Storage Beds

by Grace Bonney

Unless you’re a vampire, chances are you have a bed in your tiny-ass apartment. (Come to think of it, interior design for vampires and their coffins seems like a pretty lucrative area these days.) A bed is arguably the most important piece of furniture in your home. You can go without a couch or coffee table, but you’ve gotta find someplace to spend those 8 hours a night.

Unfortunately, your bed will also likely take up the most space of any of your other pieces of furniture, and in a small home you can’t sacrifice that much room without getting a little something back. Today we’ll explore three ways to reclaim some of your bedspace, with hideaway, loft, and storage beds.

Hideaway beds either hide completely, allowing you to reclaim space when you’re not using them, or just hide in plain sight and perform a second function. The granddaddy of all the “now you see it, now you don’t” beds is the Murphy Bed. Amy Azzarito did an great article on them here at Design*Sponge for her “Past and Present” column. You’ll also want to check out this article on Houzz for some more unique Murphy beds.

A current model from the original Murphy Bed Company

A wall bed from The Closet Factory, ’cause you just know if you have a cabin in the woods, you’re going to need space for all your freeloading friends, too.

The DOC bed from Resource Furniture. Do you think it leads the Autobots against the Decepticons in its spare time?

As cool as these hideaway beds look, there’s some question as to how comfortable they might be. We all remember crashing on friends’ futons in college, right? Not so great for the ol’ lumbar support. Let’s look at some beds that stay beds. Mmm, a real mattress!

Without a doubt, one of my favorite methods for reclaiming space in a tiny-ass apartment is to move UP. Loft beds do exactly that; they move your sleeping area up above eye level, allowing you to use the space underneath. Loft beds can be built into the architecture of your place, or be standalone pieces of furniture. You can chose a variety of ways to get up to the bed area (ladders, stairs, or something more unique like a tansu step chest). And what you do with your new-found floorspace is up to you! Two of the most common uses are as home offices or closets, but if you want your own “bat-cave,” well, that’s up to you.

Here’s a standalone piece with a ladder going up to the top and a home office underneath, from Charlie Brown’s Apartment Therapy house tour

Dornob featured this modern-but-cozy built-in

This one, also from Dornob and made by TumideiSpa, has everything: a closet underneath, stairs to the top, and desk space to boot.

If you’re looking for a bed that won’t cause grievous bodily harm if you fall out of it, consider a bed with built-in storage. Many come with drawers or cubbies for you to tuck away anything from clothes and shoes to those “special magazines” you don’t want your mom to find.

I love this HEMNES daybed from IKEA: small, storage space underneath, and can double as a couch during the day.

The baskets on this Stratton bed from Pottery Barn are cute, and can also be modified or swapped out for different ones for a new look.

You can also convert a regular bed into one with more storage using bed risers (like these below from Target), plus sliding baskets and bins (like the DILLING and DEGERNES below from IKEA).

A few storage bed roundups:

Apartment Therapy: Chicago – Built-In Storage Beds

CasaSugar – 10 Beds With Built-In Storage

Tomorrow we’ll get out from under the comfy, cozy covers and get to work! We’ll discuss mini home offices that’ll keep you productive in your TAA.

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  • The DOC bed is insanity. I want one. Speaking of vampires, I think the fabulously modern Cullen home is due for an appearance in Amy’s “Living In” post, wot??

  • Thanks for the list! Btw, have you heard of Ana from Knock Off Wood? She provides the design specs for many Pottery Barn products, including the Stratton Bed. Most of PB’s furniture is pretty simple, so with a couple of tools you can make a reasonable likeness for a fraction of the cost. Apparently she recently received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from Pottery Barn so I’m not sure how much longer her site will be up though. It’s likely a reasonable complaint on behalf of PB, but my husband and I hope to make a Stratton Bed for our teeny condo, so I hope the plans stay up.

    • tori

      yeah, i think PB has a pretty reasonable complaint. an entire site devoted to knocking off their designs will never go over well with the company itself ;)


  • These finds are awesome! Especially the all in one – bed, closet and deskspace. But there is nothing more like a real bed with a comfy mattress.

  • Instead of using bins under my bed, I use vintage suitcases. While they don’t hold quite as much stuff, they look a lot prettier.

  • Contrary to the belief that a Wall Bed is uncomfortable, if you get a high quality bed that does not have to be the case. A bed with slats like the Eurobed, provides great comfort or the Roommaker takes both a mattress and box spring so it is just as comfortable as a standard bed!

  • I also loved the solution from that TAA that was featured in the New York Times recently– a box spring with storage! It was from IKEA, I think. What a perfect way to store extra blankets or other rarely used/seasonal items.

  • The Resource Furniture site is amazing, that bunk bed style couch is brilliant but the list goes on and gets even better – they have some smart cookies creating over there!

  • the enineering of these “study beds”, on which you can leave your desky work stuff when it’s transformed into a bed & back again, is very clever; unfortunately they’re pretty ugly; hopefully someone might give them a makeover though.

  • Nice design. actually i inspired with the design, it’s nice for little house.. With little space.. Why don’t complete it with a root stool prduct, simple, little and exotic, take a look at nicefine.net

  • I love the beds by dornob. They are so sleek, and such good space savers. I love the one with the stairs. It’s such an amazing idea, and it looks great!

  • Please tell us where we can purchase the beds by TumideiSpa. I have searched to no avail. Who carries these sets to sell in the USA and Phoenix, AZ.? What is the pricing? I would appreciate any information. Thank you.