Whether you’re a facilities manager for a university or working in procurement for a company building purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), you’re bound to have come across issues involving storage for students. Whether this is whilst the design and procurement stages of a new build or a refurbishment of existing halls of residence, storage within halls of residence can be challenging.
Students require enough storage for personal possessions whilst also having a functional and clean space to live within. This can be hard to create within the smaller dormitories or shared living quarters, so we’ve put together some solutions to help you maximise the available space.
The way contract furniture is designed and manufactured means it’s capable of withstanding rigours of consistent use for an extended period of time. Contract furniture is not only glued but reinforced with screws and dowels to produce furniture fit for purpose. Higher education furniture is no different, even bedroom casegoods.
The design not only needs to be durable but should be functional and maximise the small footprint halls of residence bedrooms have. As a result, storage options need to be plentiful in order to keep clutter away from the main areas of the bedroom and accommodate the student’s belongings.
Storage can be incorporated into a number of casegoods in a student bedroom. Cabin beds are a popular choice for halls of residence and allow drawers to be constructed in the base of the bed for extra storage of student’s belongings. As the drawers are flush with the bed there is no obstruction or additional floor space taken up. The drawers must be constructed using contract standard runners and solid bases to support weight.
More often than not you will not see an upholstered headboard in student halls of residence. Even though a padded headboard is a nice feature to a bedroom, from a practical perspective, they are just something else for the housekeeping team to keep clean. Over time, upholsteries may become worn or discoloured from the transfer of hair products or students leaning against them while working on their laptop.
Ottoman beds are a great choice when selecting student furniture for university halls of residence. With a large storage area underneath the mattress which is accessed by lifting the frame, these types of beds offer students an out-of-sight place to store personal possessions. As there are no drawers or features that protrude, they do not take up additional valuable floor space.
Wardrobes are one of the largest items in a hall of residence bedroom and can be bulky if not designed well. Their tall build allows them to take up less footprint compared to a chest of drawers. Wardrobes can be separated into two sections to allow students space for both hanging clothes and folded garments. One side of the wardrobe may be a rail and the other a series of shelves, or alternatively a rail across the wardrobe with a deep drawer placed at the bottom for additional storage.
Domestic and international students will bring pieces of bulky luggage with them and once it’s unpacked they will need space to store at least one suitcase. You can design a wardrobe with a top box that accommodates this which will keep the suitcase out of sight if the building does not have a separate luggage room for students.
When planning the layout of the student’s bedroom, it should be taken into consideration that hinged wardrobe doors take up floor space when opened. If there is a large enough footprint to the room this might not pose any problem, but if the room is challengingly small, an alternative option would be to design furniture with sliding doors on robust contract quality runners.
Another space saving idea is to place a full-length mirror on the wardrobe door or side panel itself. This means there is no need to use wall space for a wall-mounted mirror. A full-length mirror could also be put on the back of the bedroom door along with hooks for more hanging options.
Another possibility is to just have one door on the wardrobe that slides between either section. This enables the student to see into the wardrobe and reduces the cost for the operator.
A desk is clearly essential for a student room as it will serve as a space to work at, eat meals and get ready for a night at the student union with friends. This can be a free-standing desk with drawers and shelving incorporated into it. Drawer units on both sides of the desk do increase storage options but will mean the width of the desk increases significantly.
When designing or choosing a desk, it’s important to also consider the depth. The desk should provide enough space for a laptop and A4 stationary but should not protrude out too much and encroach on the limited circulation space around the bed.
Kitchen units should provide just enough storage for pots, pans, cutlery and food for the students. Stereotypically, students can be messy individuals and kitchens should be as maintenance free for housekeeping to clean and maintenance teams to keep in good repair.
Built-in appliances are not only favoured for their aesthetics, but for their convenience. Freeing up counter space for food preparation, appliances can be built into the kitchen units to create a clean, uncluttered finish. Features such as cooker shut-off timer controls and soft-close drawers on units are recommended as they reduce the potential for damages.
Kitchens can be as compact or as elaborate as budgets and restrictions allow. Working with an experienced design team will enable you to tailor student accommodation furniture and storage to the desired specifications, colours and finishes whilst working within your budget.
How Cubix Can Help
We have a skilled and experienced team of product designers and a manufacturing facility that specialises in producing the highest quality contract casegoods for the further education sector.
Our “Authors Collection” has been designed by our product development team at Cubix with enough designer style to appeal to undergraduates whilst being robust enough to withstand what we know to be a severe contract environment. The range has a well-considered balance of both high and low-level storage opportunities which caters both to student’s personal belongings and their study literature.
We welcome bespoke designs and will work with your team to help produce detailed drawings and concept visuals so you are able to envision the end product. For both fully fitted kitchen designs to bedroom casegoods, Cubix will provide a solution to your student accommodation storage needs.