Notes From the Design Lab: Our First Closed Storage

Inside the R&D of the Cabinet Add-on.
Notes From the Design Lab: Our First Closed Storage
The Floyd shelf with cabinet in white and birch.

Notes From the Design Lab: Our First Closed Storage

Inside the R&D of our cabinet add-on.

8 08 20
Furniture designer drawing at table

Adjustable storage shelving with clean modern lines

Push-open cabinet doors


1. Header image: The Cabinet Add-On is the newest addition to our modular Shelving System. / 2. The design process begins with sketching. / 3. The Cabinet integrates into the existing track system, which makes it easily adjustable. / 4. Hidden door catches leave the sleek ash cabinet face as the center of attention.

Next week, we’re launching the Cabinet Add-On. As part of our modular Shelving System, it is our first foray into closed storage.

Creating a new piece that fit into the existing system, with the same modularity & design language you recognize in our products requires a thoughtful process.

At Floyd, we design each piece at our in-house product design lab, where you’ll often find our product team tinkering with models and sketching new ideas for functional and beautiful furniture to compliment our modern lives.

We spoke with Chris Daniels, a Product Designer and key member of the design team, about the process of bringing the new Cabinet Add-On to life.

Could you tell us about the initial process of developing the Cabinet?

Hello! I work on product development at Floyd. Starting with early ideation sketching all the way up to when a product is released for manufacturing. I help push products along and make sure we’re hitting key dates along the way.

We already had the design language of the shelving system, so the development process for The Cabinet was focused on applying those elements, and making sure it could integrate with The Shelving System seamlessly.

How do you begin the design process, generally? At what point do you begin to make physical models or prototypes?

We typically start the design process by identifying what should come next in the product line. This usually involves customer input via feedback and surveys and competitive benchmarking.

At the core, we are trying to solve problems in furniture – like difficult assembly, lack of quality or value, and of course, poor design. This has really defined the way we look at and think about the product roadmap.

Once we identify the next product, we research to define the price points we are working in and the current product offerings and designs that are already out there, and we begin concepting ideas that we think will make Floyd furniture better and unique.

We’ll then go through a round of sketching and we review and critique them. Once we narrow the designs down to a few, we start refining proportions, and start making prototypes in the design studio out of foam core, wood or other materials. Then, once we have a better idea of proportions we will work with our manufacturing partners to get prototypes made. This process can take as little as a few months up to a few years depending on the complexity of the product.

Furniture designer at Floyd sitting on a bed
Chris Daniels is an Industrial Designer at Floyd HQ.


The shelving system is designed to be modular and allow for additional components to be developed over time. Can you talk about why that’s important? Why build a cabinet next?

As you move, your spaces change and a set-up that worked in your previous space might not be ideal for your new space. We wanted to create a system that allows someone to add/subtract from their shelving system with ease.

A cabinet was next on our list because all of our current shelving is visible and we wanted to create a section where you could store items you don’t want left out. Whether it’s the items you don’t want your dinner guests seeing or the extra blankets that you don’t want lying out on your sofa, everyone has something that needs a place to hide.

What are the major elements of Floyd’s design language? How did that come into play with this piece?

Some major elements of Floyd’s design language are clean lines, intuitive assembly/disassembly, & simple connections that won’t break down over time. With the cabinet, we wanted something that looked lightweight, yet sturdy.

With the wood doors, you get a hint of warmth that is familiar in wood cabinets but the steel casing gives it that weightless look and feel.

Thoughtful details are key in our designs. Are there any you’re particularly excited about for this piece?

I’m really excited about the push-to-open latches that we used on this. By designing The Cabinet without a handle, a cutout in the wood to open the cabinet, or any visible hardware, it gives it a really clean silhouette.

We’ve also added an interior shelf that is perfect for streaming devices or remotes. The cabinet also has cutouts in the bottom surface to allow cords to be plugged in without having them clutter your space.