Office Bedroom – Hidden Bed and Storage

November 30, 2019

The built-ins for the office bedroom have been on the To Do List for a long time! Ken started this project 14 months ago, so I am very happy to have it done. There is few touch-ups needed, but basically its complete. The office/guest bedroom now features a Hidden Bed/Desk unit, three sets of drawers and three shelving units.

Hidden Bed/Desk and Storage

The Hidden Bed/Desk was made using Lee Valley’s  Hidden Bed/Desk Hardware Kit. “An efficient way to make the most of limited living space, this kit lets you build a fold-away bed that converts into a desk during waking hours. As the bed is folded down, the desk automatically lowers, remaining level and stable throughout the process; anything on the desktop is concealed under the bed, exactly as you left it.” We built the bed and storage units out of maple plywood.

With the bed down, you can see the desk under the bed.


This is the second Murphy Bed/Hidden Bed Ken has made, the first (in the room above the shop) was just a bed, no desk, and the hardware was also purchased at Lee Valley. Both were complicated to assemble; however, the desk/bed was really, really complicated. We were very disappointed with the instructions that came with the Hidden Bed/Desk Hardware Kit. It took us a fair bit of time to figure out how wood was needed and how best to cut it. The assembly instructions were practically non existent. We used several on-line you tube videos and trial and error to figure it out. In addition, the unit turned out to have several design flaws.

  • Bolts sticking out side of desk. Above the desk you can see the square arm we cut back.

    The arms of the bed unit that attach to the desk are square. When assembled, it is physically impossible for the desk to swivel to fold under the bed. We had to dis-assemble and cut a piece of each arm. Looking on-line, most of the units we saw had curved or triangular shaped arms – now we know why! He cut off a piece and re-assembled and the modifications worked, but he now he has to put the finishing edging on the cuts.

  • The bolts attaching the desk to the pistons are exposed on the desk, sticking out over half an inch. Rather unsightly and unprofessional looking. Ken is going to design a piece to hide them.

update – Ken has designed a cover for the bolts

desk top with wooden boxes covering exposed bolts

  • The bolts attaching the bed feet to the bed frame stick out into the bed frame. Ken will also design a cover for these so that they don’t end up ripping the mattress.
  • There was no mention in the plans of hardware required to help pull the bed down. It is impossible for me to get the bed down by myself. We have now purchased handles to attach to the bed frame. Once installed I should be able to lower the bed on my own (since Ken is away, I have no way of taking a picture of the room with the bed down, as I can’t get it down!). Since the unit is heavy, we will have to take care installing the handles so they have sufficient reinforcement to handle the stress put on them as you pull the bed down.

Update – Ken has installed handles on the desktop and, with a great deal of effort, I can now pull the bed down.

Regardless, I am very happy with the finished project. We can still have a queen size bed in the room but have it out of the way when not needed. The desk is very large and should come in handy for projects. I love the way the fact that you don’t have to clear off the desk to lower the bed. The desk folds under the bed, staying level.

Ken built the other desk for our daughter Kelsey around 2002


To finish off the room, Ken build drawer and shelving units for the whole wall space. Without these, the Murphy Bed looks large and out of place. They help complete the wall space and tie everything together, not to mention provide a huge amount of storage space for fabric and crafting supplies.

This is the last major building project for the house. Now Ken is off to BC for 3 weeks to do some reno projects for Kelsey and Christopher.


About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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