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ORC Week 4: Making the Murphy Bed Disappear and A Cabinet Door Debacle

We are in week 4 of the One Room Challenge!

I am quite a few days late posting a weekly update, but the reality of the projects is that delays happen because life gets busy!

To those who are new here, I’m currently participating in a design challenge that involves designing and renovating one space in my home in just eight weeks!

Our room of choice is our two-year-old’s bedroom. I thought this was a great first project for our new home, the Foxhole Cottage. 

Last week, I added trim to the built-ins on either side of the Murphy bed. This week, I also added faux cabinetry to the front of the Murphy bed, baseboards, and crown molding. It was quite ambitious, and I didn’t get as much done as I hoped.

In other exciting news, I received the wallpaper and custom cabinet door order this week (more on the cabinet doors in a second). I’m ready to finish the Murphy bed wall and move on to the fun design elements!

Let’s jump in!

Cabinet Door Debacle

As I approached my front porch and saw a very tiny package, I immediately knew I had made a mistake on my custom cabinet door order.

For two doors in one opening, you obviously divide the total width by two. For some unknown reason, I also halved the length, resulting in four very small square doors. It was disappointing to realize that this was money down the toilet.

Note to self: make custom orders when the kids are napping so I can use all my brain cells.

Making the Murphy Bed Disappear

Creating a Murphy bed wall with built-ins on either side is no longer a novel concept. When we built the Murphy bed a few years ago, they were just becoming popular, and now there are literally hundreds of ideas and how-tos out there.

While there are so many creative ways to accent the front of the Murphy Bed, many of the looks don’t camouflage it enough for me. Since this is Avah’s room, I really want it to look as hidden as possible.

The best solution I have seen is to make the front of the Murphy bed look like a wall of shaker cabinetry. This way, it will also blend in with the shaker doors on the built-in cabinets.

Adding a Toe Kick For Baseboards

After studying several Murphy bed walls, I concluded that a seamless baseboard is key to making the Murphy bed blend in.

The first step was figuring out how to make a toe kick so I could run the baseboard seamlessly across the bottom. Ideally, I would have had a plan for this at the beginning of the project, but I made it up as I went along, and it still turned out fine!

I added a 1×2 the width of the bed and secured it into the floor about 1/2″ under it. This supports two 1/2×6″ boards that will run the width of the front of the bed.

Like I said, if I had planned this from the start, I would have been able to run the 1×6 trim across the whole thing, making it super easy. Ultimately, it still looks seamless, but it just took some extra work.

Faux Shaker Cabinets

Now that the toe kick is in place, I made the shaker cabinet facade.

I added two layers of faux cabinetry to the front of the Murphy bed–a lower level and an upper level. The lower layer is at the same level as the base cabinets, making it more realistic.

First, I added a temporary piece of trim at the level where the real cabinet doors will be hung to guide the installation of the faux cabinets. I started on the outside edges of the bed and worked my way in to ensure the vertical slats were spaced properly.

Proper spacing is key to making sure it looks realistic. I used 1/8″ tile spacers to ensure the boards were not too close, but I also eyeballed a lot of it because the bed was not perfectly squared. I also ensured the bottom trim pieces were high enough so the bed could still swing open without hitting the baseboard.

After the vertical slats were in place, I went back and added the horizontal pieces. Then, the whole process was duplicated on top cabinets, too.

Crown Molding and Baseboard

Finally, it is the moment I have been waiting for! I am adding the final trim pieces to really make this look like seamless built-in cabinetry.

I only made it partially through this part. If you have ever done crown molding before, you know it is a tedious process, and as an amateur, it’s even worse!

And that’s it! Tune in next week to see more of the built-ins completed and, hopefully, some paint color options, too!

If you’d like to check out the design plans of the other participants, you can find them at the One Room Challenge Blog.

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  1. Oh, that is a hard pill to swallow making a mistake on a custom order, but we’ve all done it. In the end, it looks fabulous. You are doing an amazing job!