuing to gain in popularity especially with the imaginative ways they can be incorporated into a person's home decor."
Yes, Murphy beds and stylish decor can co-exist, apparently.
According to Doreen Tuman, AKA "," tables or bookshelves can be attached to the front of the bed for added function. She also notes that people with larger homes may choose to have Murphy beds in guest rooms, where a bed isn't frequently needed.
It turns out that the reason these wall beds are making a comeback is the same reason they were created age ago.
"Murphy Beds allowed people living in a one room apartment to entertain friends in an era when it was not socially acceptable to have guest come over and essentially spend time in a person's bedroom," Williams says.
that according to family legend, William Lawrence Murphy was living in a one-room San Francisco apartment while trying to court a young opera singer in the late 1800s. This invention allowed his bedroom to become a parlor for hosting his future wife. He patented the Murphy bed in 1911.
In the following decades, Murphy beds became a trendy selling point for rental units. They were often portrayed in popular culture, including struggling with his own wall bed.
As homes became larger, the need for Murphy beds disappeared. But now, their flexibility is being appreciated again. And hopefully, their design offerings will be, too.