Ever since moving out of my parents’ house, they now have an extra bedroom that is being used as a catch-all for everything and anything. It’s basically one of those rooms that you throw things in when guests come over, close the door, and pretend the mess doesn’t exist (I know you know what I’m talking about). But, since schooling is going to be hybrid for many places this fall, I wanted to transform this messy guest space into a combination home office and guest room for my mom, who is a physical therapist for children with disabilities. So, to get started on this transformation, I partnered up with my friends at Rockler to build the best space-saving guest room project on the planet… a DIY modern murphy bed!
How To Build A DIY Modern Murphy Bed
Currently, my mom is holding her online therapy sessions with her students from the living room and/or the dining room (depending on the day). This has obviously made it extremely hard for her to not only organize her day, but her physical therapy equipment as well. She currently does not have the floor space to model her exercises in as well, so that had to be the first priority when designing a home office space that can double as a guest room.
I have always been intimidated by the idea of building a Murphy bed, but luckily my friends at Rockler make an epic DIY Murphy Bed Kit that comes equipped with the hardware needed to build a Murphy bed without any guesswork attached.
Additionally, they provide a full, comprehensive plan for how to build the bed cabinet along with a cut list, which makes the entire build not only doable, but extremely organized. Trust me, if I can build a Murphy bed, ANYONE can!
Want to see how I did it?
What I Used:
Rockler DIY Murphy Bed Kit
Drill & Driver
Sander & Sandpaper
Forstner Bits *
¾” Birch Plywood *
¼” Birch Plywood *
1 x 2 Pine *
Birch Veneer Sheets
1 ¼” Wood Screws
1 ½” Wood Screws
3” Lag Screws
Special Walnut Stain
Black Spray Paint
* Indicates materials and tools that are specific to this particular DIY Murphy bed kit. Please refer to your particular Murphy bed kit’s plans for your specific materials list.
1. First thing I did was refer to the plans and the cut list that were assigned to my particular DIY Murphy bed kit from Rockler before shopping for materials of making any cuts. If you are working with a DIY kit it is super important to follow those plans before and during your entire build. You can actually download them for free and check them out before you start building!
2. After collecting my materials and reviewing the plans, I cut all of my plywood pieces using my track saw. If you don’t have a track saw you can use a circular saw with a guide or a table saw. I only needed my jig saw for one cut (to round the outside edges of the bed frame).
3. Next, I cut all of my pine pieces for my bed frame using my miter saw. I trimmed any specialty pieces with my table saw.
4. Once my pieces were cut, I applied edge banding to all of the exposed edges of plywood. I referred to the plans to figure out which pieces required edge banding.
5. Next, I pre-stained all of my bed pieces.
6. I then assembled the bed frame using the plans to guide me. I installed any hardware that needed to be placed in the bed frame according to the plans as well.
7. Once the bed frame was assembled, I began to assemble the other cabinet pieces and install hardware according to my specific set of plans.
8. Next, I focused my energy on the Murphy bed doors (I had to wait to do this because of spacing issues in my shop). I decided to use pressure-sensitive, adhesive birch veneer to create a chevron effect on the front of the cabinet. I seriously loved this stuff – it was so easy to trim with a box cutter and apply using some pressure.
I then stained the doors to match the cabinet.
9. I then installed the doors to the back end of the bed frame using the plans to guide me.
10. Next, I cut and installed custom cabinet pulls using 2 x 2” poplar. I cut them to 1 ½” square and used my table saw to cut a groove for my fingers to grip (you can see this in action in my video).
11. Next, it was time to close up the bed frame using the ¼” plywood.
12. I then installed the headers for the cabinet according to the plans.
13. I then enlisted the help of my family to help install the pistons to the bed frame and the cabinet.
14. Last step was to attach the cabinet to the wall using lag screws through the studs.
15. Then it was time to install the mattress!
16. Instead of applying a piece of trim to the outside of the cabinet, I opted for a removable piece of flush trim that I can move out of the way when folding the bed up and down (you can see this in action in the video).
I absolutely love how this Murphy bed space turned out! It not only looks awesome, but allows for so much room for activities!
And those shelves!? I’m spilling the beans in the full guest room makeover, so make sure to check it out!
Now that this build is done, I can start to focus on really transforming this space into a home office for my mom and I am so excited to see it come to life! I cannot wait to share!
In the meantime, if you’re looking to build a DIY Murphy bed in the future, make sure to Pin This post!
Can’t wait to share the full room reveal with you soon! But, until then friends… happy DIY’ing!