Monthly Archives: July 2013

Isn’t it Cheaper to Use an Air Mattress in a Murphy Wall Bed?

The short and sweet answer to this^ question is: Yes. However, the questions should have been: Why can’t I use an air mattress in a wallbed?

airmattressSeveral times at Costco we were asked about using air mattresses in our wallbeds. In fact, when we had our very first Special Event there, we used air mattresses for our display… for ONE day! We thought it would be a great idea and quickly realized it was not! The “queen sized” mattress was actually a few inches shorter than a proper mattress and shifted in the frame. The vinyl mattress smelled of…vinyl! and the sheets kept slipping off (even though it was a velour one). And then there were the noises!! Every time we raised and lowered the beds, the mattress would burp and squeak and make other totally inappropriate sounds! It was a nightmare!

We understand that many times the questions came from an economical position.  You want to invest in a wallbed, but want to be frugal and smart, especially if it is only for occasional use. In a way, an air mattress is similar to a wallbed: when you are done, you fold it up and tuck it away! But wait! You want an extra bed for the occasional night when YOU might need to sleep there (instead of the doghouse perhaps?). Do YOU want to spend the night squeaking, slipping and sinking (what is that hiss?!?) or do you want a good night’s sleep?

A decent mattress is not very expensive and you can probably find a good one on Craigslist for very little. We like to send people to Mattress Depot because their prices are fair and they don’t sell them like a used car. When you go for the wallbed, take that last step and use a real mattress with it.  Our wallbeds are designed to work with the weight of a mattress so make sure it is on site when we install yours.

Your guests will thank you and you will pat yourself on the back when you end up there one night.  And here is a tip: mark anniversaries and birthdays on new calendars as soon as you get them.

We are The Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, WA. Check here for pricing, dimensions and product info. Thank you!

Image by Wally Torta.

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Categories: Comfort, Wallbed / Murphy Bed Costs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can My Murphy Wallbed be Moved to a New Location?

The other day a homeowner called with this concern, “I own a Vertical Wall bed, and I really would love to move it into my new home.  Is it possible, or must I sell it with this home and buy a new one?”

nuts and boltsWell, happy day!  This owner had bought the wallbed from us a couple of years ago at one of our Costco Special Events/Road Shows! Since it was one of our own wallbeds, we could confidently take the bed apart and reconstruct it in her new home. We charge a fee for this service but it is very reasonable and will be done quickly. If you are moving far away (we sent one to Singapore!) we can pack it up with all the parts, and give you instructions so you can re-install it yourself.

When you check out my blog about the integrity of the material used in our Murphy Library Beds and Vertical and Horizontal Panel beds you’ll understand why.

As long as the material used in the construction of a Murphy Wallbed is of furniture grade, and is not glued together, your wallbed can absolutely be moved from its existing space till a new location! This is why wallbeds are great solutions for RENTERS as well as HOMEOWNERS!

But wait, there’s another way of looking at this.  If you choose to leave your Murphy Wallbed behind, it will add value to the sale and benefit to the new owners.  Furthermore, you can go shopping for a new Murphy Wallbed!  Think about it;   a change of color, or some added cabinets that fit snugly into your new home will transform an ordinary room into fabulously functionally chic (French for stylish) space!  In fact, the result may be so satisfying that you never want to move again!

But if you must move, remember: Yes!  It can move with you!

Categories: Adding a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed, Installation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are the Differences Between Murphy Beds, Wallbeds, and Pull-Down Beds?

This question: What are the differences between Murphy Beds, Wallbeds, and Pull-Down Beds came up often in the years we displayed our wallbeds* in the different Costco warehouses around Puget Sound, aka the Greater Seattle Area.

Next Bed

The bed is named for William Lawrence Murphy (1876–1959). According to legend, he was wooing an opera singer, but living in a one-room apartment in San Francisco, and the moral code of the time frowned upon a woman entering a man’s bedroom. Murphy’s invention converted his bedroom into a parlor. Although wallbeds were offered in the Sears and Roebuck Catalogs before this, Mr. Murphy improved on the design and mechanism and obtained patents over the next several years. In 1989, the Court ruled that the term Murphy Bed was no longer eligible for trademark protection.

Traditionally, a Murphy Bed is a wall or floor mounted mechanism, with lifting springs along the bottom, which raises and lowers a mattress. The leg deploys automatically when the bed is pulled down. It can be free-standing, installed in a closet, or hidden within a large cabinet. A Murphy Bed is separate from what encloses it.

A Wallbed is different from a Murphy Bed. It too, raises and lowers a mattress with the help of springs, but in this case, they are on the sides of the bed cabinet. A wallbed consists of a frame, mechanisms, leg and cabinet. The cabinet and frame TOGETHER make a Wallbed. The face panels are connected to the frame. The frame is connected to the spring lift mechanisms. The spring lift mechanisms are connected to the shoulder bone. The shoulder bone is connected to the neck bone. Oops! We got a little lost there! (Back on track now!) One other difference between Murphy Beds and most wallbeds is the leg is operated manually.

The term: Pull-Down Beds is used mostly in moments of total brain-lock, when we resort to hand motions. (Again, that is from my Costco Special Event “Experiences List.”)

Murphy’s original designs and materials are up-graded by modern designers, materials, and techniques, but the basic aim is the same: Disguise a bed where space is limited, attractive solution desired, and need for a good night’s sleep is great. Needs have always been the mother of inventions, right?

It appears that Mr. Murphy actually got married to the dame he desired to woo. Whereas we cannot promise you that marriage proposals will come as a result of buying and installing one of our Great American Wallbeds, we can promise you this – a comfortable night’s rest, in a bed attractively disguised in a wall, until you pull it down.

*The Great American Wallbeds LLC

Categories: Adding a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed, Installation, Wallbed Attributes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I Keep my Bedding on My Wallbed or Murphy Bed When it is Closed?

First:  let’s cover the mattress, (pun intended.) The mattress on a Murphy Bed is held in place with a strap, so that when closing, the mattress stays in place.  We have found that you do not need the strap around the mattress while sleeping on it; your bodyweight, in addition to the weight, of the mattress will pretty much insure that it is not going anywhere.  Wink, wink! Nudge, nudge!

On a Wallbed unit (read about the difference in Blog # 1) the hardware that you swing down, to be used as legs, is also used to keep the mattress in place, when you swing it up, before you close the unit.  No strap is needed on this Wallbed.

Second:   bottom sheet, flat sheet, blankets, and certain comforters can all stay on the Wall Bed/Murphy Bed when the unit is in a closed position.  However, the pillow is usually is too puffy for the space between the mattress and the wall, and will most likely NOT close the Wall Bed/Murphy Bed securely.  A comforter up to a certain thickness will work, but all’s relative to the space between the unit and the wall.  It has its limits.

duvetsSo what are some ways of dealing with this creatively?

I belong to the fortunate ones who have a tall and wide wall, and ordered extra tall cabinets on either sides of the Murphy Bed so I could have a top shelf connected, big enough to accommodate pillows and winter comforters.

For those of you who have a standard 8 foot wall, the best advice I can give is to have (or buy, see our units online) a side unit with doors in which a pillow and comforter can fit inside.  If this is not an option, I would be sure that the bedding I buy would be warm enough for the nighttime needs as well as compact enough for the wallbed unit to close securely.  For example, check when BedVoyage has a Road Show at your nearest Costco, scrape your money together, RUN there and buy these sheets.  We have talked with the owner in person at times when we displayed our Wallbeds and Murphy Beds at the Costco Road Shows and can recommend her products.

There is also a Pacific Coast Down Blanket Satin Trim (pictured to the left). This is nice and warm, but not bulky.  It is also available in Costco in season. Check, of course, also with your local merchants, like Macy’s.

You will be able to find a product to satisfy your particular need.

A point to ponder:  If this were a guest bed that is only used a few times a year, I would not keep bedding on since it could get kinda stuffy and stale in there over time.

If you have any questions, please, call, email, text, or drop by.  We will be happy to help you!  We are The Great American Wallbed Co., in Bellevue, Washington!

Photo courtesy of http://www.PacificPillows.com .

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Expanding the Possibilities of Affordable Senior Housing with Wallbeds

Recently we attended a Technology Home Showcase, arranged by LeadingAge Washington. We shared our solution of how to expand the possibilities with our version of an affordable Horizontal Wall Bed slightly narrower than a standard Twin size, mattress included. We call it The Companion Bed.

The Technology Committee, headed by Wattenbarger Architects, put together an exhibit that showcased how seniors can live either independently or within a long-term care community with the help of innovative, universal design and technology support.

CB show

Much thought has gone into making Senior Living an affordable and enjoyable experience.  But we will not kid ourselves; living in Senior Housing and Assisted Living/ Nursing Homes can be exorbitantly expensive.   So where does the “affordable” come in?

For the many that had the foresight to “move down” into smaller homes or condos, there are many affordable products enabling owners to stay put.  But as age progresses, to remain independent in a small footprint home, sometimes requires a companion to stay overnight.  How can they rest comfortably?  Not on a sleeper couch!

If I had a dollar for all our customers who threw out the sleeper couch in exchange for a Wall bed/Murphy Bed during our Costco Road Shows, I would be a rich woman! NO, they didn’t even donate it to the Services for the Blind, this contraption continues to be too UNCOMFORTABLE.

The Companion Bed (TM) to the rescue! It’s easy to operate, may even fit in a hallway, and provides a good rest for any BODY, expanding the possibilities, indeed! Find out more at our sister company’s site: NuSpace Medical.

For more general wallbed information, please check out http://gawallbeds.com/. We look forward to assisting you!

Categories: Adding a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed, Linked Businesses, Space Saving Wallbeds | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Murphy Beds/ Wallbeds vs. Sleeper Sofa” or “Comfort vs. Misery”

I visited my family in Washington D.C. during this week’s East-Coast heat-wave, (July 2013). I can personally attest to several down sides of having to resort to a foldout sleeper sofa I would have MUCH preferred the instant comfort of a pull-down Murphy Wallbed.

sleeper sofa failWater from the overworked air conditioner poured through the plastered ceiling in the quaint, old brown-stone three-level home. The unit decided to quit as the temperature peaked well past perspiration glow – we were in full-blown dripping sweat mode!  The upstairs bedrooms were sweltering. We needed to change sleeping quarters. This meant resorting to the hide-a bed sleeper sofa in the daylight-basement. Since the mattress is only a miserly 2-inch pad, the metal frame  support underneath creates ongoing misery for the average-size adult who tries sleeping both lengthwise, diagonally, and even crosswise. Sound sleep is hard, (ooh, ohhh, oww!) and nearly impossible to achieve. (Hint: A better solution would be sleeping on the floor on top of the cushions.)

On the other hand, a Murphy Wallbed has up to a 12 inch mattress, of your own choosing! No cushions to stack on the floor and re-position in the morning; no metal bar pressing into your spine or lower back or legs; and no need for tossing, turning, or ending up crosswise; or, for that matter, cross!

Once you wake up from a comfortable night’s sleep, simply get up, and close the wallbed with one finger- instantly creating an ordered environment.  If you have the additional feature of a fold-out table on the front of your Platform Wallbed, you can set up your home-office while the coffee is brewing.  Voila! (French for ta-dah!) It’s gonna be a gooood day!

Visit us at The Great American Wallbed Co. for more info or give us a call 866-284-4994 for more information.

(Awesome Pros and Cons of Sleeper Sofas article HERE.  The comments are priceless!!)

Image thanks to cheezburger.com.

Categories: Comfort, Wallbed Attributes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breaking News!! REDUCED PRICES!

At The Great American Wallbed Co. we believe in being trustworthy and honorable. Everyone should, right?

side_final_1

Lately we took a good, hard look at our pricing and went back to square one. We examined the different costs – hardware, material, delivery etc… We discovered that we could do something unusual and refreshing! We could REDUCE the prices of our wallbeds and still be profitable! Some of our costs had changed in a favorable direction and so we are passing those changes on to YOU – our reason for being in business!

We are here because we like to be helpful.

We are here because we enjoy creative solutions to challenging problems.

We are here because we understand the value of your hard earned money and want to help you save it.

We are here because of YOU.

How, you may ask, does spending a couple thousand dollars help SAVE money? Check out our blogs about the real cost of homes here and here for some answers. Aside from the cost per square foot of your home, if you are renting, have you priced the cost and hassle of MOVING lately?? By adding a Wallbed or Murphy Bed to your home, it can turn a studio into a one bedroom, a one into a two and so on!

See? We just helped you with your limited space problem and saved you money at the same time!!!

Keep in mind, this is not a SALE.  These are new, lower prices and will only go up when material and production costs make a big leap.

Thank you for letting us stay in business!

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What are the Differences Between Horizontal and Vertical Wallbeds?

Go back to the blessed teacher who gave you the concept of “horizontal” vs. “vertical” by a sweeping gesture of his hand:  across (Horizontal) and up and down (Vertical).  In the case of wallbeds, the difference between Horizontal and Vertical Wallbeds can be viewed here: Horizontal Wallbeds and here: Vertical Wallbeds

H and VSome things to consider after you understand the difference between Horizontal and Vertical Wallbeds:

  • Room: Which room will you put it in? We have installed horizontal wallbeds in wide hallways!
  • Space: What is the most practical choice you can make with the space available?
  • Who: For the most part, who is going to use the bed?

You need to know that a minimum clearance is required in both width and height.  So after you measure your space, check the numbers against our charts: The Great American Wallbed Co.

NOTE: If you are in doubt about your abilities to read a tape measure (believe me, you are NOT alone), have a rep from the Wallbed/Murphy Bed company come over and help you.  Better yet, ask them to send their Designer* to give you additional creative ideas and understanding of the hidden treasures in your room.

The space available will determine what you can have, not necessarily what you want… (Yes, there are still some absolutes in the world)…again, a creative mind, like a Designer, can be of great help, usually offered at no extra cost!

  • Finally, WHO will be using this bed? If it is a child, I recommend a Horizontal Wallbed.  It is much simpler to open and close. The same recommendation goes for a shorter adult or an aging person: to make opening and closing as easy as possible.
  • If two people are sleeping in the bed at the same time, one will be on the inside against the wall in a Horizontal Wallbed. If that person has to get up in the middle of the night, well, that may cause a stir…
  • The Vertical Wallbed is more flexible, having access on either side and for that reason seems to be the most popular model.

Either way you get a bedroom in as little as 16 inches of floor space (18 for a Vertical Wallbed and 26 inches if you choose our Library Bed model.) One important note: The Pivoting Library Bed is ONLY available in Vertical.

*Our Designer is Anne; she can be contacted at anne@gawallbeds.com

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Do Wallbeds or Murphy Beds Improve Small Homes, Small Rooms, and Studio Apartments?

Are wallbeds, aka Murphy Beds, really the answer for small homes, small rooms, and small Studio Apartments? Studio apartments benefit from wall beds/Murphy Beds, and how!! Imagine the puzzled look on your friends when you invite them over to your one-room studio and they see no bed, sleeper couch, or futon.  You become like the magician who spellbinds the audience with the flick of the wrist!  Ta-da! The wallbed comes down safely and effortlessly.  The wallbed goes up just as easy.  Everybody gets to try.  What a great ice-breaker!

It seems self-evident that wallbeds are the answers for small homes, small rooms, and studios!  But strangely enough, those who need this solution mostly grew up in an era where “plenty and spacious” were taken for granted. Check out Not So Big House for great ideas!

They have no idea that such a product exists, or if it does, it must be outdated, cumbersome, and plain dangerous.  I discovered these prevailing images in young shoppers’ minds as I spent untold hours attending our Wallbed and Murphy Bed display at the Costco Special Events around the greater Seattle area.

Studio_ApartmentWallbeds and Murphy Beds in small homes add square feet of useful floor space.  Why would you have a bed take up 30 – 35 sq feet of space, 365 days a year, instead of a wallbed that occupies an area 18 inches out from the wall?

Small rooms with wall beds/Murphy Beds are turned into play area for kids, exercise room for adults, and hobby room for arts and crafts! Shoppers liked to stop by and tell me how much they love their wall beds, and they are proud of being savvy and practical after decades of decadence and frivolous pursuit of bigger and better. More wallbed ideas here!

Ooops, I’m getting preachy….eeeek……

Yes, Wallbeds or Murphy Beds are definitely the best choice for small homes, small rooms, and Studio apartments!   Check us out at The Great American Wallbed Co.

Categories: Adding a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed, Space Saving Wallbeds | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Which Mattress is Best for My Wallbed or Murphy Bed? Do I Need Box Springs?

Good news for those who worry about what kind of mattress they can put on their Wall bed/Murphy Bed: you may use any mattress that you deem comfortable as long as it is within the bounds of the Wallbed manufacturer’s measurements.

And NO, you will not need box springs.  All the comfort is now in the top mattress!

Know this:

mattresses

  • the frame of a standard wall bed takes a standard size mattress.  (Queen, Full, Twin)
  • The thickness of the mattress is dictated by the depth of your wallbed, which in turn is dictated by the height of the legs!.  Ours are in the middle and can handle 12”
    thick mattresses in the wallbeds and 11” in Library beds.
  • Once that’s established, it’s time to head for the Mattress Store.

Since it may be some time ago you bought a mattress, you’d be pleasantly surprised at the various types available today.  Here’s a blog that gives you good information, both about mattress types as well as some helpful hints about achieving a good night’s sleep: Mattress Depot USA.  We have sent untold number of customers to Mattress Depot, by the way; their salespeople are familiar with a Wall bed/Murphy bed customer’s need.  Furthermore, they are excellent to do business with! (Our shop is just down the street from the Overlake store.)

Since we were often displaying our Wall Bed /Murphy Bed units next to the mattress aisle at Costco we of course checked out their wares.  They have a good selection that is always favorably priced.  Usually there is no trained salesperson for these mattresses, so you are left to your own hopes and guesses about which one to choose.   Read comments from customers. Educate yourself!

Do you intend to use a Memory Foam type mattress on your Wall bed frame?  If you use the bed nightly, or at least often, Memory Foam is ok.  If it is for occasional guest, and the mattress is resting on its head for months at a time, memory foam mattresses may slump a bit. The wallbed may need to be opened up for a while before the guest goes to sleep.

There are SO many choices and that is why we do not sell our beds with a mattress.  And one more tip: the thickness refers to the OVERALL thickness, including the puffy pillowtop.  Please measure to the thickest point and not just between the stitched welts on the sides.

Sweet Dreams from The Great American Wallbed Co.

Image courtesy of: Mattress Vancouver. Their mattress blogs are rather amusing!

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