Sewing Room Murphy Bed

We use Elaine's sewing room as a secondary guest room, so it had a queen sized bed in it which was taking up a lot of space. I built a wall unit that gives her lots of room for storing her sewing supplies and contains a Murphy bed that can be lowered when we have guests.

I made it from hickory, both hardwood and hickory plywood. It was a bit of a learning experience, and I would do a few things different next time, but it is functional and looks pretty good.

I used hardware that I purchased from Rockler. There is a good description, including an informative video at

Here are some pictures that I took with my phone. If you click on the image, you can get a larger version

This is an overview shot. There is another set of doors and drawers on the left. The size of those cabinets was dictated by the size of the big plastic containers that Elaine bought at Costco. There are "bread board" style pull outs on either side of the bed that become night stands when the bed is down. There is an electric outlet in the bottom shelf for phone chargers, etc. The plan is to leave the two (full extension) drawers on either side of the bed empty for guest use. I could have done a better job on matching up the plywood on the two sides of the bed. That is the "B" side showing; Elaine felt that the "A" side was too figured for her taste.

The little rectangles are the feet when the bed is down. The act of opening the foot releases the latch that keeps the bed closed.

The box that swings down can hold a decent sized innerspring mattress. The one here is about 10 inches thick. You do not use a box spring.

As the box swings down, a pneumatic cylinder is compressed. With a really light mattress, you would have to add extra weight to keep the bed down. This one is plenty heavy. You have to do a bit of lifting to close the bed, but it is not too bad. You can also see the light switch that I put in (on both sides) for an LED reading light at the top of the box.

Here is a closeup that shows the attachment of the cylinder at both ends. (It also shows some split-outs in the plywood back that I hadn't noticed until I saw this picture).

I found these aimable recessed fixtures at Home Depot. They had a white one that came with LEDs, but Elaine liked the bronze finish which came with incandescents. Fortunately, they also sold the LED bulbs of the right size. The two lights are separately switchable and dimmable. The hardwood framing above the bed could have been a door, but I didn't feel that the space there warranted the hassle. It's just decorative.