Platform bed – George Nelson inspired

I recently got the opportunity to work on a bed for friend of mine. After going through a few different design ideas, we came up with a bed whose frame and legs derives from the George Nelson case study bed. I really love this design and it was fun trying to figure out the best way to build the slim line platform.

These types of designs are funny because they look so simple but it definitely took some time to figure out how to make it work. In order to make it look like 1 1/2″ board holds the weight of the bed from end to end, the structure beneath took some planning. I decided on having two cross braces and one center brace overlap and have the intersections sit on small adjustable legs that you can’t see from the sides.

The exposed sides are solid maple that is then laminated to 1 x doug fir below. The legs are made from 1/4″ steel rod and plate to model after the simplicity of the hairpin.

In order to properly carry the weight through the middle of the bed, I have a 2×6 that runs from front to back, which is sandwiched between (2) 2×6 running perpendicular to carry the weight at the sides. Both boards are 3/4″ relieved at the joint.

What I found kind of interesting in the case study design, is they have fixed hairpin legs at the intersection of these supports. Working in a lot of homes with floors that go up and down, I thought the only good solution to not have a bed that could potentially teeter toter  is adjustable feet, which I made out of 8″ bolts and flat stock.

A few additional modifications to the original design will be the hideaway drawer which will be installed on the side of the bed farthest from the rooms entry so as to not affect the transparency and lightness created without anything but legs underneath the bed. I’m also adding a headboard. Originally I was going to make a three panelled and upholstered piece but my buddy wanted to mix in some Nakashima influence so we added a  live edge Koa plank instead. Here is the final piece.


About theprojectmodern

love working on modern projects
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7 Responses to Platform bed – George Nelson inspired

  1. Daniel says:


    Could you tell me how you connected the pieces of wood because I fail to see how the wood holds the weight of the bed + the weight of the people who sleep on it.



    • The bed frame is connected at the joints with a lap joint. The bottom piece is 3/4″ pine and it is laminated to a 3/4″ maple top. They screw together at the bottom for easy breakdown when moving.

      • Scotto says:

        Really nice bed! Im planning one now. Quick question: how does the 2×4 bottom support frame attach to the laminated top frame? How easy/hard is it to see the support frame under the laminated frame?

      • Scotto says:

        Also, do the legs attach to the top frame or the support frame?

        Mucho gracias!

  2. leadersrooms says:

    You’re work seems to have really progressed and become more diverse. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this blog. Awesome. great job..!!

  3. leadersrooms says:

    You’re work seems to have really progressed and become more diverse. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this blog. Awesome.great job keep it up…
    Furniture In California

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