Another Way to Hide the Bed: Winch It Up to the Ceiling

Bed hanging from four ropes in the middle of a room

Wiktor Jażwiec via HomeEdit

I have never been crazy about Murphy beds. You have to make the bed, usually tie a strap around the mattress and then fold it up. It takes up wall space and cuts down floor area a bit. On the other hand, the ceiling isn't doing much other than holding up the next floor and a few light fixtures. That's why I have always been intrigued by the idea of the hanging bed where you haul it up and store it against the ceiling. You don't even have to make it or get your dirty clothes off it, they are out of sight, out of mind (although you should probably ensure that you have got your cat or your friend out.)

Hanging bed raised nearly to the ceiling
Wiktor Jażwiec via HomeEdit

On Homeedit, Simona Ganea shows two hanging beds; one is by Polish designer Wiktor Jażwiec. He built it with some serious block and tackle which all connect to a single bar, which lets you which them all up together via one wire. Blue LED lighting gives it some additional drama, and the fact that it is supported only by heavy ropes means that might get a little boat-like rolling action.

Simona also shows Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser's tiny 580 square foot Hollywood cabin, which has a very clever hanging bed. Unlike Wiktors, it appears to have a base that sits on the ground so it will not move around. There is also a clever headboard that folds up to act as a table. (See it here)

Adding a hanging bed with a pulley system to a cabin was a clever move and a practical decision taken by the designer. Given the limited floor space, this allows a single room to change function easily, transforming from a bedroom into a living space.
Diagram of a raised table
Lloyd Alter

You can't have furniture under either of these designs; that's why when I tried to design one for Graham Hill's Lifeedited project I made it a double-decker, with the bed on top of a dining room table. When the bed was lowered, the table would lower almost to the floor under it, with enough room between the two that you could clear it and do the dishes in the morning. I had both table and bed running up and down four pipes as guides, just to keep it all stable.

lifeedited from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

If you have a bit more ceiling height or are a bit shorter than usual, then these are interesting alternatives to the Murphy bed. Lots more images at HomeEdit