The strongest storage we’ve made so far
For many of us the garage is more than just a place to park the car. It’s where we work on projects, craft and repair, as well as store our hobbies, or what doesn’t fit in the house. And while the garage might be the place for a hundred different activities, great garage storage has to get a couple of basics absolutely right. It’s got to be strong, practical and totally comfortable with rough treatment and tough environments.
To make sure the BROR storage system fit the bill, we delved into people’s storage needs, with the ambition to make the strongest shelving units we’ve made so far. All with a clean, industrial design that means they’re a stylish fit inside the home too.
Delving into the garage
Venturing into the garage can sometimes seem like a trip into a lost civilisation. Grouped around the car there can be pyramids of paint cans, sports equipment you can’t remember even using and forgotten hobbies in boxes stacked high. Peering into garages around the US, IKEA Sales Leader Terri Dierolf realised there was a chance to help out.
“Looking into the market here in the US, we could see garage storage tended to fall into either the budget, plastic variety or the heavy industrial, expensive version, “she says. “So, we wanted to offer people heavy-duty garage storage that didn’t carry a heavy price tag to boot.”
Researching storage dreams
Starting work on the new system, the team behind BROR first held workshops to find out what people wanted most from their storage.
“We found people were interested in everything from full-on hobby rooms, to a place to pot plants and work on cars,” Terri says. “As well as storage for everything from heavy power tools to seasonal equipment.”
Boiling down all the information a couple of important factors became clear.
“People wanted lockable, closed and open storage that could hold very heavy loads,” she says. “As well as a place for a workstation to do hobbies from.”
The other important consideration was the environment itself. Whatever materials were used to make BROR they had to be just as comfortable in tropical high humidity areas as freezing cold, dry places.
Creating very strong storage
Working from the research, IKEA product developer Lina Ringefelt started forming the design.
“I was inspired by classic industrial furniture typically used in workshops during the 50’s, as well as Meccano, to create the design, “Lina says. “The idea was to create these beautiful storage units that have double the weight carrying capacity of any other shelves we were making at the time.”
To that end, strong steel was used to provide the strength needed, which was then galvanised and powder-coated in a sleek black colour to ensure it would remain rust-free in even the dampest garage space.
Product development engineer Philip Nedergaard worked with ensuring that the design held true to the heavy-duty ambition.
“We built some of what we call ‘worst-case scenarios’ by loading the shelves high with concrete bags to really test that the shelves could safely hold almost anything you would want to keep in a garage, “he says.
Combining good looks and practicality
The result is a series of different sized shelving units with closed and open storage that you can adjust to fit your needs. BROR also includes a trolley that serves as a movable shelf and workstation. For Terri, the series biggest calling card is its combination of looks and function.
“BROR was designed to fit the role of hardworking garage storage, but as the project came into fruition I thought, oh my gosh! This is something that could definitely be used in the home too. It has this industrial look that I hope people will love.”