Coastal Style

Modern Icons: The Case Study Daybed

The beauty of this streamlined daybed is at its simplicity. Made from a horizontal platform using a mattress pillow and bolster cushions, the piece serves as a sofa or a bed, with much more style than the collegiate alternative, a futon. In addition, it includes a pedigree that will satisfy you midcentury modern lovers: George Nelson made the original, along with the Case Study furniture sold today is inspired from the furniture used in the famous Case Study Houses, introduced by Arts & Architecture magazine in 1945.

Design Within Reach

Case Study Daybed

Here the daybed cozies up into some other George Nelson bits: a seat and a clock.

Modernica Case Study Daybed With Leg Options – $1,698

This is only one of the easiest sofa-to-bed conversions there is; all you need to do is throw the bolsters on the floor and throw on a sheet. The covers are removable for cleaning.


The frame is laminated walnut plywood, and the hairpin legs are brushed steel. These delicate legs are sturdy yet give the illusion that the chair is drifting.

Michael K Chen Architecture

This amazing unfolding apartment makes the most of each square inch. The fact that the designer chose a Case Study Daybed is a ringing endorsement for its usefulness and versatility.

ras-a, inc..

Today, Modernica assembles the Case Study Daybeds into the original specifications in Los Angeles. This is fitting, since the Case Study Houses were all built-in Southern California.

Kathryn Waltzer

This room has the daybed using an Eames Elliptical Table along with an Eames screen. Charles Eames was one of the original collaborators in the Case Study program. The house he shared with his wife, Ray, was Case Study House #8; it is still standing and was recently given a ringing endorsement by Ice Cube.

Steinbomer, Bramwell & Vrazel Architects

The couch looks blasting with this set of modern webbed chairs. Webbing was a common World War II–age furniture material and became a midcentury timeless; the layouts sprang from too few materials available, and smart designers, such as Jens Risom and Ralph Rapson, made do with what they had. Rapson was likewise a Case Study architect.

Of course, you aren’t required to go midcentury modern with all the furnishings around this particular piece. I really like the comparison between the modern Case Study Daybed and the traditional chesterfield in this gathered room.

The daybed is offered in a huge variety of fabric upholstery choices.


Multi-ply bentwood legs are just another option.

To find out more about the Case Study House program, check out the Southern California Architectural History Archives, where a similar platform sofa can be observed in a photo by Julius Shulman at House Number20.

See related