Posts Tagged With: wall bed

Do I NEED a Murphy Wallbed?

Do I Need a Murphy Wallbed?

I just came back from a fabulous visit to my homeland, Norway (see About). When I emigrated those may years ago, the nation was just a land “up there under the eternal snow.” The economy was a notch above struggle and traveling to the exotic was given to sailors.  Birds of Paradise and whispering palms belonged in dreams on frigid winter nights, exclusively.

Prosperous Norway However…

Things have changed…drastically!  Today Norwegians are on top of the heap, flushed with cash, passports filled with stamps from exotic places, and Audis in the garage.  They have become a “Needless Society”.  From my vantage point I can see questionable trade-offs.  But as a visitor I’m hardly qualified to judge.

“Needless Economy”

When I saw this expression for the first time, I realized what I’m up against when writing this blog. I’m writing about Murphy wallbeds, closet beds, vertical wallbeds, horizontal wallbeds, and the practicality of such product.  Yet, in a Needless Economy, i.e. ”I-have-no-need-of-stuff attitude,” MY readers still buy stuff.  Philosophize with me and ask yourself, “How lasting is the giddy feeling of indulging in a week’s vacation in, say, Europe, vs. changing out a stationary in-the-way rarely-used bed?”

Take the Vacation

…after you decide to go for a Murphy wallbed.  While you are checking out old castles,  or having pastry and a cup of coffee (no free refills, please!) for the equivalence of $ 35.00, http://www.mamis.no/  your wallbed is being installed back home, ready to give you a lasting thrill for your hard-earned money!

I wish you a great experience and lasting, exhilarating feelings!

Now you see it. Now you DON’T!

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

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

The Economy of Space

If you are looking for a wallbed or Murphy Bed in the greater Seattle area, it is pretty easy to find us.  The challenge we face in our business, is making ourselves known to folks who DON’T KNOW they are looking for a wallbed! One of our main purposes of blogging is to try to stimulate discussions and get people thinking about how their space is being utilized. Once the evaluation starts, questions and solutions are going to follow.

I love Make: magazine. Their projects are always interesting and they are famous for “hacking.”  Hacking is where you take something (i.e. an old TV console) and turn it into something new or more efficient (an aquarium). Last week they presented an over-sized example of a fabulous hack.  The town of York, Alabama lacked an outdoor community space.  The town had many abandoned houses and overgrown lots.  One of these houses was chosen, materials were salvaged to reuse in the rebuild, and a design was picked. They built a new little house, in the same style as the other houses in town but here is the cool part: It UNFOLDS into outdoor seating for 100! Here is the video:

And here is the article: http://makezine.com/2013/08/19/open-house-no-really/

When the seating is not needed, the house folds back up and tucks away!!  The lot it sits on, is now a park and enjoyed folks daily.  Much more so, than if the seating was taking up the space all the time! This is Economy of Space applied!  It is not complicated to operate. The footprint when it is closed vs. when it is opened is about 1:5.  It can be used as often or seldom as needed. Wait…are we talking about a Community Center or a wallbed?! Can you see how that way of thinking: breaking down the functions within a set space; can help revise how you see and use your own space?

Another way to look at the Economy of Space is through the actual costs. How much does your home cost to run every month (mortgage+insurance+electricity+repairs+gas…)? Divide that by the square footage of your home. That gives you the “$/sq. foot/ month” ($) value of your space. Now, measure your guest room in square feet (g).  Here’s where it gets interesting. Multiply ($) x (g) x 12= the cost of your guest room per year ($Y). NOW, divided that by how many days a year that room is used (U). The cost per day of use will be ($Y)/(U) Let’s say it costs $1.25/sq. foot; and your guest room is 11’x8’ or 88 sq. feet;  and there are 12 months in the year; and guests stay there 11 days a year: ($1.25)x(88)x(12)+=($Y)=$1320… $1320/11=$120!

Let me explain that to you: you are spending $1320 a year for a room that is used 11 times. Every time it is used, it costs $120! Now let’s change one thing: the configuration of the room into home office/ reading room. Let’s swap the regular queen sized bed, which takes up a huge part of the real estate of that room, for a wallbed. Set up the office and cozy chair. Now, how often will you use this room? In a year, let’s say 243 days. Our ($Y)/(U) equation now becomes: $1320/243= $5.43!!  Doesn’t that make more sense (or cents)?? Welcome to the Economy of Space!

A writer was talking about storing things in their home and wrote this: “…but that got me thinking about how much our space costs us. I figured that we pay approximately $1.65 per square foot per month for our space. This means that if something is taking up 1 square foot of space but it’s value is low, over time we basically lose money because the value of the item taking up the space is worth less than what we pay for the space. Additionally, the more efficiently we can use the space the better value we are getting for our money.” –shannonkay from gspn.tv forum

So there you go- hacking, math and economics! Mr. Z was right! Story problems are everywhere!

Now you see it. Now you DON’T!

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

Categories: Linked Businesses, Space Saving Wallbeds, Wallbed / Murphy Bed Costs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wallbeds and Pets

Are there such things as wallbeds for dogs and cats? Yes there are!  Unfortunately, we don’t make them (at this time) but here is a place where you can find them.  Or you can even build your own with directions found here.

The subject of cat and dogs is close to our hearts here at the Great American Wallbed Co.  If you ever stop by to check out of selection of wallbeds, one special helper will gladly show you how to relax on top of the covers or sometimes UNDER the covers. Kitty has been helping us demonstrate our beds for about 5 years now. She is part Maine Coon and is not a tiny cat. Kitty’s early years are a secret but five years ago she was adopted by our fearless leader, Robert, and has been greeting folks ever since.

Dad and Kitty

Thanks for Adopting!

One day Robert decided he wanted a cat.  Robert’s wife, Heidi, was not as keen on the idea.  A short while later, Robert visited a locksmith who happened to have a ‘shop cat’ and he figured he could do the same!  He went out to Homeward Bound, in Woodinville, WA, and was taken by a huge fluffball who had been passed over by many others.  She was too big, all grown up, not a wee little kitten… But when she brushed up against his leg, that was all it took.  Kitty had a new home.

She greets us when we arrive each day, plays with her toys and keeps us company when we work late.  She does have a feisty side- woe to you if you are petting her and dare to stop!  The high point of her day is when the mail arrives.  Bonnie, the mail carrier brings her treats and gives her a scratch or two.  Sad is the day when someone other than Bonnie is driving the truck and there aren’t any treats. She looks at them with undisguised disdain.  They are driving the truck and bringing the mail- therefore the treats should be there as well!

The rescues and shelters of FULL of special critters just like Kitty who would love to keep you company.  Please take an afternoon and find yourself a buddy.

I will leave you with two important tips:

Adopt, don’t Shop!

“Help control the pet population: Have your pet spayed or neutered.” (Thanks Bob Barker!)

We are The Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, Washington.

Now you see it. Now you don’t!

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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

Affordable Space Solutions for Boomerang Kids

Does investing in a Murphy Wallbed make sense when grads must live with their parents?  Is your college graduate returning without a job yet, and need a place to stay?  A wallbed can be the solution to your (hopefully!) temporary problem.

Today’s headline reads that 21 million, (that is: 21 x 1,000 x 1,000!!!) children between the ages of 18 and 31 live at home with their parents.  You may be one such parent.  (August 2013)

Home  sweet home!

Home sweet home!

Most likely a returning son or daughter might find his/her room converted into an office or re-done in some fashion to suit your practical needs.  A standard room with even a twin bed might be hopelessly small when piled up with suitcases and boxes full of books and your offspring’s personal belongings.

Why not exchange the old bed for a Murphy wallbed? Add a desktop and a cabinet or file drawer while you’re at it?

A Pivoting Library Murphy Bed is the most practical and perfect answer to your circumstances!

However, whether you choose Horizontal or Vertical Platform wall unit or go for a Library bed, your family will whole-heartedly embrace you for being proactive!  Your insight brings satisfaction and keeps both order and harmony in the family!

The day will come when your son or daughter lands that job and moves into his/her own domain.  The wallbed can move, too, and whatever cabinetry as well!  It gives them a head start on furnishing their living space!  In addition, it gives you an opportunity to find a new use for the abandoned room.  Maybe get another wallbed?

And for friends who read and bring a printed copy of this blog to The Great American Wallbed Co., they will receive $ 100.00 in-house discount!  We care!

We are The Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, Washington!

Now you see it.  Now you don’t!

Categories: Space Saving Wallbeds, Wallbed / Murphy Bed Costs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Should You Drive to Our Place to Buy a Murphy Wallbed?

Why?

Why?

This will be a short blog about WHY.  Have you ever been warned about asking “why questions?”  Do you know why?  Yeah, you may get an answer you don’t want to hear…

So, why would you buy from us and from nobody else?  Well, I wish you could access the exuberant responses from hundreds of satisfied customers from our time at the Special Events/Road Shows, (you know what I’m referring to?)

  • not only do we offer just what a slew of other wall bed companies offer
  • not only do we make Murphy and Panel wallbeds, Vertical and Horizontal, like everyone else (See this blog)
  • not only do we offer cabinets, desks and fold-out tables like the rest of ‘em
  • we are just not that spectacularly different.

EXCEPT! we have NO cancellations! And we have NO complaints!

Think about it!

Now, three more questions:

  • Why would you NOT buy from us?
  • Why would you NOT buy from us?
  • Why would you NOT buy from us?

We are The Great American Wallbed Co.

Now you see it. Now you don’t.

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

Murphy Student Wallbed Best Solution for Student Living

Time is here for getting settled into Student Living.  You made the grade, the college accepted you, and you’re packin’.

Great!

Universities and Colleges are not easy streets.  Lots of study time is required of you to make the grades.  The competition is tough out there.  Only the most disciplined students land accolades (that is French for tributes, praises, honors, awards, compliments, rave reviews) that will impress hiring staff, head hunters, and the like.  The rest can count on spending time with McD’s or as baristas (NO, that is NOT the same as barristers, check it out.)

dorm

My point is this:  a responsible student needs good sleep.  Not necessarily a lot of sleep, but when in bed, “sound sleep” is what counts. Our Student Wallbed gives you that!  It has been tested under the most emotionally stressful situations, (I’m not at liberty to reveal where at this time.) We have testimonies from a variety of grateful people of how incredibly comfortable this wallbed model is!

One great advantage with our Student Wallbed is the narrower footprint. It handles surprisingly well. We include the mattress, which is of superior quality and designed especially to alleviate stress.  Add a fold-out table on the front panel of the Vertical model, and you have a desk. The top of the Horizontal bed cabinet can serve as a utility shelf for a monitor, pens, pencil holders, books, etc.

And the bonus is more floor space for throwing your clothes, backpack and bike!

Your Student Wallbed is a winner all around!  “Now You See It. Now You Don’t!”

We are The Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, WA!

Image courtesy of: The Lovely Side

 

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

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.

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