The story behind Palaset

I collect very few things but this is one of them. Palaset – multicolored stackable boxes that allow you to build your own shelf, only produced for a few years in the early 1970s. Here’s their story. The man behind the boxes is Ristomatti Ratia. He is the son of Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko. A plastic producing company in Finland, Treston Oy, struck a deal with Ristomatti on creating something new for the factory in Turku. A product that could utilize the moulds that the factory specialized in. The year was 1972. The idea with Palaset was to create a custom storage system for homes of different sizes. The cubes could be bought individually and with different accessories. The boxes could be fitted with other boxes inside so that you could build your own system. Everything came in the colors white, brown, yellow, red and green. Smaller boxes for office supply use were also available. Palaset were exported in enormous amounts and they became hugely popular nationally as well. Then the oil crisis occured. In the early 80’s Ristomatti Ratia updated Palaset using a different plastic and they were again taken into production for a while. They were however not as good as the original. I currently own more than 50 boxes and I’m still buying them. I’ve acquired most of them as single boxes but I’ve also bought them in packs at auctions. People have started to realize their value and you seldom see them now. This is somewhat strange considering the amounts that were produced.


I found an old brochure with Palaset instructions and put it online for everyone to see. Cool stuff.

One thought on “The story behind Palaset

  1. I have 6 of the original units from the 70’s…white…drawers, doors, a couple with a divider and open.
    They have been used in many configurations. I still use them for my LPs and the drawers are filled with cassette tapes and a collection of “toys” from various restaurants….


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