Last May I posted the life-size prototype I made out of FoamCore to help me design a complex combination of berth-style (sideways) wall bed, storage and bookshelves for my space in Harlem. I had been struggling with the design problem for some time: how to make the massive volume of the wall-bed blend into the structure, so you aren’t aware of it when you glance at the wall or walk into the room (a problem with traditional, clunky, wall-bed designs).
After a year of unexpected challenges, the wall-bed-storage-bookshelf unit is finished and books unpacked (though I’m still tweaking just what goes on the shelves). Here’s a tour:
The original FoamCore prototype I made with a friend is a nice before-and-after point-of-reference:
The solution to not having the bed’s flat panel dominate the room was to put closed storage to the right of it to mute the huge volume. (Had the right-hand shelves been left open, the bed’s panel would be clearly defined.)
The angled shelves on the left were created to preserve sight-lines from the kitchen of Holton Rower’s Pour painting; they provide surfaces to display objects and smaller artworks. It also provides and out-of-the-way niche for stacking stools.
The full-size bed pulls open side-ways to prevent the bed from sticking so far out into the room that you’d have to move the adjacent sofa to open it (as a traditional vertical Murphy bed would). The orientation of the bed makes you NOT feel like you’re sleeping in the living room; you look out the windows to see sky, birds, stars. A roll up screen can be unfurled to afford some privacy.
Installing a slanted board between the back wall of the bed and the mattress allows my guest (or me) to position the pillows so they can lean against the wall and lounge.
It makes the bed act like a very deep sofa. When you’re lounging on it, you can talk to whomever is in the kitchen or sitting on the sofa, or just gaze out the window.
Here’s a view of the wall unit from the kitchen of the open workspace/living room/dining room/library:
In order to keep the books from dominating the room, I set them back into the shelves, and left a 3.5-inch ledge running horizontally along the top of the bed and right-side shelves. It’s perfect for propping art and open books.
…The entire unit was painted high-gloss enamel which gives the panel a pleasing subtle reflection.
Coming soon: the very involved PROCESS of creating the unit.