January. The month of resolutions: eat less, exercise more, stop watching so much junk on tv, cut back on the booze, be more generous with time and money for great causes; all great intentions that seem to fall by the wayside woefully soon.
One New Year resolution we have made all too often is to “de-clutter” the house and create a sense of organization. Being in the furniture business, we are privy to a wealth of options that promise to bring order and calm to our lives. We “ooh and aah” at shows in Europe over the meticulous storage solutions that are ingenious, gorgeously designed, and offer a panacea from the piles of “stuff” that surround us. We salivate over the astonishingly beautiful closet systems and desk configurations that make organization look so very, very simple. And we eagerly say, “We could do that! No problem.”
Unfortunately, there are a couple of major hurdles to this idea. One is that most European wall/storage systems are designed for European wall construction; they rely on wall-hanging hardware that is affixed to solid brick or block walls. That doesn’t work so well with the majority of American buildings that are constructed from wood or metal studs and drywall. So, unless you are starting new construction from scratch, creating significantly stronger walls, or you can creatively retrofit/reinforce the standard wall construction that already exists, you are invariably courting disaster.
The other problem is that many of the closet and wall systems from Italy and Germany are pretty darn complicated. There are multiple heights, widths, depths, uprights, plinths, finishes, hardware options, lighting options, and on and on. As a result, our best intentions are diverted and it is much too easy to say, “you know what…what we have isn’t so bad. Let’s just live with it.”
With all of that in mind, we were ecstatic to find a very clever and very simple system that was introduced by our friends at Huppe in Canada. Designed by Joel Dupras, the system is rightly called Gravity. The name is apt because 95% of the weight of the system carries straight down to the floor eliminating nearly all of the problems and issues of wall mounting. Gravity is a customizable and functional system that can be used throughout the home: libraries, offices, living spaces, as an a/v wall, and yes…beautiful, functional closets.
The basic building block of the system is one upright made of anodized aluminum (available in natural alu or in powder coated black). There are no left facing, right facing, middle uprights; there is just one that functions in every necessary capacity. This upright example is “L” shaped and mounts to the wall for stability with one simple bracket. The bottom of the upright is adjustable so leveling and stabilizing is a cinch. Within the frame is a track that allows for extremely easy adjustment of the support brackets that hold shelves, closet rods, drawer components and desks. If you want to change a shelf’s location down the road, no problem! Just slide it up or down, retighten and you are done.
The Gravity system is infinite. Get started with one unit and you could keep on going as long as you have wall space. Wrap the whole room or your whole house if you feel so inclined. With three shelf widths, various rods and drawers, and even a corner shelving solution, the possibilities are only limited to your imagination. (They will even custom-size your shelves and rods for a wall-to-wall design).
Gravity is not only function, it’s lovely to look at. The wood components available in birch, walnut, or oak veneers in a multitude of finishes soften up its industrial chic design. Shelves come in the same wood finish options and in a selection of designer lacquer colors.
If your New Year’s resolution was to declutter and bring some form & function to your space, Gravity is a perfect solution. In fact, with Gravity, this may just be the year when we finally act on our own suggestion and get ourselves organized, too.