lookbook for our next project: bookshelves + murphy bed

Charlotte Perriand bookshelves

A year or so after moving into the Harlem Laboratory, we’re finally mulling building bookshelves and horizontal Murphy bed (called wall beds these days)…like a berth in the living room. We’ve had that forelorn space hidden behind folding screens FOR A YEAR, waiting until we could wrap our head around designing it (at bottom, with blue tape roughing out the dimesions). The first step of our design process is to gather ideas.

Here’s our lookbook of pictures we’ve collected as inspiration, that will ultimately configure themselves into…our bookshelves. We might take the blue backing or the thick uprights of the fab Charlotte Perriand bookshelves, above, and mash them up with details from the very different shelves below.

We love fashion designer Rick Owens rough stacked shelving, amidst the crumbling architecture (via Mondoblogo:

Rck Owens 7

Being plywood afficionados, we’re mulling this cool nude plywood shelving (Desire to Inspire):

jonas ingerstedt

jonas ingerstedt

We like these NOT uniform shelves…



Painting the edges orange is a cool idea (also from Mondoblogo):

photo: mondobloggo

photo: mondobloggo

These vertical shelves would give an upward motion to the space (via Desire to Inspire)

vertical bookshelves kraus-schoenberg7
Perhaps we should put doors on the shelves, to make them look less busy, calmer…


Who knows how these many ideas might fill this space?:

sally schneider

sally schneider


Related posts: copy or buy: pipe bookshelves and…
copy this: fab bertoia hanging shelf
paint your shelf edges….pink!
a perfect set of wheels for making furniture mobile + a great sapien bookcase hack
ikea hack: reverse-painted glass brick room divider
clipped-together shelving pt. 1: wood (help needed)
clipped-together shelving pt. 2: cardboard boxes

10 Responses to lookbook for our next project: bookshelves + murphy bed

  1. monkha 08.20.2013 at 5:46pm #

    here’s an interesting inspiration:
    cheers 😉

  2. Sigrid 08.21.2013 at 9:32am #

    Sally- You’ve got a great art glass piece on the wall next to where your bookshelves would go. My 2 cents worth- use doors on the bookshelves, or part of them, so your beautiful art glass isn’t lost in the space.

    Good luck with your project!

  3. Sally 08.21.2013 at 1:02pm #

    Actually, that fab artwork is by Holton Rower, made of hand-mixed acrylic paints poured onto a plywood form. It’s bossing around the bookshelf design for sure, which I’ll post on when we’re back. I hear you about not having visuals that fight with that beautiful painting.

  4. Sally 08.21.2013 at 1:05pm #

    Thanks so much for this. It’s a really interesting solution for a Murphy bed. My challenge is creating a horizontal one, sort of like a train berth, so it doesn’t stick so far into the room when opened.

  5. sahana martin 08.23.2013 at 1:43pm #

    Yes, who knows ? i also like the not uniform shelves and imagine a combination with an even surface when the bed is closed . That surface could be accentuated with unusual handles . If i get the layout of the room right from the photo, a diagonal structure could be interesting , probably not to sleep under though .
    But definately that giraffe : )

    wishing you joy creating ,

  6. Sally 08.24.2013 at 10:31am #

    I think the ‘giraffe’ you’re seeing is the piece of foam core I propped up to see about making a slanted cupboard, that would provide white space on the right side of the painting and make it visable from anywhere in the room…a sort of segue between the painting wall and the shelving.

  7. sahana martin 08.26.2013 at 3:15pm #

    i meant the one in the ‘not uniform shelves’ – photo : )

  8. Jay 12.27.2017 at 8:27am #

    Please can you tell us where you got your final wall bed mechanism from and what it was called? Thanks!

  9. Sally Schneider 12.28.2017 at 10:23am #

    Hi Jay. I got the mechanism at the Murphy Wall-Beds store in Canada, after doing much research. You can find the various Frame and Mechanism Kits here. The one I got was the Elite Aluminum Bed Frame and Mechanism. (This is after I ordered and received the Supreme Steel one; the cabinet maker alerted me that it was out of alignment, so the store sent the Aluminum one). They come with detailed instructions.

    Their customer service is excellent and the can give you a lot of info about building a bed using their mechanism. There is a sale on until Dec 31st.

  10. Sally Schneider 12.28.2017 at 10:35am #

    Hey Jay, by the way, did you get the email I sent you about the design (some time ago, in response to yours)?

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