FLOAT UTENSIL HOLDER

Keeps favorite tools in reach and frees up valuable counterspace in the kitchen.

 

Float makes it easy and fast to grab just the utensil you need when you need it. It accommodates utensils of various shapes and sizes so you can keep all your favorites side by side.

 

Float is licensed and produced by Umbra. You can purchase it at major market retailers as well as on Amazon.com.

“Say goodbye to jumbled drawers and the overloaded canister next to the stove. A brilliant design.”

 
Float under cabinet utensil holder, produced by Umbra and designed by Brandon Williams.

Float under cabinet utensil holder, produced by Umbra and designed by Brandon Williams.

 

To see how the product works, check out this 30-second stop-motion animation set to the tune of Float On by Modest Mouse. The video features an early prototyped version of the design.

 

The design process

One of the main challenges was being able to accommodate a wide range of tools with different handles. Favorites come in all shapes and sizes, and mismatched sets gather over the years. 

Favorites come in all shapes and sizes.

Favorites come in all shapes and sizes.

To figure out how to elegantly and effectively grip a variety of utensils, Brandon drew on his experience in the vacuum-formed plastics industry.  What ultimately worked was pairing a semi-flexible plastic sheet with the grippiness of  foam and then cutting individual "fingers" to allow independent movement.  To build this prototype, a sheet of acrylic was laser cut and then heated and bent it into the shape of an ‘M’. Next, strips of craft foam were added for additional gripping power. Ultimately, a three-part molding tool was built using plywood and felt, which enabled a more complex laser-cut part to be developed.  

 
Individual fingers allow independent movement, and the blue foam provides grip on this early prototype.

Individual fingers allow independent movement, and the blue foam provides grip on this early prototype.

 

The brand name Float and initial visual identity emerged in this stage as well to bring the concept to life. The concept was pitched to Umbra who retained the brand name, refined the material choices for manufacturing and durability, and brought the product to market in April 2017.

Early packaging concept and the foamcore kitchen built to showcase the concept. 

Early packaging concept and the foamcore kitchen built to showcase the concept.