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Maclean's: The Murphy bed gets a makeover

Conceived in Calfornia in the early 20th century, Murphy beds peaked in popularity in the 1920s and resurged in the ’70s as a recession and other factors forced Americans to live on less. Now shifts in urban living are driving the revival. For 27 years, B.O.F.F. Wall Bed Furniture has sold custom-built wall beds. Founded in Montreal, the company has branches in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Boston.

Though business has been steady, owner Marco Fontaine says it’s been elevated to “a different level” with the influx of condos. B.O.F.F.’s beds can fit a variety of spaces and, compared to Clei, the company keeps things simple. Sure, they can build cabinets or closet space around a bed, but there are no dining tables or shelves hanging off the front. And with good reason. “They don’t last,” Fontaine says. Years ago, B.O.F.F. attempted similar projects and found repairs were frequently needed. “It’s too much weight on the front of the bed. It’s nice on paper and it’s nice in the beginning.”

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