The thing that made this very small apartment livable was my Murphy bed. Without it I would have had a living space that was dominated by my bed. It was my mother’s idea initially, and truth be told, I thought she was nuts. But a little research and a nice gay man I met at a party, who had a Murphy bed of his own and swore that it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to his apartment, changed my mind. I looked in the city, but the Murphy bed showroom here was overwhelmed with bad reports at the Better Business Bureau. My Murphy-loving pal had ordered his directly from a website based in Florida (I think), and had it delivered to his home.
Lacking a doorman and the nerve to attempt self-assembly, I drove out to The Original Murphy Bed headquarters one day to order my new bed. I don’t remember the sales pitch or the level of Murphy I opted for exactly, but I am pretty sure I took the middle road, neither the cheapest nor the most extravagant Murphy with the simplest cabinetry. (I use the mattress I already owned.) A few weeks later it arrived in a van with a man, who assembled the whole kit and caboodle in less that two hours. (For the record, a reasonably handy person could assemble one her/himself.)
I love my Murphy bed. I have no idea why there isn’t a Murphy bed in every apartment in Manhattan. Hell, NYU should invest heavily in the Murphy Bed Company and have them installed in every dorm room in the city. As Arianne Cohen pointed out in a recent article in New York magazine, “With Manhattan’s real-estate market peaking at an all-time-high average of $1,083 per square foot, the necessary 28.125 square feet of space for a full-size bed now holds a net worth of $30,459 ($31,022 in Soho; $31,612 on the Upper West Side).” $30,459! I promise, Murphy bed dozing is nothing like sleeping on a cot, as some people assume it must be. And having lived in an apartment with a loft bed for a year, it is an infinitely more appealing solution. Admittedly there’s nothing suave about suggesting to fold the bed out of the wall during a make-out session with your latest crush, but that is the price you have to pay when trying to make the most of a small space.