Doing Double Duty

Sometimes your home just doesn’t have space for all the things you need it to do.  If renovating, remodeling, or adding on isn’t an option, consider the age-old tactic of double-duty rooms.  Nothing new here if you think about it.  The first homes were little more than one room.  Talk about double, triple and even quadruple duty! 

Often it’s the office that has to share living quarters with a guest room (or vice versa depending upon how much you use the office!)  The trick is to make it functional, comfortable and a place that can easily transition from one function to another.

This week, when I was attending an ASID event at the Perfection Custom Closet showroom in Niles, I saw something I haven’t seen in a while.  A Murphy bed!  What a great piece to put in that office/guest room!  What’s a Murphy bed?  Well, it’s also called a wall- bed or pull-down bed.  Essentially a bed that folds up into a wall unit or other item.  Here’s a picture of the one at Perfection Custom Closets:

The Murphy bed- closed


Murphy bed- open

Pretty cool, huh?  Murphy beds can come in queen size as well as twin size, and are great for those that need an office most of the time and a guest room only occasionally.  Let’s face it- there’s a really strong temptation to nap when you have to work with a bed in the room, not to mention the space limitations!   I’d go a step further in customizing this one to incorporate a locking file drawer in each of the “nightstands” instead of the two bottom drawers.  The top cabinets could house manuals and other office supplies that can be out of sight when it’s time to be a guest room.  The only other challenge is in making the desk neat!  (More of a struggle for some of us). 

Here’s a Murphy bed that’s a combination desk and bed! 

When you close this one, the bottom shelf becomes your desk top!

Kind of an interesting option for an additional bed for a sleep-over guest in your kids’ rooms!  Now there is one picture that I found that I would classify as borderline scary.  Take a look and tell me what you think.


I suppose if this were a vacation house and you were trying to get the maximum amount of guests in a space, this concept would be ok.  Maybe even for kids slumber parties.  You’d have to do a lot of re-arranging to make these work, so I’m assuming they don’t get used that frequently. 

Believe it or not, the Murphy bed has been around since William Lawrence Murphy applied for a patent in 1916.  With the focus on down-sizing and making the most of what you have, the time is right to see a resurgance of its popularity!

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