Smithsonian Murphy Bed and Two Desk

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Project by Chris Davis posted 11-21-2011 01:58 PM 4302 views 9 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was part of a group that was designed for a small room. It had the Murphy bed with a built in folding desk, a corner desk, a corner bookcase, and a TV stand. I’m going to focus on the Murphy bed and corner desk combination today.

The design process took longer then expected. We had some other features that we wanted to incorporate into the bed, but with the size constraint, it just wouldn’t happen. We had to take the desk depth back as much as possible.

The Smithsonian Murphy wall bed is the first full size that I’ve built. I originally had it designed in a queen. With the desk folding there are a lot of variables. With time constraints I had to have the doors being built before the bed was built. This meant a lot of planning had to take place to make it work. There are a lot of variables on a folding desk that is mounted to a folding bed.

Sketch Up
I made a few sketches in SketchUp so the customer could better see the relationship of the pieces to each other. Here are a couple more sketches can be found in the October Archives.
Shown with the murphy bed closed
showing the space between the bed and desk when open

Others in this project:
Click for details Click for details

Building Pictures
I just posted a couple building pictures. Click on the picture to take you to the months picture archives
Chris working on the center section
Cutting the Rosettes

For more building pictures see my Current Projects link at or See what we are doing live:
Click Here to watch a live view of the shop

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10 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6759 posts in 2827 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 03:07 PM

Hi Chris;

Well designed, completely functional, and nicely built.

This is a really great example of your work.

Maybe you could use it in some of your marketing.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1314 posts in 2829 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 03:17 PM

I should have taken some better pictures. Your right that would be a good one.

-- Watch live video from our shop.

View Napaman's profile


5397 posts in 2924 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 06:31 PM

your designs are so amazing…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View oluf's profile


258 posts in 1886 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 06:55 PM

The title of this project should have been “turning a small room into a mini-mansion” As always Chris, A great piece of work. Your costumers should be so proud and happy with the things you create for them.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1816 days

#5 posted 11-21-2011 08:12 PM

Fantastic job. Great use of space and a very nice finish. I really like it.

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1314 posts in 2829 days

#6 posted 11-21-2011 08:26 PM

Thanks everyone. The finish was a dye coat then the stain and clear. The customer just came in and said they wanted it just like a sample that I had. When I delivered it, it matched exactly to the kitchen cabinets, even though we didn’t intend to. That was luck.

-- Watch live video from our shop.

View Ihor's profile


67 posts in 2255 days

#7 posted 11-23-2011 02:35 AM

Very cool! I want one like that for my small apartment too )).

View Matt Donley's profile

Matt Donley

27 posts in 1093 days

#8 posted 01-01-2013 04:30 PM

Do you ever use Sketchup to design the details of a project, or do you only use it to define the rough spaces and relationships of each component? That’s definitely a great way to quickly visualize the space of the project.

-- I create Sketchup Tips, Tricks, & Tutorials at

View a1Jim's profile


113162 posts in 2424 days

#9 posted 01-01-2013 04:55 PM

Another cool design,well done Chris.

-- Custom furniture

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1314 posts in 2829 days

#10 posted 01-02-2013 12:04 PM

Matt, I am not real good with it yet. Haven’t had a lot of time to get real detailed or really to be fast enough at it to justify time spent on drawing details. So for now just really use it sometimes to help customers visualize proportions.

-- Watch live video from our shop.

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