CREATING A PREMIUM SOLUTION SUITED FOR BOTH CONSUMERS AND PROFESSIONAL INSTALLERS TO ASSEMBLE
A gap in ClosetMaid’s laminate portfolio needed to be filled between their custom high-end closet system and upgraded DIY closet system. This provided a chance to create a new closet system that was not in the current portfolio and existing line-up, a laminate hanging closet system and a laminate wardrobe system. Concept sketches were created to help envision what the program could turn into. The team decided to move forward with a wardrobe system.
Research was needed to familiarize the team with market trends, expectations, competitors, price points, trends, and accessories. The main competitors were the IKEA Pax system and Container Store TCS Closets. Each competitor had its own way of differentiating its products in the market. Pax is a DIY wardrobe priced at an OPP and backed with a huge selection of accessories while TCS is a high-end built-in premium closet that is professionally installed.
After seeing what was in the market, the team had to find a way to stand out from the competitors. The first way to differentiate the system was to utilize trim around the entire unit to change the style, look, and thickness, which could also match the different styles of door profiles. The competitors could only differentiate their styles by using drawer fronts and doors. Without them, the design would be a plain box. A point of differentiation with our system is that it could be tailored for either consumers or professional installers to assemble.
An opportunity to expand the use of SpaceCreations in the home came up during preliminary research. Traditionally, wardrobes are used outside of a closet and have at least a 22” depth. We looked at common depths that are used for storage around the home. The result of this research decided that the depth needed to be cut down to 14” instead of the traditional wardrobe depth of 22”. This is because it fits inside a closet better and can be used in more areas around the home.
Initial prototypes were created to get an idea of scale and proportion. We made prototypes of the 14” depth and 22” depth to confirm our decision of cutting down to a 14” depth. Assembly was necessary to test to ensure consumers were able to assemble it themselves. The existing ClosetMaid DIY programs had the towers in two sections so it was easier to manage and assemble while SpaceCreations used full gables, which made it a bit more challenging for someone to bring it inside the home and to assemble it.
As a phase 1 launch, it launched with two colors: white and chocolate. The flexibility of the system can be used almost anywhere in the home like walk-in closets, reach-in closets, out of closets, mudrooms, pantries, living rooms, offices, and nurseries.