Dave makes a George Nelson-style platform bench using Matthew Burak legs

george nelson style slat bench

Following up on yesterday’s story about where to buy mid century modern style furniture legs, Dave — who is a professional woodworker — made this beautiful George Nelson-style platform bench, also called a slat bench. You will recall, Dave is the genius who added stunning modern-chinoiserie paneling to the walls of his 1959 split-level home. This man is talented! He writes:  

platform bench with legs from matthew burakHey Pam, I made a 50’s style slat bench using those Matthew Burak legs a few months ago. I thought I would send you a picture. The legs were great. I called and special ordered the 14″ length, which was quite expensive (it just about doubled the price of my order). However, when I called the woman who took my order made the upcharge very clear and asked if I wanted a stain grade or paint grade leg, which insured that I recieved a really nice looking maple leg. I think one of the big selling points is that you can get this leg in variety of woods. I may use some walnut legs in the future.

slat benchFabulous — thank you for sending this photo in, Dave. Everyone has a place for one of these, don’t you think?

Dave also pointed out to me that this bench is really a mix of various design elements — in the George Nelson “style”, but with many differences. You can also read more about George Nelson and his original, 1946 platform bench here. The bench is still made by Herman Miller and is for sale on their website or from other retailers. To be sure, an iconic piece that has spawned a gazillion variations.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. Cindy says

    Beautiful work, Dave! I have considered having something similar made for an outdoor patio but protecting it from the elements is not easily done. It’s great seeing what other readers are doing in their homes/yards.

  2. Jon Hunt says

    Nicely done, Dave — great looking bench! And awesome tip on where to get those legs — I have a couple pieces of furniture that are missing their legs (the coffee table on our barrel furniture set!).

  3. Jeanne says

    Beautiful work, Dave. I’m still in awe of your living room and keep the photo as one of my “inspiration” photos.

  4. gabby says

    That looks really nice. I have admired the other photos of your home, especially the drapes post. You’re doing it exactly right! This is just how I remember them ‘back in the day’.
    I noticed one of the things I really enjoy about seeing your home is the sense of scale. You size everything just right, but also the materials, the style and everything is very consistent.
    I see a lot of mid-century folks who put a very fancy designer item in a small tract house, where the original folks wouldn’t likely have had had access to it. Or less frequently, a really kitschy or ‘lowbrow” item such as a mass produced vinyl hassock with a super fine piece of high quality danish furniture. In my experience, people were kind of one way or the other.
    Either your home is Sunset Magazine or it’s Architectural Digest. You can guess which one I prefer….I like a home that feels like real people live there!
    I like to imagine that there is an authentic mid century person with their own tastes and quirks behind the beautiful objects in the homes. Mind you, my taste is all over the place, but it is consistently my taste. I think it was the same way back when.
    Love what you are doing!

  5. babette says

    any idea what real (authentic), vintage George Nelson benches go for?? I have one, my mother’s, since 1955 ranch-style living. I know in the early ’90s they went for a lot, before you could buy the knock-offs.

  6. says

    VERY nice work, Dave. You got the details right, while adding your own touch. I like your synthesis.

    Do you think it’s possible to make one that would be somewhat weatherproof for an outdoor location using ipe, teak, or another close-grained wood? It’s just the thing my house needs and my husband iknows his way around a woodshop.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Alice says

    Nicely done Dave! But I think Pam needs to set up a separate site for the ELITE and TALENTED retro-renovators like yourself…I feel like such an under-achiever between your wall panel and now this! 🙂

  8. Jana (Berniecat) says

    you are so talented and your attention to detail is wonderful! I really enjoy pictures of your home and your work! Great work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *