How do we imagine Rafa-kids wardrobe?
We tried to answer this question for over two years. We want our furniture range to complement each other. Beds, shelves, benches, and tables work on its own of course, but also in sets. Rafa-kids storage needed to fit right in the middle of the collection. The challenge was on! We sketched, build models, tested prototypes, and went back to the drawing board again and again.
We kept asking ourself and our kids what we want the most? What are the problems a wardrobe needs to solve? How to make it work playfully so a child will be happy to use it? Can we make it lower than the most available wardrobes on the market but still manage to fit a lot of storage?
Drawing a pretty shape is not a problem.
But combining all aspects of intelligent design in a piece that will still be beautiful and functional after years of use is a different story.
A wardrobe is pretty dull furniture. It is big and bulky, needing to store as much stuff inside as possible. It reminded us of our first designs of beds which are mostly as uninspiring as wardrobes. Most of the designers prefer to work on some more iconic pieces like chairs or tables. But make the biggest pieces of a bedroom as beautiful and inspiring as the rest of your house – game on.
So after a few sketchbooks filled with drawings and numbers of models on the shelves, we sat next to each other determined to finally nail it down. The design process, making try-outs and mistakes is essential, since you hardly ever get it right in one shot.
Good things need time and effort, no way around it.
Making a furniture prototype is one of the most exciting part of the process! After we have seen it, we were thrilled to realize that the wardrobe works very well. It has the right proportions, which you do not always manage to feel only looking at the drawings! And above all, it is fun to use!
There was still plenty of detail decisions to be made! Imagine the prototype sliding doors were too heavy to move at first, so we had to change them. The wardrobe also needed a stabilization system to make it work on all floors, even not very straight ones!
On top of that, we needed extra time to develop a unique assembly system for the wardrobe.
Believe it or not, but you don’t need any screws to put the H wardrobe together! All accessories and connectors are pre-assembled. You click the elements together, and you are set. Bye bye, the frustration and hours of trying to fix all the screws!
We know from our own experience that kids love to help setting up Rafa-kids furniture. Our eight years old Robert had a real blast clicking all the drawers together!
We were almost there with only the assembly manuals and packaging left to design. We do all of that in house at Rafa-kids. Assembly manual is always fun to draw, but with the sophisticated wardrobe, it was another design challenge, to say the least.
In the end, we decided to animate the manual and have it also as a video exclusively for our customers. The first comments we get from clients that assembled their wardrobes are super positive – thumbs up!
We also found out that the new wardrobe will weigh 120kg! It has many shelves, clothing rack, sliding doors, and soft-close drawers. Imagine this has an enormous consequence for shipping it worldwide. How to pack it to be sure it’s bulletproof!?
We decided to try to use only cardboard for packaging and protection so that the whole box is recyclable! The first wardrobes traveled already not only around Europe but also to the US, Australia, and even Thailand!
As you see the amount of work that goes into designing a perfect Rafa-kids H wardrobe is insane. Sometimes we wonder if being, so quality obsessed isn’t our curse. Each time our fans send us a message telling us they appreciate our beautifully designed and produced furniture, we know is all worth it!
We want each piece of Rafa-kids furniture to pass the test of time, so we feel responsible for doing it the best we can!