Happy Chinese New Year! This year’s zodiac animal is ox, which represents hardworking and progress. Hopefully the whole world will start moving again soon!
Inside of my own house, the bathroom renovation has been static because Slav’s busy. I did manage to get some small DIY projects done myself and hang some art pieces, but honestly, I miss having a bathroom on the main floor.
The latest DIY project I completed is a storage headboard for the Murphy bed:
And now the Murphy bed area looks like this:
The design concept
I have shown you how we installed the Murphy bed in my retreat room.
However, the depth of this closet is 25″, a lot deeper than the required depth for the Murphy bed, leaving a significant gap.
We knew at the time of installation that we needed a headboard to prevent pillows from slipping off the bed. In addition, we’d like to add a shelf above the bed for reading lamp, books and water or the night. Naturally, we decided to DIY this piece so it does not fit the space perfectly, but also can be customized exactly to our liking with the functionality we needed.
I always wanted to give this wedge bolster pillow a try as a removable headboard. So the plan has always been to build a plywood box that fills the gap and also supports the wedge pillow from the bottom and from the back. This box should also provide internal storage for pillows and linen. Last, we prefer a floating design in order to expose the floor space for future refinish.
Unlike most of the furniture building, instead of completing the entire storage box in the garage then mounting it to the space, I decided to assemble this floating storage at the spot. This does not only save material, but also add structure integrity to the whole build as well as the closet. It also means that I will be measuring, cutting, and attaching different pieces to the side and back of the closet as I go.
The first piece I cut was the bottom of the storage box. This board will support the wedge pillow, so I decided to place the bottom board just below the top of the mattress. The width of the closet measures 58″ at this height, and the unit should not be deeper than 14″ so the Murphy bed can open and close normally.
So I cut a piece that is 14″ x 58″. Before installing it permanently, I popped it up with a stepping stool to the desired height and tested with the wedge pillow. Despite a 4″ gap between the mattress and the front edge of the board, the wedge pillow stayed in place well. This gap is required for the Murphy bed to operate normally.
Having known that, I started with on the top surface of the storage box. I wanted the headboard to be hidden from the front view, so I chose to have the top board sitting 16″ above the bottom one, just a dash lower than the top of the wedge pillow.
The width of the top surface should be less than 12″ to accommodate the thickness of the wedge pillow.
I cut a 58″ x 10″ plywood piece for the top. Again, before mounting it in place, I popped it up with a planter which happens to be 16″ tall as a trial run.
Slav was around for this part of the operation and laughed that “your furniture design depends on the objects you had nearby…” Kinda true…But hey, it was the perfect height for the top surface!
Since the closet already had plywood sides and back, both top and bottom boards can be directly mounted to the side wall panels. Now I only need to make a front panel, which functions as a door for internal storage access, as well as the backing board for the wedge pillow.
I cut two pieces of plywood boards as the front panel so they are easier to open and close. They are both an inch taller than the top board, so when mounted vertically, they not only cover the whole front edge of the top shelf, but also create a small curb for the top shelf.
As you can see, the design of the headboard is extremely simple. My goal has always been keeping the headboard construction minimal and completely hidden when the bed is in use, while satisfying all the features we want for the Murphy bed area: storage, back support, and a horizontal shelf.
With all the pieces cut to size, I edge banded the pieces and cut some scrap wood strips to link the top and bottom boards onto the side walls.
To mount the front panels/doors, I used hidden hinges to connect the door panels to the top shelf.
A few L-bracket were mounted on the bottom board as a stop, so the door panels can stay vertical without swinging inward.
Then I placed the wedge pillow on the bottom board and in front of the doors – now we have the storage headboard for the Murphy bed!
Just like we planned, You cannot see the headboard when standing in front of the bed.
The space inside the storage headboard now stores allthe pillows and beddings we have for this bed. When we need to fold the bed up, the top shelf is perfect for storing the wedge pillow. Therefore, everything for making the Murphy bed is stored in the Murphy bed alcove without occupying additional closet space.
I switched the painting above the bed to a set of watercolor art, and added a white lamp and a couple plants:
The large and cool-colored art toned down all the wood color, making this little alcove a bit lighter and more relaxed.
And this is how he Murphy bed area look like now!
This headboard build completed all the DIY build in my retreat room/home office. The best part of the project is that I used exclusively the scrape plywood pieces from the Murphy bed build and the gear closet build, so the only cost for this project is four hidden hinges for $2.75! (We had the plywood edge band, L-bracket and screws in hand.) This is the charm of DIY – functionality, perfect fit, and saving!