By Vita Forest.
I don’t have a bedroom.
My children do, but I don’t. I sleep in my lounge room on a very comfortable bed that hides away during the day and is lowered down every night. In Australia, we call them wall beds (well, the relatively small number of people who know of their existence do), but in the U.S. they are called Murphy beds. During the day, it hides behind a plain white panel on which the bed rests at night. On both sides of this panel are small metal levers which sit inside the bed cavity but can be activated using one finger. By releasing the lever, the top of the panel begins to descend and two thin metal legs appear on each side and swing floor-ward. By giving one of these a sharp tug, the bed drifts to the floor, landing on its two legs.
The mattress is thinner than a normal inner-spring mattress and is made of latex. It is super comfortable. I made sure of that before I ordered it. I did not want it to be an occasional mattress that was unfurled once a year for guests. This was my every-night bed. This was my sanctuary. It had to be excellent.
I make my bed every morning. I have to. Otherwise I would not be able to pack it away. It would sit all day over the rug between my sofa and my arm chairs. The sheets and quilt have to be firmly tucked in, then two straps are fastened across to hold the mattress in place. This is so it doesn’t slide or fall when the base is lifted up again and rotated back into the wall. (I can achieve this maneuver with one hand.)
The bed panel is surrounded by plain white cupboards that rise to the ceiling with two drawers on either side. I told the interior designer I wanted the whole wall of storage and bed to disappear. And it does. The white of the storage matches the base of the bed. It all reads like a wall. Neither the cupboards or the drawers have handles. Their long edges angle back on themselves to form sloping ridges into which fits your fingers, allowing drawers and doors to be pulled open. They appear as narrow indents between the long plain panels. At the base of each pair of cupboard doors are two drawers. A narrow one topping a larger one. The narrow ones are not drawers. They are bedside tables that slide out to hold alarm clocks, books and cups of tea. They also take the place of extra coffee tables.
As well as my bed and bedside tables, the storage wall holds my wardrobe, my office (laptop, printer, paper), my craft supplies and various other odds and ends. It is a beautifully made piece of furniture that looks and feels fantastic.
Yes, I splurged on an interior designer for the built-in storage. And yes, I bought an Italian wall bed. But I ended up with an amazing answer to the question of how can I make the most of a little.