Bedroom

Building a Murphy Bed Series: Before you start – DIY Options

If you’ve been reading my newsletter and following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into what I call a “nimble” home: a home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.32.48 PM

One of the main requirements for the design of this home was to have a sofa for relaxing and to also have a queen sized bed for sleeping. Given the size of the main living area, a mere 144 ft2, and the standard 8 ft ceiling, it quickly became apparent that a sofa Murphy bed like this one was the best solution for the space. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.35.18 PM

Since buying a ready made sofa Murphy bed was outside of the budget (they can cost anywhere from $2500-$6000 plus), it made sense to go the DIY route. A quick internet search revealed these DIY options to choose from, from least expensive to most expensive:

  1. Build the cabinet from scratch and make your own lifting mechanism/hardware.
  2. Build the cabinet from scratch and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.
  3. Assemble a pre-cut cabinet and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.

I went with option 2 mainly because:

  1. It fit the budget while allowing the use of higher quality materials (plywood vs particle board) 
  2. It also allowed for customization of the look of the cabinet.
  3. Buying a hardware kit would save time on having to figure out a design, getting parts, etc..

Having settled on option 2, next I had to decide how to put the cabinet together. There’s a few different assembly methods to choose from:

  1. Dowels and glue
  2. Pocket screws and glue
  3. Brackets and screws

Since this Murphy bed would need to be dismantled in order to be moved, options 1 and 2 didn’t make sense because the cabinet would be one solid piece of furniture.  I also have limited tools to work with, and no workshop, so I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, which was option 3.

After looking at all the available options out there for hardware kits, I chose this DIY panel bed Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com – I liked that it came with the cabinet design already laid out, including a cut list of all the components, and that there was the option of buying the hardware kit that included all the brackets and screws needed to assemble the cabinet. The cost for the Murphy bed hardware and the hardware kit to put together the cabinet is $435 (excluding taxes) and since this option involves building a cabinet,  3 sheets of plywood were also needed for that (around $150 for premium birch plywood). There’s lots of other supplies and tools involved but more on that later.

When I received the hardware kit, I read the “how-to” instructions for building the Murphy Bed which listed the following 8 steps:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

Turns out that every step breaks down into many smaller steps, each with its own set of  considerations and challenges. Take step 1 for example. It sounds simple enough, but this took way longer than expected and involved some creative solutions to work around not having a workshop, having limited tools and building in a tiny space. It’s challenging but it is totally doable as you’ll see!

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 9.09.13 AMSo if you’re thinking of building your own Murphy bed or are just curious as to what’s involved in a project like this, subscribe to my newsletter here so you don’t miss any of the posts in this “Building a Murphy bed series”. The next post will be all about step 1: preparing the wood components for the cabinet – stay tuned!

If you’ve been reading my newsletter and following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into what I call a “nimble” home: a home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.32.48 PM

One of the main requirements for the design of this home was to have a sofa for relaxing and to also have a queen sized bed for sleeping. Given the size of the main living area, a mere 144 ft2, and the standard 8 ft ceiling, it quickly became apparent that a sofa Murphy bed like this one was the best solution for the space. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.35.18 PM

Since buying a ready made sofa Murphy bed was outside of the budget (they can cost anywhere from $2500-$6000 plus), it made sense to go the DIY route. A quick internet search revealed these DIY options to choose from, from least expensive to most expensive:

  1. Build the cabinet from scratch and make your own lifting mechanism/hardware.
  2. Build the cabinet from scratch and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.
  3. Assemble a pre-cut cabinet and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.

I went with option 2 mainly because:

  1. It fit the budget while allowing the use of higher quality materials (plywood vs particle board) 
  2. It also allowed for customization of the look of the cabinet.
  3. Buying a hardware kit would save time on having to figure out a design, getting parts, etc..

Having settled on option 2, next I had to decide how to put the cabinet together. There’s a few different assembly methods to choose from:

  1. Dowels and glue
  2. Pocket screws and glue
  3. Brackets and screws

Since this Murphy bed would need to be dismantled in order to be moved, options 1 and 2 didn’t make sense because the cabinet would be one solid piece of furniture.  I also have limited tools to work with, and no workshop, so I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, which was option 3.

After looking at all the available options out there for hardware kits, I chose this DIY panel bed Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com – I liked that it came with the cabinet design already laid out, including a cut list of all the components, and that there was the option of buying the hardware kit that included all the brackets and screws needed to assemble the cabinet. The cost for the Murphy bed hardware and the hardware kit to put together the cabinet is $435 (excluding taxes) and since this option involves building a cabinet,  3 sheets of plywood were also needed for that (around $150 for premium birch plywood). There’s lots of other supplies and tools involved but more on that later.

When I received the hardware kit, I read the “how-to” instructions for building the Murphy Bed which listed the following 8 steps:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

Turns out that every step breaks down into many smaller steps, each with its own set of  considerations and challenges. Take step 1 for example. It sounds simple enough, but this took way longer than expected and involved some creative solutions to work around not having a workshop, having limited tools and building in a tiny space. It’s challenging but it is totally doable as you’ll see!

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 9.09.13 AMSo if you’re thinking of building your own Murphy bed or are just curious as to what’s involved in a project like this, subscribe to my newsletter here so you don’t miss any of the posts in this “Building a Murphy bed series”. The next post will be all about step 1: preparing the wood components for the cabinet – stay tuned!

How to hang curtains to conceal vertical blinds

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

How to make an upholstered headboard

There are many DIY headboard ideas out there and I had always wanted to make my own, especially an upholstered one. I already had an existing base for the bed so I needed to make a headboard that was separate from the base. After toying around with lots of ideas, I ended up with this headboard design that’s really easy to make and customize.

Finished bedroom full view better color 400px

Here’s what you’ll need to make the base structure of the headboard:

1/4″ plywood (width of your bed frame and height you want your headboard to be – I had mine cut at the hardware store to make things easier – 48″ x 62″)

1″x3″ boards (I used 4 x 8ft long)

1″x2″ furring strips (I used 3x 8ft long)

Step 1: Place 1″x3″ boards along the edge of the plywood and along the center (I had my plywood cut in half to make it easy to transport and I used a miter box and saw to cut the remaining boards to the desired length).

step-1-DIY-headboardThe boards on top of the plywood only to show the placement. For screwing the boards to the plywood, you’ll want to have the plywood on top of the boards.

Step-1-DIY-headboard-pic-2Step 2: Add 1″x2″ furring strips to the edge of the headboard. Drill pilot holes before screwing it in place to avoid splitting the wood.

Step-2-DIY-headboard

This makes the headboard appear thicker and the vertical pieces run past the headboard to to act as legs. How long the legs are depends on the height of the bed frame.

Step-3-headboard-diagram-with-furring-strips-and-legs-showing

 

 

 

Step-3-headboard-diagram-with-mattress-showing

This design allows the headboard to rest on the floor and to be wedged between the wall and the bed frame.  That’s if for the structure. The next steps are to upholster it.

Step-3-DIY-Headboard-legs-behind-bedframe

Upholstering the headboard

Step 3: Spray some adhesive on the face of the headboard and secure enough batting to cover the front and sides of the headboard.

Step-3-DIY-headboard

Step 4: To cover the headboard, I chose to use 3″ burlap ribbon and 14″ wide jute fabric but you could choose to use any fabric you have on hand. First, I stapled one length of the burlap ribbon at the top, covering the top and sides. Then I stapled the ivory jute panels, leaving approximately a 2 1/2″ gap in between panels.

 

Step-5-DIY-headboard

To fill in the gaps, I stapled one end of the 3″ ribbon to the back of the frame and used peel and stick fabric tape to seal the edges, making sure to pull tightly on the ribbon to keep is smooth and then stapled the other end in place. 

Step-6-DIY-headboard-peel-and-stick

Step 5: As a finishing touch, I added some decorative nail trim to the sides.

Step-6-DIY-headboard-thumnails-

Step 6: Installing the headboard is as easy as simply wedging it between the bed frame and the wall and I used some removable 3m velcro command strips to secure it to the wall at the top to keep the headboard from moving. No holes in the wall needed!

Step-7-DIY-Headboard-3m-adhesive-strip

This headboard was really easy to make and it’s also very simple to change up the look – for example, you could use pegboard instead of plywood and make and tufted upholstered headboard using the same technique that I used for my banquette panel. You can watch how I made the headboard and all the other projects I did in my bedroom in this video.

  Ep 8 Bedroom decorating ideas main image 400px

There are many DIY headboard ideas out there and I had always wanted to make my own, especially an upholstered one. I already had an existing base for the bed so I needed to make a headboard that was separate from the base. After toying around with lots of ideas, I ended up with this headboard design that’s really easy to make and customize.

Finished bedroom full view better color 400px

Here’s what you’ll need to make the base structure of the headboard:

1/4″ plywood (width of your bed frame and height you want your headboard to be – I had mine cut at the hardware store to make things easier – 48″ x 62″)

1″x3″ boards (I used 4 x 8ft long)

1″x2″ furring strips (I used 3x 8ft long)

Step 1: Place 1″x3″ boards along the edge of the plywood and along the center (I had my plywood cut in half to make it easy to transport and I used a miter box and saw to cut the remaining boards to the desired length).

step-1-DIY-headboardThe boards on top of the plywood only to show the placement. For screwing the boards to the plywood, you’ll want to have the plywood on top of the boards.

Step-1-DIY-headboard-pic-2Step 2: Add 1″x2″ furring strips to the edge of the headboard. Drill pilot holes before screwing it in place to avoid splitting the wood.

Step-2-DIY-headboard

This makes the headboard appear thicker and the vertical pieces run past the headboard to to act as legs. How long the legs are depends on the height of the bed frame.

Step-3-headboard-diagram-with-furring-strips-and-legs-showing

 

 

 

Step-3-headboard-diagram-with-mattress-showing

This design allows the headboard to rest on the floor and to be wedged between the wall and the bed frame.  That’s if for the structure. The next steps are to upholster it.

Step-3-DIY-Headboard-legs-behind-bedframe

Upholstering the headboard

Step 3: Spray some adhesive on the face of the headboard and secure enough batting to cover the front and sides of the headboard.

Step-3-DIY-headboard

Step 4: To cover the headboard, I chose to use 3″ burlap ribbon and 14″ wide jute fabric but you could choose to use any fabric you have on hand. First, I stapled one length of the burlap ribbon at the top, covering the top and sides. Then I stapled the ivory jute panels, leaving approximately a 2 1/2″ gap in between panels.

 

Step-5-DIY-headboard

To fill in the gaps, I stapled one end of the 3″ ribbon to the back of the frame and used peel and stick fabric tape to seal the edges, making sure to pull tightly on the ribbon to keep is smooth and then stapled the other end in place. 

Step-6-DIY-headboard-peel-and-stick

Step 5: As a finishing touch, I added some decorative nail trim to the sides.

Step-6-DIY-headboard-thumnails-

Step 6: Installing the headboard is as easy as simply wedging it between the bed frame and the wall and I used some removable 3m velcro command strips to secure it to the wall at the top to keep the headboard from moving. No holes in the wall needed!

Step-7-DIY-Headboard-3m-adhesive-strip

This headboard was really easy to make and it’s also very simple to change up the look – for example, you could use pegboard instead of plywood and make and tufted upholstered headboard using the same technique that I used for my banquette panel. You can watch how I made the headboard and all the other projects I did in my bedroom in this video.

  Ep 8 Bedroom decorating ideas main image 400px