The result was a stunning, surreal, Italian villa that pulled inspiration from a variety of Italian design. It is a place that anyone, or any dog, would dream of.
We sat down with Alin, founder of S T O A, on his studio, his design process, and his inspiration for the room you see today.
Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to start S T OA ?
Alin: My background is in architecture. When I’m not designing spaces or creating digital art, I love making coffee and food to friends and family; I like being a host. I am also keen to having an active lifestyle – fitness, basketball and a new hobby, tennis – though the current pandemic did have an impact on it. Being an architect is actually freeing in the sense of not being confiding to one job and one job only. It’s quite a multidisciplinary career, because you can experiment with so many passions and opportunities in this field that you have the option of switching lanes when getting bored. Hence, this ability of taking in different types of projects is the first reason for opening the new studio.
A second reason was the ambition and desire to express my own ideas or visions. But as an inspiration, I honestly think the quarantine – though was and still is such a terrible time – it had an impact on many, allowing the occasion for introspection and therefore the conjuncture for taking risks.
Where do you draw your design inspiration for this conceptual home?
Alin: The Memphis Home is more so an homage to the 80’ design style with the same name. Being founded in Milan by architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, the amalgamation of Italian genius loci which can be summarized as grounded in tradition and the Memphis Group that eludes convention by chasing the radical sometimes reaching to outrageous outcomes.
Ultimately, these concepts created a dialogue of a space that is simultaneously bold, colorful, fun and anchored, homey, content. Not least of all, the dogs played an important role in tailoring the space.
Walk us through the design process in conceptualizing this reimagined home? Where do you begin and how does it all come to life?
Alin: Like all architectural projects, it starts with the site. Though in our case the project takes place in a dream – a “dog’s dream” to quote Gabriela and Drew.
The next big part in the design process is performed by the client – Gabriela and Drew. Their ideas were already emerging since the Grid Collection was under way. They brought forth the ingredients of the space (transcendence, surrealism, a dog’s dream) and I, as a designer, had to envision a tailor-made recipe.
A preview of the space before texture, lighting, and final render.
What are your favorite pieces in the imagined home?
Alin: Definitely the dogs! Additionally, the beds are such a well-designed minimalistic piece, they literally become an integral piece of the space. Lastly, the play of shadows is stunning to say the least.
What's next for S T O A?
Alin: S T O A is still such a young office – is yet awaiting its first birthday – that my attention is drawn upon the now rather than towards the next. Of course, the strategy is as before to develop S T O A as a multidisciplinary design space which includes architecture, design, digital art and who knows…
About S T O A:
The LAY LO Grid Collection
Our latest grid dog bed collection brings you a refined pattern that’s a perfect blend of 80’s Italian style and classic Scandinavian warmth. Pairing a rich, yet elegant colors with simple white lines, the grid beds bring visual interest and structure to just about any room in your house.