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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

How Does Your Self-Storage Facility Rate on the Beauty Scale? Going for a Design 10

By Teri Lanza Comments
Posted in Blogs

In terms of aesthetics, how would you rate your self-storage facility? Is it a knockout or a plain Jane? The June issue of Inside Self-Storage magazine, our Design Issue & Showcase, is hitting the streets this week, highlighting some of the industry's most contemporary and eye-catching design treatments. It's refreshing to see how far the industry has come in its architectural evolution.

I've been working in this business for more than 14 years, and I'm still put out by the quizzical looks I get from people when I mention my connection to self-storage. With all the media exposure our industry has had, not to mention the sheer volume of facilities that now exist worldwide, there are still many who do not understand what our product is. Or, if they do, they immediately think of third-rate decrepit buildings that offer no visual appeal whatsoever. In the minds of many, self-storage will forever be unsightly metal boxes on sparse industrial lots—and, of course, hot beds of crime and havens for undesirables.

Facility no-no ... old and ugly!In reality, new storage facilities (and older ones that are now undergoing renovations and upgrades in response to consumer demand or market competition), are among an impressive class of commercial buildings. I've seen many gorgeous examples of modern storage developments; it's hard to believe they are the descendants of facilities like the one pictured here.

To take a gander at some current projects and get ideas for your own buildings, feel free to peruse our Fresh Trends Image Gallery, with contributions from several of the industry's top professionals in design and engineering. Whether you're looking to build a new facility or renovate an existing one, it should inspire you to create a more luxurious product.

Even an older facility can experience a Cinderella-like transformation at a reasonable cost. To read a case study of just such a project, check out the article on Space Place Self-Storage in the June issue. The magazine also includes articles on new construction materials and techniques, the design of space devoted to add-on products and services, solar-panel design, and more. If you aren't an ISS print subscriber but would like a copy of the June issue, you can buy a digital version in the Inside Self-Storage Store.

An attractive self-storage facility reaps many benefits:

  • It appeals to more customers and helps them to feel comfortable when on site.
  • It makes for happier neighbors, including residents and businesses.
  • It instills confidence in our industry on behalf of planning and zoning boards.
  • It raises the bar for the storage business as a whole.

So take a look at our design issue and showcases and see the potential for your own facility. Maybe it's time to go for that perfect 10. Have you recently finished a project or renovation of which you are proud? Let us know! We'll be happy to share your photos with ISS readers! You can send images to me at, or post a comment to the blog with a link to your online pics.


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