Celebrating its 6th anniversary, Kide bathroom furniture is timeless, sustainable and above all durable
SATO’s Kide range of bathroom furniture grew from a passion for durability and the desire to offer SATO residents more than just four walls. Six years on, the sustainable Kide range can already be found in more than 12,000 bathrooms. The next step in the evolution of the range will see more rounded shapes and an even wider selection of choices.
“The Kide range aims for longevity in terms of design and materials alike. All products in the range can be used equally well in bathrooms and separate toilets and they really are very durable,” says Jonna Röynä, designer of the Kide range and expert on product development and interior design at SATO, one of Finland’s largest rental housing providers.
“I set out to design products that make daily life a little easier for people. If a product does not deliver added value, there is no point in making it,” Jonna summarises the philosophy underlying the design of the Kide range.
Say no to mountains of scrap – 12,500 kg less waste per year
SATO and Jonna wished to develop maintenance-free products with a long lifecycle.
“The lifecycle approach has been fundamental to the Kide range from the very outset. We have considered every aspect thoroughly, from cost-efficiency to production efficiency and waste minimisation,” Jonna says.
The Kide range is made from compact laminate, a material familiar from locker rooms in places such as public pools or gyms. Its ability to withstand wear and moisture is outstanding.
“The compact laminate in the range comes with a 25-year warranty, which means that it really is a highly durable material.”
The exceptionally long warranty period means that bathroom furniture need not be replaced as often as used to be the case. This, in turn, allows SATO to generate 12,500 kg less waste per year.
Sustainability and elimination of wastage are integral to the manufacture and delivery of Kide furniture, too. The Kankarin kaluste factory that makes the Kide furniture gets its heating from surplus laminate sheets and the shavings left over from cutting the sheets to measure. This allows all sheet materials to be utilised down to the very last scrap.
In logistics, sustainability shows in the packaging of deliveries. Kide furniture is pre-assembled at the factory and packed on specially designed pallets so that the delivery trucks can be filled as efficiently as possible. The products are tightly packed and the trucks never make empty runs.
Sustainability is important to SATO residents, too. A resident survey conducted in March 2023 showed that the housing choices of as many as one in two respondents were influenced by sustainable bathroom furniture of exceptional durability that was made in Finland. The survey had 273 respondents, all of whom had Kide range furniture in the bathroom of their rental home.
Agile development and insights into everyday living
Jonna says effective design starts out with insights into everyday living. Thinking about how to make something that already exists even better. Feedback from the field is an important element in the development process.
“The washbasin in the Kide range, for example, was modified on the basis of user feedback. In response to the wish that the basin could be changed to make it easier to wash a baby’s bottom in it, we made the basin deeper and wider,” Jonna explains. “Now the washbasin has more room for manoeuvring and is better suited for a variety of uses.”
Another example of the outcomes of insight is the mirror cabinet light fixture, which is one of the more recent additions to the Kide range. The up-and-down fixture that gives off natural daylight was designed specifically for bathrooms that do not have a ceiling light, and it is powerful enough to illuminate the entire space.
The Kide range has been praised for its practicality. Ease of care and effective storage are aspects raised in the resident survey, with particular praise given to the modern, timeless look of the range. The survey revealed that bathroom furniture is an important criterion when choosing rental home – nearly 90% of respondents said that how the fixtures looked was either important or very important to them in making their choice.
For SATO, having a dedicated range has been nothing but positive. It has allowed SATO to respond with agility to the challenges of everyday living, to generate added value for residents and to create something new and lasting.
“There have been few advances in the field of fixtures since the mid-1900s. On the contrary, in fact: the industry has gone backwards in switching from solid-wood furniture to particle board, which does not have the same durability,” Jonna explains.
“This is why it feels so good to have had the chance to make my own contribution to the history of the construction industry by designing the sustainable and durable Kide range.”
More colours and options for bathrooms
Over the six years it has been in existence, the Kide range has grown to include the current 30 products. Originally designed exclusively for SATO, the range was made freely available to all consumers in 2019.
The next chapter in the story of the Kide range promises to be a colourful one. “We intend to incorporate new colours in the range for use in newbuild housing. Even prints are possible on compact laminate!” Jonna hints at future developments.
Besides finetuning and new products, there have been no major changes to the range: “In practice, there have been no problems and we have hardly had any customer complaints, either,” Jonna is happy to point out.
In other words, Kide has done what many only dream of doing – nailed it in one!
Kide is made in Finland and it has been awarded the Key Flag and Design From Finland symbols. Manufactured in the town of Kihniö, the range was designed in collaboration with woodwork specialist Pekka Pusa of the furniture company Kankarin kaluste.