Cabinet Concept Designed to Streamline
ADRIAN, MI Designing rooms and spaces around the way people
actually use them doesn’t sound like rocket science. Yet
surprisingly, designers often find themselves designing around
products, rather than using products to create a design that
addresses consumer-specific needs.
Indeed, while many product manufacturers focus on product
aesthetics and function, far fewer offer the kind of design
flexibility necessary to make the products themselves proactive
partners in creating real design solutions.
A new concept in cabinetry recently introduced by the Adrian,
MI-based cabinet manufacturer Merillat aims to change all
“Organomics,” as it’s called, is about creating cabinetry
concepts that offer both organizational and ergonomic solutions for
consumers personalized to their individual needs and preferences.
The idea behind Organomics is that by designing flexible cabinet
and storage products that create solutions, rather than simply
functioning as boxes to be placed within a design, the product
itself becomes a “design partner” in solving challenges.
The theory behind Organomics is that each room in the home can
be divided into distinct areas, or “zones,” each equated with
specific tasks or functions. The goal of Organomics is then to “get
the most out of each zone by helping prioritize the space by how
and when it is used,” according to Merillat. The system focuses on
both organizational concerns and ergonomic issues.
In the kitchen
While all kitchens are unique, certain commonalities remain
constant in the way the basic space is used. To that end, Merillat
began by identifying six functions the kitchen is used for, and six
corresponding zones. These zones include the sink, food
preparation, cooking, storage/display, planning and eating
Based on the homeowner’s individual tastes, preferences and
requirements, these zones are then used to prioritize the space and
the cabinetry, as well as to organize each of these zones to make
them most effective.
To address ergonomic concerns, spaces should also be arranged in
four horizontal zones, from top to bottom. Items that are rarely
used are stored at the top level; items that are frequently used
should be stored at the second level; items that are most often
used should be stored at the third level, and items that are only
occasionally used should be stored at the bottom level.
Cabinetry at each level can then be configured to fit the types
of items that would be best suited to each storage zone, according
In the bath
The Organomics system works equally well in the bathroom, where
users need to have convenient access to frequently used items, keep
toiletries organized and have accessible storage for towels and
linens. Because it’s a high-traffic area, the bath is particularly
important in terms of streamlining storage functions.
Again, the Organomics system begins by dividing up the room into
appropriate zones, including the sink zone, where grooming racks
can provide a convenient place to store hair dryers, brushes, etc.;
a laundry and dressing zone, where a roll-out vanity hamper
provides a place to drop dirty towels; and the bath/shower zone,
where wall cabinets installed near the shower can offer easy access
These zones can then be customized to suit the needs of the
individual users, providing a more personalized environment that is
in such high demand in today’s bathrooms.
The Organomics system has been designed to organize other rooms of
the house, from laundry and hobby rooms to that ever-growing niche
the home office.
The home office, especially, tends to encompass a wide variety
and types of spaces, from part-time workspaces in kitchens or dens
to full-time offices that may or may not require room for meeting
Additionally, specialized storage for equipment can be a major
concern, with many home offices requiring a host of high-tech
amenities, each with specialized storage needs. Even more
importantly, ergonomics must be considered, since long hours
working in a space that is not ergonomically correct can be harmful
to a user’s long-term health and well being.
The Organomics system for the home office separates the office
into a workstation zone, where pull-out computer keyboards and
pull-down doors can be used to conceal desktop contents and provide
a neat, streamlined appearance; a communication zone, with lower
cabinets organized to protect fax machines, printers and the like;
and a storage zone, with drawer organizers, shelves and extra
counter space around the computer to facilitate a more effective