For years, one of the best ways to achieve the open-plan bedroom has been to install a Murphy bed—a hinged bed that folds vertically into a wall closet when not in use. Various legends have it that in the early 20th century, William Lawrence Murphy applied for a patent on the device, which he devised in order to turn his bedroom into a parlor to make it socially acceptable for him to entertain ladies. (Or, less salaciously, maybe the idea was for him and his wife to entertain in their modest home.) Either way, the Murphy bed surged in popularity in the ’20s and ’30s when buildings like those in Tudor City on the far east side of Manhattan were developed; special Murphy bed closets made these diminutive studio apartments more livable during waking hours.
The fold-up wall bed has quietly been making a resurgence in recent years, as the world’s population becomes increasingly urban, family sizes are shrinking, more people are choosing to live alone, and the price of real estate in crowded cities becomes more and more unaffordable. Companies around the world are designing beds that disappear into walls, can be stowed via remote control, or are even stored on the ceiling.
Consider the First Source!
“The foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” and so it is today for many of his followers. Despite all the warnings about the snares laid by moneylenders, despite the fact that gage mort is literally translated as a pledge to give up one’s life, millions have lost their homes through mortgage exploits, and their quality of life through the service of debt.