From curtain rod to valet stand
Sometimes the design story unfolds in reverse. Sometimes, rather than seeing a need and designing a product to fulfil it, we start with a great material and find creative new ways to use it to improve everyday life. The story of the MULIG valet stand, for example, began with the flattened steel pipes we use to produce curtain rods. One designer’s new take on this material now helps you keep clothes fresh and cut down on laundry with a modern, affordable version of the classic valet stand.
The lightweight flattened steel pipes we use to make curtains rods are both inexpensive and sturdy enough to hold a lot of weight. When one of our product developers recognized the humble material’s great potential to do much more, we asked designer Henrik Preutz to come up with some creative new ways to use it.
The never-ending cycle of clothing care
With the material in hand, Henrik’s task was to go looking for the needs it could fill and problems it could solve in our everyday lives. And he didn’t have to look far – not farther than his own bedroom in fact.
"Almost everyone I know puts their clothes on a chair when they go to bed at night. And so do I,” says Henrik. “I was inspired by the classic gentlemen’s valet stands and I definitely wanted one myself.”
Indeed, everywhere in the world people need good ideas to help them with the never-ending washing, drying, storing and sorting of their clothes. A valet stand takes care of the clothes that are only used once but could be used again, cutting down on laundry and making the endless cycle of clothing care a bit simpler.
Affordable but with all the essentials
While the classic valet stand has become a bit of a status symbol, Henrik’s smart design thinking with the flattened steel pipes make it more affordable and take it back to its simple functional origin: to keep your clothes fresh for longer by properly holding them at the ready.
But Henrik made sure to include all the essential design features of more expensive valet stands. That includes a hanger-shaped top for keeping shirts and jackets in good shape, as well as rails for hanging skirts and pants and hooks for belts, handbags and scarves.
“It even has a tray on top for keeping track of coins, watches and jewellery,” Henrik explains. “And though the slim design takes very little visual space, the construction is strong enough to handle many layers of clothing without folding under the weight.”
What else can you do with a curtain rod?
In the classic creativity exercise, participants are asked to come up with as many possible uses for an everyday object as they can. When it comes to a curtain rod, in addition to the valet stand why not make a clothes rack, shelving units, a clothes bar and a drying rack? The resulting MULIG series transforms the humble curtain rod into all of these products, and helps you simplify the never-ending cycle of clothing care.