Anders Larsson, Architect
REFLECTIONS ON NEEDS AND CHALLENGES OVER TIME
The need for storage differs from generation to generation and through different ages in life, while different forms of living affect which storage solutions can be provided. Families with children need space for all of their toys and leisure activity accessories. Meanwhile, seniors who are leaving their large villas to move into smaller apartments will have managed to accumulate lots of objects with sentimental value that they do not wish to part with.
Today we also live a more active life than before. Even as we age, we do activities that require special garments and ungainly gadgets. How can we live "pleasantly" with all these things around us? How is this attainable when we still want open floor plans, mobile glass wall solutions and a modern, minimalistic home?
As an architect in Sweden, you need to follow building requirements that determine how much storage we should have as a minimum. A certain number of wardrobe units should be available, depending on how many people the home is intended for. The kitchen counter should have a certain length, just as there are recommendations for the numbers of cabinets and shelves. When designing housing, you must also consider the project’s ambitions, and the wishes and dreams of the people who will be living there.
The challenge is that we often build relatively few square meters per room today, which limits the possibilities for furnishing rooms in different ways, as well as getting extra storage. But a good way of meeting these different needs is providing extra areas for flexible storage that the residents themselves can supplement.
We are now beginning to see a trend for storage becoming increasingly important. A walk-in-closet and a kitchen island are things that many people want. Flexible wardrobes with sliding doors provide much better storage than regular wardrobes. And having good, well-planned laundry areas in the bathroom is popular and provides comfort.
Forecasting the future of living is difficult. Government rules for what housing should contain are constantly being reviewed, and will probably be updated as soon as we see new environmental and hygiene requirements on the horizon. But one thing that is clear is that we will be seeing more flexible, sustainable storage solutions that will allow you to grow in a home for a long period of your life. And these will mean you will want to spend more time at home and enjoy your everyday life, whatever your generation or housing type.
Anders Larsson, arkitekt
Anders Larsson is an award-winning architect, active in both Sweden and Denmark. Runs ALoCo architectural firm.
Nina Campioni is a journalist, author and presenter. She is one of Sweden's largest fashion bloggers with experience from magazines, Swedish Television and has her own podcast.
Caroline Stark is a real estate agent and partner at one of Sweden's largest real estate firms, Bjurfors. With extensive experience of selling both villas and condominiums in south of Sweden.
Jörgen Ramnelöv is a trend scout and works at the external analysis and trend agency Docere, which carries out analysis assignments, training and runs the trend site Buzzter.
Jannice Wistrand is a Feng Shui consultant and certified interior designer. She is the founder of the consulting company Add Simplicity and her blog Simplicity is one of the Nordic region's largest in interior design.
Ella Johansson is Professor of European Ethnology at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University. Previous positions include Humboldt University, Berlin and the Swedish College of Advanced Studies in Uppsala.
Christine Dalman has been working with Elfa for the past 30 years and is Elfa’s Senior PR Specialist and Storage Expert.