On design sites recently, we’ve been noticing quite a few interesting iterations of industrial storage cabinets —new and vintage—as furniture, like the classic Bisley 10-drawer steel storage cabinet, above. We’ve relied on the trusty Ikea lacquered metal Helmer drawer cabinets ($39) for years, using it in our office and in various closets for storing all manner of small bits, from wrapping paper to electronics cords to underwear.


Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

When then handles stuck out to far to allow the closet doors to close, we replaced them with red twine:

Ikea Helmer w red twine

SF Girl By Bay recently featured this vintage file cabinet gussied up with mirrors to become an armoire (along with other vintage file transformations) …

Industrial Metal 1

We love the perfect little cubby holes for storing the small stuff spotted at The Selby.

Industrial Metal 2
Todd Selby/The Selby

White steel Ikea PS cabinets ($99 each) lined up side-by-side, and stacked high with books, become curiously chic.

Sabrina Rothe
Sabrina Rothe

Flat files, normally used for storing art, make terrific day beds and storage.

Pia Ulin for Lotta Agaton
Pia Ulin for Lotta Agaton

We will always admire the late Tobias Wong‘s primitive file cabinet bed as an example of re-envisioning and transformation of an mundane industrial object for home use…


Many possibilities here as we scan second-hand office furniture stores as well as flea markets and Ebay for vintage finds.

With thanks to Susan Dworski 

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2 replies on “Industrial Metal Storage As Furniture

  1. S Dworski makes the old building we inhabit in Wyoming surge with mental possibilities! Locally known as the ‘Bloody Bucket’ the old community center is a cavernish, maple-floored, fourteen-foot ceiling’d, 1930’s work.

    Thanks Susan!
    E Hill

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