The Murphy Bed Chronicles

Have you ever wrestled a bear?

I have never wrestled a bear but I assembled and installed a murphy bed and that’s basically the same thing.

Let me explain…

It all started when I wanted to get a murphy bed of some sort for the guest room.  I wanted a murphy bed so that when I don’t have guests I can use the guest room for yoga or meditation or whatever it is I want to use it for. It would maximize my space in the room.  Originally I was going to go with a murphy cabinet bed but they are hard to find in a size full, extremely expensive, and I was worried about the comfortability of a mattress that folds up into threes.


I couldn’t do a vertical murphy bed because the bed base would hit the light fixture in the room when pulling it down.  I decided to go with a horizontal murphy bed because it would fit in the space and work in the space.  Also, it was on sale.  When I bought the bed THANK GOD that I had the where-with-all to order the “white glove delivery”.  The white glove delivery consists of 2 delivery personnel that will unpack the bed pieces from the boxes, carry all pieces up to the room that you want the bed in, and take all the trash with them.  Easy peasy, right?  It would be like I was a queen in my own house having a bed delivered. Or so I thought…


The frame of the murphy bed

Houses in Federal Hill are small.  The doors are small, the windows are small, the hallways are small.  It’s a known fact across Baltimore that our houses are smaller than average – when a house is built in the 1900 that’s bound to happen.  In anticipation of having an abnormally narrow house, before buying this bed I took all the measurements like a good handy-woman. Or at least I THOUGHT I took all the measurements.  I measured the Height and width of the required area, the depth needed, and the projection of the bed base.  I measured to ensure that it would fit through the front door, that it would fit through the door of the guest room, and that it would fit in the hallway.  What I forgot to measure, dear reader, was the height of the stairwell.


the infamous bed base

Everything was going well until the guys brought in the last piece, the bed base.  The bed base is already pre-manufactured and it’s the heaviest piece of the bed.  It is solid construction of a couple hundred pounds.  The men tried every possible geometric way to get this bed base up the stairs and it was just not going to fit.  My mom and the guys suggested I could send the bed back.  That was a NO-GO!  I spent $1500 on this bed!  This bed was getting into that room, so help me God!  There was only one way to get this bed base into the guest room and that was through the French door opening via the Master Bedroom.  The bed base was *just* slimmer than the French door opening.  The men thought I was joking at first.  I was not.

Offical Diagram

Official TheKitchenCoven reconstruction diagram of what actually happened…

There were 2 holes on either side of the bed base where the pistons get attached, so I wrapped cargo ties through those holes.  Myself and Guy 1 pulled the bed up by the cargo ties while the Guy 2 guided the base as we pulled it up.  Then Guy 1 and I held the base up until Guy 2 ran up the stairs and helped us pull the base up over the balcony and into the master bedroom.  Then they carried it to the guest room.  WE DID IT!  I did give them each a nice tip because I pretty sure they were not expecting to pull a couple hundred pounds up through a 2 story window.


I wrestled a bear and won!

But that was not the end of it.  More shenanigans were about to happen.  I’ve assembled every kind of furniture that you can think of, from couches to book shelves to beds.  I’m a flat pack queen.  This bed was, by far, the hardest piece of furniture I’ve ever assembled.  The instructions weren’t that great.  The company sent me assembly and installation instructions for a “horizontal murphy bed” BUT the diagrams in the instructions were all for a vertical murphy beds, so it took a lot of mental 3D manipulation of the diagrams to see how they would look for a horizontal murphy bed.  At one point I was trying to attach the piston onto the bed base and I DROPPED THE FRAME ON MY MOM’S AND I’S TOES!


I think it looks great!

When the bed was completely assembled, mom and I had to lift the fully assembled bed from the floor to standing up in order to install it to the wall.  We had to use the cargo ties again in order to rotate the frame and the bed base at the same time. We then used a multi-step step stool in order to pick up the bed and place it at different lifted angles.  It. Was. A. Beast.  The next morning I woke up and I was so incredibly sore.  I hadn’t been sore like that since…since the last time I did an Army ruck march.  I hurt everywhere; I hurt in muscles I forgot I had.


I guess I just assembled an extremely expensive dog bed…

Overall, the bed came out great.  It’s the right size and space for the area and the mattress that I ordered with the bed is extremely comfortable.  I do recommend for all your murphy bed needs and their white glove delivery was worth every penny!  Now I can have guests -and- an extra space…and the dogs took no time in commandeering the bed.  I guess they thought I just assembled an extremely expensive dog bed.

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