Designer Tobias Wong‘s inspired mattress on pushed-together 2-drawer lateral files first got us thinking about using file cabinets as bed platforms. Such a good idea in this time of small spaces: ample storage that attenuates the visual massiveness of flat files. Then we saw stylist Lotta Agaton’s day bed made with classic white flat files. It shows just just how sleek and stylish this very practical idea can be, as do these…

Greg and Grey
Greg and Grey for Antler & Co. via Design Sponge

Flat files come in a variety of sizes and heights, the classic being 42 x 30 inches, 36 x 24 inches and 48 x 36 inches. Generally, they are lowish —about 5 or 6 drawers, about 24 inches high, so make for excellent bed base possibilities. Flat-files size and orientation might need an additional frame or support, as Greg and Grey, owners of Portland, Oregon shop Antler & Co did in the bed above: file cabinets at the foot of the bed form an extension to a custom-built wooden frame.

The formula is pretty simple: the flat file base is topped with a foam mattress, either a standard or custom size depending on your base configuration. We’re fans of Dixie Foam, where we’ve bought a number of durable, comfortable mattresses over the years.

Vintage wooden flat files, found at flea markets and second hand stores, give a more furniture-like look.  Here, stacked pale wood flat files are turned into a child’s daybed in a Swedish house.

Kristofer Johnsson
Kristofer Johnsson

We’re thinking a flat file day bed, like Agaton’s above, would be the perfect in an office for the occasional snooze…

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