Robern Uplift Suite, 2008-2010

The Uplift Suite consists of a vertically opening mirrored cabinet, modular wall hanging vanities, and complimentary luminaires that are designed for task and grooming applications. This collection from Robern answers the need to hide clutter and provides options for creating a personalized and expressive grooming space.

As a part of the Robern New Product Development team, I was involved in the upfront needs finding and initial design specification for the Uplift collection. As a new product category for Robern, the bath vanity system was designed as a series of wall hung modular drawers that accommodate a variety of sink mounting options. I also designed specialized accessories for the drawer interiors, such as a hairdryer holder with integrated cord management and built-in electric outlets.

There were many spacial and component utilization challenges in this modular system. Available in a variety of widths, depths, and with an illuminated LED drawer pull option, it was a focus to provide maximum storage space for the user, while developing a system that efficiently reused component parts. 

To provide custumer education and help with ordering information, I also created the concept for an interaction web application that would present all of the collection configurations.  

It has been a challenge for consumers to find ideal bath lighting that meets their needs for grooming during the day and subtle illumination during the night, without sacrificing luxury style or sustainability. 

There are many challenges to providing ideal task lighting in the bathroom:

  • Overhead lighting creates shadows on your face.

  • Many fixtures create harsh spot lights, or do not provide enough light output, or the correct color for grooming

  • Sconces can sometime limit an architect’s design when considering task lighting, especially when you prefer uninterrupted wall space.

  • When placed on the sides of a large mirror, sconce might be set too far apart to provide enough illumination for grooming.

  • There is not always an option of mounting sconces by drilling through mirror or tile

Finding the right lighting that aids in night time trips to the bathroom is also difficult:

  • Night time trips to the bathroom can seriously disrupt your sleeping pattern with intense light that can throw off your circadian rhythm.

  • Plug-in night lights are unsightly, take up valuable outlet space, add clutter to your bathroom, or might be located too far away from the objects you need to find.

  • Fussing with switches for dimmable fixtures is not convenient during sleepy night hours.

Available as a pendant or sconce, Robern’s Uplift Lights solve all of these concerns.

The Uplift Lights provide enough light to flank a mirror up to 36 inches wide. The custom cord for the cylindrical glass fixture was specially developed so that it hangs straight, eliminating ugly kinks and bends found in other hanging fixtures. Besides having a unique modern aesthetic, the hanging shade provides added functionality for the sconce. If the sconce is accidentally bumped, the glass shade will swing, rather than crack under the impact like most sconces. The low profile design is also ADA compliant.

The sleek mirrored door of the cabinet opens upward, allowing the seamless mirror to span up to four feet wide. An aluminum handle enables effortless two-finger lifting of the door to avoid smudging the mirror, while the door has a position-hold feature that allows it to remain in a partially open position. Other cabinets with a seamless horizontal mirror might be limiting for households with petite and tall persons, but the vertically lifting door accommodates a very large height range of people to perform grooming tasks comfortably.

The Uplift Cabinet has several optional accessories, such as storage shelves, a pull out magnifying mirror, and a mount for a flat screen TV.