The Cross House

Excitement! Involving a Murphy Bed!

Today, Justin and I began to rewire the Sewing Room.

I drew on the north wall where I wanted switches and sconces to go over the bed.

Then Justin said: “Wasn’t there a Murphy bed on this wall once? Isn’t that stored on the third floor? If so, why not put it back?”

Egads! What a brilliant idea!


In 1929, Scott Mouse converted the second floor of the Cross House into studio apartments. This is the former Sewing room. A cabinet was installed on the north wall, housing a Murphy bed (the cabinet was more to the right in actually). The former bathroom became a kitchen, and former closets became a bathroom.


The location of the 1929 Murphy bed is still evident.


The wood cabinets for the Murphy beds were dismantled at some point and stored on the third floor. There was, I suspected, five cabinets. But I was never sure. (That is just regular lumber to the right.)


Justin and I raced up to the third floor. Because each cabinet was a different size, we were able to ascertain the one from the Sewing room. Squee!!!!!!!! There are two sides, two doors, and a top “roof”. Squee!!!!!!!!


I brought down one of the side sections. It slotted right into a notch in the original base.


The section had a curious cut out. Huh???????


Oh. Oh!


They make Murphy bed inserts, and I should be able to find a frame which fits the dimensions of the cabinet. I hope!

We wired two wall switches in the plaster wall, which will control overhead spots I will install in the “roof” of the cabinet. I will have to measure to see if a queen or full matress will fit.

When the sewing room is restored, I plan to find a roommate to help offset the expense of the house. The room will come furnished.

I am soooooooooooo excited about this! What a thrill to reinstate a lost historic feature of the house, and return it to its original use!

Thanks, Justin!


28 Responses to Excitement! Involving a Murphy Bed!

  1. Is there still a bathroom where the plan shows? If not, will you put one back in? Honestly though, there doesn’t seem like enough storage for most people’s needs (now). I know that there were usually wardrobes in use at that time, but the number of windows and curved walls in that room makes that a bit difficult to imagine. It would make a nice quest room, but living in it full time would be fairly uncomfortable if you have more than a single suitcase of belongings. That will be a beautiful room once it’s finished though!!

    • Hi, Jenine!

      The original bathroom will be returned to being a bathroom. A very gorgeous bathroom with the original encaustic tile floor restored!

      The bedroom will have have two closets, one quite large.

      Anybody renting the room will also be able to store stuff in the basement.

    • Hi, Dawn!

      The Sewing room will be a room for rent, not an apartment for rent. There will be no kitchen adjacent to the room. The renter will use the kitchen on the first floor.

      • Darn, that leaves me out!! Just kidding πŸ™‚ I’m sure you all ready have someone in mind. I do have ta say the thought of living in that beautiful house just warms my heart. Anyway, I wonder if a futon mattress would fit the Murphy bed.

  2. Ross darling, don’t bother measuring to see if it’s a queen mattress or not. It wasn’t. The queen mattress was invented in the early 70s as I recall, well before this cabinet was made. The queen mattress was really done AFTER the King, as an alternative to the king being too big and the full being a hair too small for two people. Remember those marvelous old movies that showed married people with twin beds? There’s the prototype of the king bed. You might investigate Serta mattress company; they make excellent hide a bed mattresses, and I’m sure that they would have a mattress that would accomodate your cabinet at a reasonable price.

  3. In my husband’s first apartment in Kansas City, most of one wall was taken up by two closets. When I toured the apartment with him for the first time, I sad, something like, “Wow, this apartment has great storage” and opened up the closet with the double doors, only to find a Murphy bed, the real thing; it said “Murphy Bed” in an ornate label on the top. It didn’t have a cabinet like yours does; it was built into the wall. Both are useful, but yours is more beautiful.

    Once again, it astonished me how many bits of the Cross House were saved over the years. It’s almost like the many and various people who owned it, worked on it, and lived there knew that one day, someone would come along who would value those pieces and work to put them back. I think they were saving them for you.

    • As I was reading this I was thinking “they knew Ross would be along!” and then you said it yourself, Barb. β€‹πŸ˜

      I’m totally daydreaming about living in this room now. It used to be the hexagonal room after seeing its former apartment layout, but this one… this one will be sunny all day long (but have air-con, thank heavens) and have its own south-facing BALCONY. 😍 Looking at the original plans it’s also 3.5ft wider, but the same length, as my living room so I can visualise it very easily. *dreams on*

  4. I love that your incorporating the different stages of the houses existence (The future pink bathroom in the basement for instance). Since your going 1929 in this room, I think a 1929 light fixture and sconces are in order, and, I am sure you have some epic pieces that would work perfectly.

  5. Ross…Looks great…I see you’re getting my room ready…No worries…I can cook on the first floor… (SMILE πŸ™‚ )

    • Yes; I am currently evaluating my life and deciding if it’s worth leaving my husband of 25 years and 4 kids so that I can live in the Cross house. The verdict is still out.

  6. Mattress–You can have a mattress custom made to fit your bed, if necessary. There is a company here in Wichita that custom makes mattresses for a reasonable price.

  7. Isn’t puzzle solving rewarding…. even only reading your lines, I can fell your excitement.
    Amazing that all those parts have endured the wild history of this house. As said before, I also think this house was waiting for you.
    Greetings from Vienna,

  8. I thought you jettisoned the idea of a roommate due to privacy issues. I was glad when you decided not to become a full-time wedding wrangler. That would be more exhausting than restoring 8,526 window sashes!!

    • Hi, Nancy!

      I did jettison my brief idea of doing an B&B.

      Instead, I decided to get a roommate for the Sewing room, and to rent out the third floor as an apartment.

  9. I’m intrigued about the bathroom situation as the existing one will be for the use of roommate only, will it/won’t it? Or will you be putting another one in elsewhere on that floor? The trek to the downstairs bathroom in the middle of the night would get old REAL quick I’d have thought… maybe go back to a pot beneath the bed?

      • Haha, who knows? I’d not tell β€‹πŸ˜ ​

        I did realise, AFTER asking about the bathrooms,oops, that I was going by the original floor plan, and there are of course a lot more bathroom/plumbing options available for Ross to make something of now. He reminded me in the next post about the beds by saying, “In the bathroom to the Hexagon bedroom, he pointed in a corner and said: β€œAren’t those the doors to the Round bedroom cabinet?”,”.

        Totally intrigued to know what the plans for Ross’s own bedroom are then as reinstating a Mouse-created bathroom in a bedroom means forfeiting the closet forever doesn’t it, a perfect excuse to buy a beautiful vintage armoire to fit with the style chosen for the bedroom (is it this room that’s getting the Hollywood-Regency treatment? I can’t remember) I’d take that and run with it!β€‹πŸ˜€ ​

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