Murphy Bed Benefits: Combining a Home Office and Guest Room

May 28, 2024

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Navigating the challenge of combining a cozy guest room with a functional home office seemed daunting until I partnered with Create-A-Bed. Their innovative Murphy bed solutions transformed my space. Showcasing key Murphy bed benefits such as style and practicality coexisting beautifully

This setup not only highlights the Murphy bed benefits of space-saving but also enhances the room’s dual functionality. Making it both an inviting guest room and an efficient work area.

My desire to combine a guest room and a home office seemed out of reach. I assumed I would need to designate a small space within the guest room for my home office.

Because let’s face it, just the bed and the nightstand would take up much of the room.

I contemplated a sofa bed, but wasn’t wild about that idea. It’s just not easy to find a comfortable one. Nor is it easy to find one that will adequately accommodate two people.

I did consider a Murphy bed briefly but that also seemed out of reach, because my assumption was, I would need someone to build it for me.

Every pull-down beds kit I’ve ever looked at has appeared to be very complicated.


No matter how many times I went back to the drawing board, I could not come up with the ideal solution. How could I transform my spare room to fit both of my needs? A functional home office and a guest bedroom.

And then I found it! I knew it was the perfect solution the moment it popped up on my Instagram feed. A Murphy bed! But wait, we already decided that wouldn’t work. Yes, but that was before I saw Create-A-Bed’s Murphy Bed assembly kits.

What was the factor that changed everything? It’s simple! They offer a super easy-to-follow step-by-step tutorial. This YouTube video walks you through EVERY single step of the process.

After watching that video, I had the confidence I needed to tackle this project. It truly is that thorough. 

It was time to transform this room, into something beautiful!

Murphy Bed Benefits: Home Office and Guest Room Combined

Before pic of home office guest room reveal

What is a Murphy bed?

A few other names for a Murphy bed include:

  • wall bed
  • pull down bed
  • fold-down bed

Hinged at one end to store vertically or horizontally against the wall, a Murphy bed frees up valuable floor space when the bed is not in use.

This space-saving bed is a popular choice for small apartments, home offices, or any multi-purpose space.

Walk into almost any studio apartment and you’ll find a Murphy bed. Why? Because it’s a great option that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Bed in a studio apartment.

The origin of the Murphy bed is an interesting story, one that underscores the enduring Murphy bed benefits of space and convenience.

Legend has it that in the early 1900s, William Lawrence Murphy, while living in a one-room apartment in San Francisco, wanted to entertain guests.

However, at the time, it was improper to invite female guests into a bedroom, and his apartment was too small to have both a parlor and a bedroom.

To solve this dilemma, Murphy invented a way to convert his bedroom into a parlor by designing a bed that could fold up into his closet.

His invention allowed him to host guests without breaking social norms.

Murphy went on to patent his design in 1911. Since then, it has become an iconic space-saving solution in homes around the world.

The Murphy bed remains popular to this day, especially in urban areas where maximizing living space is essential.

Why I Chose a Create-A-Bed Murphy Bed

As I mentioned before, the goal of this room was for it to serve two purposes. Both a guest room and a home office. The interior design of the room is very important to me.

Therefore, I wanted it to be a room I could be proud of. One that I would enjoy walking into as I started my workday throughout the week.

Olive tree in a large pot against a millwork accent wall for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

I, of course, also wanted it to be warm and inviting to our guests. An air mattress was out of the question and a pull-out couch didn’t really interest me either.

A Murphy bed was the ideal choice to meet my specific needs, particularly due to the Murphy bed benefits of versatility and efficient use of space.

Dark green doors with a rug on dark wood floors for Murphy bed benefits post.

Choosing the Design of My Murphy Bed

Now that I had made the decision to install a Murphy bed, It was time to hit the drawing board and figure out the design I wanted.

A few things to consider:

  • Size of the room
  • Mattress size
  • Mattress orientation
  • Type of kit
  • To build it myself or hire it out
  • The overall design of my Murphy bed

Size of the room

The room size I was working with isn’t huge, but it’s also not a small room either. Pretty average in size: 13’x12′. Choosing to go with a Murphy bed allowed me to size up on the mattress I selected.

I didn’t have to worry about how much floor space was going to be taken up. After all, the bed would be off the floor most of the time. For this reason, I went big!

Mattress Size

For the guest room, I wanted the best mattress in the house. I ended up going with a queen size Dream Cloud Premier Rest Memory Foam mattress. That’s a mouthful! Let’s just say this 14″ thick mattress is the creme-de-la-creme of mattresses.

It is THE most comfortable mattress in our home. Mission accomplished!

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A girl making a bed for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

Note: Because I went with a larger mattress size than the instructions call for, I had to adjust the depth of the compartment housing the bed. This was very easy to do. Create-A-Bed gave me the exact measurements and changes I would need to make.
No adjustment would need made for thinner mattresses.

Mattress Orientation

While most people choose a vertical Murphy bed, horizontal Murphy beds are an option too. I liked the design of having my cabinet, housing my bed, spanning from floor to ceiling. So, for me, choosing a vertical orientation was the best option.

If you have low ceilings, the horizontal option may work best.

When checking out Create-A-Bed’s Instagram page, it was interesting to see how people have implemented both options. 

Type of Kit

I went with an adjustable bed mechanism. But Create-A-Bed has a variety of options to choose from.

Whether to Build It Myself or Hire It Out

Create-A-Bed makes it so easy to build a Murphy bed on your own. So, for me this was a no-brainer. Between the very thorough written instructions and the detailed video tutorial, I had confidence I could build this bed from start to finish.

And if I got stuck, one simple phone call or email and Create-A-Bed was right there to help. I actually utilized their personal assistance, via email, a couple times and was very pleased with their quick response and thorough answers.

All in all, it was a very seamless building process.

Desk area in a home office/guest room

The Overall Design of My Murphy Bed

When walking into the room, I wanted the eye to be drawn to a long wall of beautiful built-in cabinetry. Therefore, it was crucial that the Murphy bed blend in cohesively with the elegant custom cabinets.

But at the same time, the Murphy bed IS the focal point. Even though, at first glance you would never know it. Housed behind what appears to be large double doors, that most people would think leads to a closet.

I like to say, the Murphy bed is the star of the show….in a very subtle way.

Building My Murphy Bed

As I have said repeatedly, Create-A-Bed made the build process of my Murphy bed very easy. Through this video, I was able to build my Murphy bed from start to finish with minimal hiccups along the way.

The snags I did run into were unfortunately, user-error. I’ll explain as I go through each step.

Girl trimming out a plywood panel with edge-banding.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved. I’m not going to go into great detail on these. I highly recommend following the Create-A-Bed video tutorial for all building instructions.

It was when I veered off the C-A-B tutorial and followed other people’s tutorials that I ran into problems. C-A-B lays it all out so perfectly. There’s no reason to venture off.

Making Sure I Have All the Necessary Materials

Before starting, it’s important to make sure you have all of your materials needed for the project. C-A-B gives you a detailed list of everything you need.

Making All of My Cuts

Once I had all of my necessary materials, I was ready to make all of my cuts. Many times in my projects, I like to cut my wood as I go. However, following the directions to a T, I made all of my cuts first, as directed by Create-A-Bed.

C-A-B recommends labeling each board as you cut. This makes the build process move along much faster and lessen the likelihood that you’ll grab the wrong board.

Plywood cut for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

TIP: One mistake I made was thinking I could make all of my own cuts. I have a table saw and therefore, thought I could rip all of my own boards. However, some of those sheets are very large. Even with 2 of us pushing it through my table saw, the cuts were still not precise.

While I tried to make some of these incorrect cuts work, it wasn’t happening. In the end, I had to go back to Home Depot and buy all new wood for those incorrect cuts.

However, this time I had Home Depot cut them for me. With their giant saw (that I wish I owned 🙂  ), they were able to make the cuts exactly to the dimensions I needed. Much better!

A man at Home Depot cutting wood.

Build the Bed Frame

Now that I had all of my cuts made correctly, I was ready to start building the frame…

1x supports and bed panels being built.

Once I had it to this stage, I was ready to move it upstairs…

2 sheets of plywood with 1x supports and side rails.

Well, my boys were ready to move it upstairs. 🙂

2 men carrying a bed frame up stairs for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

From this point, I was ready to continue the assembling upstairs…

Murphy bed frame being built.

Here you can see the compartment that will house the Murphy bed…

Murphy bed in down position.

And here’s a better picture to see how that compartment then becomes vertical.

Murphy bed frame with compartment for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

I then added the topper…

The shell of a murphy bed.

With the bed folded up, it now looks like just one giant wooden box, demonstrating one of the key Murphy bed benefits—its ability to blend seamlessly with the room’s decor when not in use…

A compartment housing a murphy bed.

TIP: In this picture above, you can see where I marked my studs. It’s important to do this before starting on the project. Your bed will need to be securely drilled into wall studs. This is very important. These beds are HEAVY! Create-A-Bed does a very good job of showing you exactly how to safely secure your Murphy bed compartment to the wall.

Adding the built ins was so exciting! I could really see it all coming together now…

A murphy bed with pantry cabinets on both sides.

As you can see in the picture above, I added temporary handles to the panels of my bed. I did this so that I could pull the bed up and down.

A mattress on a murphy bed frame for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

My goal was for all of the pieces: the bed, side cabinets and the built-in shelving on each end, to appear as one cohesive piece of furniture. Therefore, I built toppers to extend all of these pieces to the ceiling.

This gives it a much more modern, finished look…

A murphy bed built-ins wall with toppers being framed out.

Toppers are super easy to build. As you can see, in the picture above, you simply build boxes using 2×4’s. And then face those boxes with sheets of 3/4″ plywood…

A murphy bed flanked with cabinets on both sides for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

Here’s a great tutorial on how to add toppers to your cabinetry.

Next, I trimmed out everything using 3/4″ sheets of MDF board. I ripped trim pieces out of this MDF board. This was a much less expensive route to go, rather than purchasing individual 1x’s.

A wall of cabinets trimmed out.

I started out hand painting them…

A wall of cabinets trimmed out and partially painted green.

And then realized that was going to take me way too long. There had to be a better way. And there was. I broke out my paint sprayer and knocked them out in no time…

Wall of built-ins trimmed out and painted green.

Adding the hardware was the frosting on the cake. As you can see, I switched out those ugly temporary handles for some more substantial pretty ones…

Wall of built-ins painted green.

TIP: Finding hardware for the bed panels proved to be a bit challenging. I wasn’t able to go with traditional cabinet handles because these all required attaching them from the back of the panels. Therefore, I had to find sliding barn door handles that I could then attach from the front.

Here are the ones I found….Sliding barn door handles. 

Here’s the link to the other cabinet hardware I chose. So beautiful!

The only color I could find them in was black. So, I ended up spray painting them a bronze color. And then I rubbed on Gold Rub ‘n Buff to take away the shine and give them more of a patina’d look.

I love how they turned out…

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2 gold handles on closet doors.

I am in awe at how well this room turned out, particularly with the Murphy bed benefits shining through. I still can’t get over these before and after shots…

A spare bedroom painted tan with a hodge podge of stuff in it.

What an amazing transformation…

Murphy Bed Benefits room with a desk, accent wall, and faux tree.

I think my biggest dilemma now is whether to leave the bed up or down. It’s so pretty with it down…

Murphy bed bedding.

Still to Come

As I mentioned in my Home Office/Guest Room Reveal post, I have plans for that big blank space behind the bed. Be sure to check back for what I add to make even more of a statement when pulling down the bed.

Murphy Bed with bedding for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

So, are you ready to enjoy the Murphy bed benefits in your own home? If so, Create-A-Bed is the way to go. I can’t say enough good about them—they made this entire process so easy and seamless.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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Hop over to Instagram to see all of the D2B behind the scenes. What am I working on now?….come check it out!

More Great D2B Posts to Check Out:

Create a Functional Home Office Space

How to Arrange a Living Room

How to Style a Coffee Table


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