An innovative idea, a timeless design

In 1944, Life magazine published an extensive article detailing the Storage Wall, George Nelson’s novel architectural concept for American homes that proposed to make walls thicker so that they could double as a place to put things away.

A vintage photo from the 1950s showing an early example of a Nelson Thin Edge chest and cabinet combination.

The piece caught the eye of Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree, who was searching for a design director after the sudden death of Gilbert Rohde, and Nelson soon had the job. He went on to work as Design Director at Herman Miller for over 25 years. During this time he examined the problems people faced in their homes and offices and designed new types of furniture to address those needs.

From storage wall to cabinet series

The Storage Wall concept was the forerunner to a series of cabinets that Nelson designed over the years. The Rosewood Cabinet Series of 1952 represents a synthesis of Nelson’s approach to modular storage furniture with a heightened attention to quality and craftsmanship. As the range of veneers expanded and design details were standardized, the group was renamed in 1958 after the feature that gives them their unique aesthetic quality—the thin edge that frames the doors and drawers. Today, we have updated these classic pieces with environmentally supportable veneers and finishing processes while maintaining the original design.

A 1957 ad from The New Yorker showing a chest from the Rosewood Cabinet Series, designed by George Nelson.

Furniture that fits

More about George Nelson

Product Designer George Nelson