One of the things that can occupy a large footprint in a room is the bed. It is also one of the essential objects that one can not be without. Minimizing the space taken by such necessary furniture becomes an important part when designing a small or tiny house. Fortunately, many ideas have come about since this dilemma reared its head.
Some of the main strategies are:
- Fold the bed up and out-of-the-way.
- Use the bed as a piece of multipurpose furniture as with a daybed.
- Slide the bed underneath an elevated area.
- Elevate the bed to free up floor space.
- Fit in the size bed that one desires and forget about the loss of floor space.
Let’s start with different ways to collapse or fold up a bed to relieve congestion:
The good old Murphy bed, an invention of William Murphy which he patented according the Smithsonian in 1911, filled the need for small apartments and dwellings as the result of an explosion in the need for housing around the turn of the century. Due to the moral climate of the time, in order to entertain a lady, Murphy could transform his room from a bedroom to a parlor by folding the bed into a closet.
Like the bed pictured above, the Murphy beds of today, even though one that stows away in a closet is still an option, mostly come in a cabinet. However, the cabinet can be made in a variety of ways such as those that contain a library or office when closed. Also, the cabinets do not have to be tall, but can stand about half the height of the more familiar beds.
Some interesting variations of the Murphy bed concept occur with a bed such as this:
Almost like a magic trick the Zoom-Room Murphy bed rolls up into the cabinet. With many different styles, this bed includes storage of all kinds from office to entertainment centers and certainly does a great job of providing extra floor space during the day.
As for the multipurpose furniture that turns into a bed, many configurations exist, the most common is the daybed and pullout sofa. Yet other types are available:
The above bench/ottoman converts to a sleeper by unfolding. There are, however, disadvantages in terms of size and possibly comfort in dealing with such designs.
Fold up beds do not have to be put away lengthwise. Movement sideways is possible even though the bed is slightly harder to make up.
Then there is the chair that converts to a bed. This solution also takes little space, but the bed is generally narrow. Even so, the designs can be quite attractive and modern and are excellent for guests as well.
The old method of a daybed is a solution that provides many choices in terms of availability, configurations, styling and size:
Then, of course, is the pullout sofa:
And the usual pullout sofa:
It almost goes without say, but sliding a bed under an elevated area requires customization of the area and the bed. This means that a good deal of design, construction and carpentry will make the bed function properly:
The sliding bed can roll lengthwise or sideways. The disadvantage of this arrangement for some people results from the necessity of making the bed every time the bed is put away. Certainly, a different method can be purchased and not require construction.
Elevating the bed can free up space underneath. This occurs in many of the tiny houses on wheels where bedrooms are placed in “lofts”. Nevertheless, a loft bed means something a bit different:
As one can see, a loft bed or bedroom does not have to be as in a trailer, but can work equally well in all sorts of house sizes.
For DIYers, one can find many plans for loft beds:
In an article on www.gadgetspage.com, a creative individual hinged a bed to close over a bathtub!
Anything that can be covered with a flat surface is eligible for the same treatment as the bathtub above. Nevertheless, if a flat surface isn’t required, many other solutions such as a hammock or sling come to mind. Or sleeping on mats like the Japanese that can be rolled or folded up will work for those that can accept such arrangements. And don’t forget the fold up or roll away bed and the cot.
At any rate, most people want something resembling a standard bed instead of exotic means to save space. Here, thinking out of the box can lead to amazing results.