Storage for all children who know best
A number of years ago, we developed STUVA storage system with drawers, shelves and cabinets which swallow up children's toys, clothes and other things. We adapted all the parts for children so that they themselves can pick out and put back their things. Instead of the usual handle, we made openings that even small children can easily grab. But there was a problem with the openings – they let dust in. So we went back to the pattern shop and updated the entire system. It resulted in STUVA/FRITIDS.
Have you also stood there, just before dinner or children's bedtime, and looked out over a sea of toys, clothes and other things? It's in these moments when you wish you had a magic wand to quickly get everything in its correct place. Product Developer Nicolas Cortolezzis and his colleagues at Children's IKEA don't know anything about magic, but they know a lot about smart storage. A number of years ago, they developed STUVA, a storage system which makes those frustrating moments easier to handle. "The idea for STUVA was that all things should have their obvious place in cabinets, drawers and on shelves. We adapted the height so that even a three-year-old in their 'I can do everything on my own' phase should be able to reach their favourite things", explains Nicolas.
Instead of handles sticking out, which children risk running into when playing, Nicolas and his team chose to make rounded openings which even small children could easily grab.
Storage free from dust
The response from families with children around the world was positive: STUVA really made keeping things in order at home much easier. But there was a problem, says Nicolas. "In big cities and warmer countries which often have the windows open, homes easily become dusty, and when we visited homes some of the families told us that the openings could let both dust and insects in." This prompted Nicolas and his colleagues to go back to the pattern shop for more development work. The solution was a recess in all doors and drawer fronts.
"The handle would still be an integral part of the front, so that nothing stuck out. We also wanted to keep the grip-friendly shape, but rounded the edges slightly."
All parts were safety tested again, and since the team was working with updating anyway, they also added some new colours, such as tomato red and green.
Life in constant motion
Life with children involves constant change and motion. When a three-year-old suddenly is a skateboard riding ten-year-old with much larger shoes, it's actually easy to believe in magic. But as everything grows – children, clothes and the amount of things – STUVA/FRITIDS can also grow and change in character. In the spacious pull-out box, skateboards might replace soft toys and dolls, while more and more books and photos fill space on the shelves. If more space is needed, you can complete with more parts. STUVA/FRITIDS might not create a great deal of magic, but smart and safe storage can at least help you enjoy small moments of orderliness and peace of mind in everyday life. And regardless of whether children have their own room or store their things in the family room, it's important with well-thought-out design and colour, according to Nicolas.
"We wanted to give STUVA/FRITIDS a cheerful and playful look. Good storage doesn't need to be boring."