Murphy bed area

How to Make a Murphy Bed Look Nice

Murphy bed areaMurphy bed: Wayfair (sold out, brand is Cedarville Queen Murphy Bed By Rosecliff Heights) / Solid Oak bookcases / Rug: Pottery Barn

I
have been anti-Murphy bed for as long as I can remember. Just the thought of it sounded strange to me, uncomfortable, and let’s be totally honest, unattractive! Where does a Murphy bed fit into a nice design? When has anyone ever said, “Wow, look at that Murphy bed, that sure is beautiful, I must have one!”? Well, this post is an attempt to change your mind, because clearly my mind has changed.

It has been almost a year and a half of having Murphy bed in this space and it’s been great! Lots of guests have stayed with us and it has worked out wonderfully for the short term guests. Benjamin’s home office had doubled as a guest room putting him in a little stress mode when we had guests so having this space has been great to keep guests separated a bit from work areas. I also prefer guests don’t use my bathroom since I built a bathroom for them (though mine still gets used, trying to figure out how to navigate that).

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves

I very much believe in utilizing every room in your home – if possible. Unless you have some mansion and you can spare the square footage, but in our case, we had 1750 square feet of space we use to the max (the addition added 425 square feet of living and a guest bathroom). Every corner of every tiny room we used. I knew a dedicated guest room wouldn’t make sense for us, and I didn’t want to build, aka pay, for a room for guest usage only.

So the living area space in the expansion area – now named the garden room, seemed like a great place for an extra room for guests (not pictured but it’s behind me where I took this photo). You see, we use it every day, the living area that is, I often work in there with my laptop answering emails, watching Netflix, and we can use the bathroom.

I thought we would put furniture in front of the Murphy bed but we never did. It doesn’t seem like we know what to do with this area just yet, so we wait.  (photo below is before I added Anthropologie wallpaper to the back of the bookcase).

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves

The Murphy bed install took a few hours, we hired help. And I’ve got some news for anyone who’s interested in a Murphy bed.

Do not buy a Costco Murphy bed. This is coming from an expert Murphy bed installer who emphasized it to us – he installs Murphy beds for a living for a Bed in the Wall company and said they are cheaply made, made of plywood, and take a long time install – up to 4 hours.

The installer didn’t say that because he gets anything out of it – and he also doesn’t care if it takes him four hours (more money for him) but he explained the way furniture is made. You know those twisty screws (I know all screws twist) but where it’s a very cheap board that you place it in it and twisting it secures the boards together? I recall assembling a TV entertainment stand from either Walmart or Target Benjamin bought while we were dating for his new apartment in Albuquerque – it took us 3 hours to assemble this cheap junk and I told him Pottery Barn furniture which came assembled was worth the quality, and time saved.

The Murphy bed inspiration – the original plan

Without me saying it, I gave into the Murphy bed look. I stopped into a store to see it in person and they often come with bookcases along side them and I really liked that look. I also came across a pin of a Murphy bed bookcase combo designed by Joanna Gaines and I was sold!

I decided to flank it with two colored bookcases – and this was what I wanted (only we didn’t get the Ballard Designs bookcases because unfortunately the wall ended up being smaller so we were short a few inches in width *crying*). Feel free to steal this look because I’m still in love with it. Dang drywall!

make Murphy bed area look attractive with bookcasesMurphy bed / Bookcases

It’s fine, we still ended up with a similar look and I cannot complain – you can also steal this look. Benjamin preferred closed shelves on the bottom, he didn’t want everything out in the open so this worked great. It already came painted which was a relief. The crown molding on the side of the bookcases pokes out on the side, but the bookcase is flush with the Murphy bed, phew!

Our Murphy bed look – since the walls weren’t wide enough

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelvesMurphy bed / Solid Oak bookcases / Rug: Pottery Barn

Our Murphy bed is from Wayfair, we were told this particular company (not Wayfair itself) is excellent quality and the bed frame won’t fall on you – they are separate. The mattress itself is actually what is mounted and the frame is mounted separately as well – it’s safe.

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelveshow to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves

I bought new bedding from H&M to match the new towels, and I just love it! Also the new linen pillow shams too, so fun! The bird duvet matches a vintage print I have in the bathroom – a print I moved from another area of our home.

And what do you put behind a Murphy bed when it’s down? We can’t add artwork because it’s too tight with the mattress, so I decided to wallpaper of course! Ha! Just one night took me an hour and I bought the wallpaper from PB Teen, it’s a Liberty London print. 

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelveshow to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves

how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves
how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves
how to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelveshow to style and decorate a Murphy bed so it looks attractive try bookshelves

So there you go – I hope you think of Murphy beds a little differently now and know where to buy one – because I know the feeling not loving the look. When the Murphy bed is up you can utilize that area by putting down an area rug for a play area (if you have kids) or put a work table and make it a work station for projects. We are still trying to figure that out for us but so far we love the look and are so happy with it!

Do you have a Murphy bed, what are your thoughts on it? Or are you looking to add one in a room for guests? Share in the comments and feel free to ask any questions.

This blog post was originally published on May 9, 2019 and revised and updated on December 28, 2020.


Diana Elizabeth needs to redo the guest closet which is now her entertaining closet. 

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.

3 Comments

  • Emily

    You’re right! That model is very hard to get your hands on! I love the style of it so I may continue to wait until it is available, however, I found these things called cabinet murphy beds that seem interesting as well. They are more condensed and match up well with furniture. Only problem is they use a trifold mattress. I like the idea of using my own mattress so I’m torn. It would be used in a vacation house so not my primary bed.

  • Whitney

    I love this Murphy bed! The wood color is beautiful. I followed your link but it doesn’t appear to be listed on wayfair anymore. What company makes the bed?thanks!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Whitney, it comes back in stock every so often, here’s the info: Cedarville Queen Murphy Bed
      By Rosecliff Heights

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