Room by Room – the Nelson Miniature Chest

This week, Room by Room with FormFire Glassworks takes a look at another classic by George Nelson, the Miniature Chest with Pedestal.

Designed in the 1952, this lovely storage piece is a classy alternative to the standard side table, or would be a great way to set up a vanity space in a visible area. The original rosewood has been changed to teak for sustainability, but is still finished in a rosewood stain. Inspired by Japanese tansu chests, Nelson created a modern American version that included a white painted metal pedestal base and white laminate top. A vertical nine-drawer version is also available, with or without the metal base, all manufactured by Herman Miller. The proportions of the drawers, base and small knobs make this chest an elegant showcase for your special treasures.

My handmade accessory picks are as varied as the possibilities for this gorgeous set of drawers. A ribbed ceramic paperweight adds a shot of color in a simple yet textural form. A set of felt coasters makes for easy entertaining. Pillows abound, in both hand-printed fabric and as a cast resin vase, while a two-tone bowl catches coin and keys.

Next week I will choose a new iconic piece and give you my picks for accessorizing your modern home.

2 comments | Click here to reply

I decided to take $1,500 the plunge and ordered the Nelson Miniature Chest of drawers. I am sad to say that, after three tries, Herman Miller has failed to deliver a piece of sufficient quality to justify the price charged.
The stain was generally poorly applied; the drawer fronts were different thicknesses on all models; one model came with no pre-drilled holes for the base.

However, the most consistent flaw in the three pieces I received was the laminate. The cut edges were ragged, there was glue smeared everywhere and there were often gaps in the joinery. I am not exaggerating when I say that my Ikea Furniture is of better fit and finish than my three Nelson Miniature Chests.

The store I dealt with was as frustrated as I was (to their credit) but Herman Miller offered no explanation.

I combed the internet before buying this piece and could not find any negative press. I hope that future buyers will be more informed than I was.

Peter Veltheim

Wow! Those felt coasters that slip over the bottoms of the glasses are a really fun idea.

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