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 favorite 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.
The response from families with children around the world was positive: STUVA really made keeping things organized 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 colors, such as tomato red and green.