Designed by George Nelson

Nelson Cane Bench

A Nelson Cane Bench with a walnut frame and metal legs, viewed from the side at an angle.

An archival design comes off the bench

The Nelson Cane Bench is a genial variation of the Nelson Platform Bench, its noticeably austere predecessor. Designer George Nelson experimented with a cane version after he first came up with the original, a foundational piece from his Basic Cabinet Series. The cane surface has a little more give than the slatted-wood original, and a more tactile feel. After a long hiatus, it’s back and fresher than ever.

A Nelson Cane Bench with a maple frame in front of a Nelson Cane Bench with a walnut frame.

Refreshingly relevant

Nelson believed that function should be obvious by looking at form. It’s the bench’s honest design that makes it feel both timeless and current—as relevant and useful today as it was when Nelson created it seven decades ago.

A close up detail of the walnut frame and cane top of the Nelson Cane Bench.

Naturally appealing

The combination of two natural materials—a cane seat with either a walnut or maple border—adds visual warmth and interest. Where the original Nelson Platform Bench nudges people to move along (Nelson designed it to discourage guests from lingering in his office), the cane bench encourages them to stay awhile.

A Nelson Cane Bench with a maple frame and metal base.

Fundamentally functional

Fully at ease in a range of settings at the office and in the home, the cane bench can be a distinctive seat or a surface for books and curios. When paired with large plants or objets d’art, it becomes a novel space divider.


Dimensions, materials, details, and available options that make up the Nelson Cane Bench.

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“Design is a response to social change.”

More about George Nelson

Product Designer George Nelson
Bold gray and red graphics in the shape of the Nelson Bench top, positioned to the left of an angled Nelson Bench image holding small decorative objects.

Learn the full story

A design historian’s perspective on how George Nelson’s 1946 Platform Bench went from sidepiece to modern archetype

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