Wallbed Attributes

What is Particle Board?

Particle board has gotten a bad rap over the years and is commonly thought of as sub-par or inferior to “real wood.” Guess what particle board is made of…..ready?….Real Wood!

Particle board is maybe from the byproducts of wood used in the timber industry. It is shredded and dried then mixed with adhesives.  This mixture is rolled out and pressed under great force and heat into long sheets of standard thicknesses.  The sheets are cut to length then stacked and ready to be used.  In the past, formaldehyde was a key ingredient in the adhesive but that is no longer the case.

Particle Board Examples

Particle Board Examples

The pressing of the material is varied to create different densities of material. Think about those Space Bags which are used for storing clothes. Put a sweater in one and seal it up. Measure the thickness and feel how floppy the bag is.  Now, open it up and fill it with 4 more sweaters. Vacuum the air out until it is as thick as the bag with one regular sweater.  As you pull the air out, the sweaters compress and the contents become denser.  Pick it up now.  It is the same thickness as the other, but I bet it is not as floppy as the uncompressed single sweater.  The same goes for particle board.  We use a grade which is denser than regular-use material.  This makes for a stronger wallbed cabinet for our customers.

After the particle board is ready it is covered, repressed and heated with decorative papers and come out looking like a whole forest of wood varieties.  Or they can be solid colors, patterned… the possibilities are endless!  These finished boards handle a lot of wear and clean up easily with mild soap and water.

Many advances have been made across the industry to insure the product is durable and safe.  We use products which have been certified by FSC- The Forest Stewardship Council.  The FSC, ”sets standards for responsible forest management. A voluntary program, FSC uses the power of the marketplace to protect forests for future generations.”  (https://us.fsc.org/index.htm)

Now you see it. Now you DON’T!

We are the Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, WA.

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Murphy Beds Tell a Story

Once upon a time, Murphy Beds used to be built into apartments, just like ceiling light fixtures, radiators and the kitchen sink.  That was when space was a premium.  People had to be creative if they wanted a place to sleep and a place to socialize.  There were several variations and many even pivoted!  If you have ever visited an apartment from the 1930’s you may have seen a large brass ring in the floor and in the ceiling. These were leftover hardware from the pivoting beds. Many times they had wardrobes hanging from the back. A catalog from 1925 can be found here.  The drawings are WONDERFUL!

Closet Murphy Bed

Closet Murphy Bed

Along the way, people wanted more space and walled-in bedrooms became the norm.  Then the thinking continued- if there is a bed, it must be in its own room, and that room must just be for the bed.  As people spread out and built bigger homes that seemed to work. We became accustomed to having single purpose rooms and eventually had rooms that were only used a few times a year.  The problem became obvious when people started to economize and realized that while they only used the room a few days a year, they paid for it EVERY DAY! with heating, mortgage, cleaning… What to do!?

RE-ENTER the Murphy Bed.  Instead needing to move because you want a home office and a guest room and place to work out, make your investment work for you! You already have the space in that lonely guest room.  Install a wallbed, add a built-in desk to the corner, and bring in the treadmill! The closet can be used for storing weights, office supplies and bedding. You may have to push a couple things to the side when folks come to visit, but when they leave again, you have room to work!

The story told by Murphy wallbeds is this: Be practical. Multi-use is smarter than single purpose.  What’s old is new again.  Even the Wall Street Journal thinks so!

Now you see it. Now you don’t!

We are the Great American Wallbed Co. of Bellevue, Washington!

 

Categories: Space Saving Wallbeds, Wallbed Attributes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

“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.

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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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