Making the bathroom a little more heavenly, one detail at a time
We've seen from our global home visits that most bathrooms are cluttered, shared and improvised. They're spaces—usually small ones—to get ready during hectic mornings and destress at night. When we started working on VOXNAN and BROGRUND bathroom accessories, our team did something a bit different and held a workshop. Together, they came up with the theme of a bathroom being 'chaos and harmony' and used it to create products that make bathroom life a bit easier for everyone.
Adding a little harmony to the bathroom, one detail at a time
It’s a space to get ready during hectic mornings and to de-stress at night. In some countries, it’s a laundry room, too. No matter where people live, we’ve seen from our home visits the reality is bathrooms are cluttered, shared and improvised. So, how could we help make bathroom life a little easier? And could we help bring people closer to a calm dream bathroom without a renovation? Product developer Okan Demirci knew first-hand how frustrating a small bathroom could be—the one he had in his hometown of Istanbul was the type with no dedicated shower area. The shower hose was attached to the sink, and everything got wet, which certainly made storage a challenge! When Okan started working on new VOXNAN and BROGRUND bathroom accessories, he began where we always do with insights from our home visit reports and survey results. But of course, everyone at IKEA has a home life, too!
Working together to find a meaningful theme
This time, Okan invited several bathroom colleagues with different homes and life situations to a workshop. Some were Swedes who lived in houses in the woods. Others were from Italy and France. Some lived alone; others with a partner or children. One was Luca Battistelli, an IKEA co-worker who has worked with interior design since 1992. ”I am not a product development expert,” Luca says, “but you bring your own experience. Some things can be very specific to a person or country, but it’s easier to find things in common than things that are very different.” For an entire day, they examined people’s frustrations and dreams, including their own. Certain phrases came up again and again. Yin and yang. Hide and seek. Function and emotion. But what did these phrases mean? ”We started to see the bathroom as a place of chaos in the morning and peace in the evening,” Okan says, “because it’s both functional and a relaxing, private place.”
Designing little details that make life better
The workshop’s two designers took the theme and worked together to solve different challenges. Take the clutter that comes from not having enough space to hang big towels or lots of clothes. Our towel holders already save space with four swivelling bars, but they added bars that extend for more tidiness. What about the chaos and harmony of sharing a bathroom? VOXNAN and BROGRUND have styles and functions you can mix and match so everyone’s happy. The accessories have identical wall brackets, too, so if your style, address or needs change, you can easily swap out a rail, shelf or hook without making new holes. Then there’s the toilet mess nobody likes to think about. In the past, we had two toilet brushes: a plastic one that got thrown away and a metal one with a replaceable brush. The team designed a new replaceable brush that unscrews from the top—no troublesome touching of used brushes. ”It’s not a revolution,” Okan says. “It’s just the little details that can help people turn their bathroom chaos into harmony.”