A Classic, Cheaper: Affordable Uten.Silo Alternatives

A Classic, Cheaper: Affordable Uten.Silo Alternatives

Gregory Han
Sep 4, 2013

This weekend a friend and I found ourselves deep in the discussion of the always entertaining topic of, "if I had all the money in the world" scenario, specifically about organizing and furnishing our ideal home office/maker studio. At one point both of us blurted out the very same design while describing our ideal workspace storage: the Uten.Silo wall organizer...

Designed by Dorothee Becker in 1969 and reissued by Vitra, the Uten.Silo's versatility as a storage unit makes it applicable to just about any room, and not surprisingly has become a commonly coveted design classic. Unfortunately, like many, my affinity for the modular and mod storage classic is tempered by its retail price ($395.00 for the smaller version), compelling me to seek a few affordable alternatives (all the while hoping I might still find a used bargain one day online or at a flea market).

The Land of Nod's I Could've Been a Wall Organizer isn't hiding the source of its inspiration, obviously very similar (though simplified) to Becker's original. Each storage unit is 16"W x 3.25"D x 22"H, available for a reasonable $49.00, and available in aqua, lime, and pink (spray paint them for a custom color finish for something beyond the playroom spectrum).

For the price of one small Uten.Silo one could instead purchase two sets of Urbio's Big Happy Family ($175.00 each) with a few dollars left for some decent pens to throw in. This modular wall organizing kit works well in the home office, in the kitchen, craft room, or as a hanging wall garden. Unlike its classic predecessor, the Urbio system is highly customizable for unique vertical, horizontal, or freeform arrangements since theses sets are comprised of individual magnetically supported and repositionable squares.

Design*Sponge's Amy Azzarito applied her DIY skills and sewed a graphic felt and canvas rendition of the Uten.Silo, replacing the hard plastic containers with softer and flatter pockets for wall storage. Depending upon scrap materials available, this DIY project may only cost you a few hours to complete.

(Images: Vitra, Land of Nod, Urbio, Design*Sponge)

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