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  • Writer's pictureEmma Stergoulis Design

Upcycle the Italian Way – Manoteca

Manoteca, based in Bologna, Italy, takes discarded materials and up cycles them to create unique pieces of  functional furniture, which in them selves are sure to set themselves as a talking piece.. The designer, Elisa Cavani, likes for her creations to keep the furniture and discarded finds as close to their original state as possible.

Elisa has made tables, chairs, mirrors and light stands which all have a magical quirkiness that sets them apart from other things I have seen, making them effectively a functional piece of art.  Many even have dual purposes, for example her ‘Indoor’ piece (above and below), made out of a door and can be used as a desk or a dining table, perfect functionality for a smaller space!


“The Indoor” sits eight as a dining table or can be turned into a functional desk at the lift of a hinge with it recycled rawhide pockets…

“I collect objects, take them home and then I wonder what they would like to be. The Manoteca project originates from my personal need to retrain the mind to be flexible by eliminating the prejudice and setting the imagination free”. That is how a door becomes a table that you can use inside and outside and a light bulb becomes a drop of water for the photosynthesis of a tree that produces the light. The game is for me one of the best existing creative processes. As adults we possess more information and can build more complex associations but when we decide to grow up, we tend to stop considering alternative solutions, the space narrows, the colours fade away, and we suffocate. I wanted to avoid drying out as it often happens to the plants in my apartment. Manoteca is just my point of view, is how I would like things to be if it were me to create them.” Elisa Cavani

Here are a few more of her fab projects…. let me know what you think and which is your favourite!


The light is to resemble a drop of water falling into the water surrounding the trunk ( which is made out of resin to look like water)….The leather wires run through the trunk.


I think one of my favourites has to be the trike that doubles up as a book case and lamp… obviously appeals to my inner child.


If you are looking for a new kitchen then Manoteca has the cabinets and sinks for you.  Made out of an old Carpenters table Elisa has bought the work mate into the kitchen…

you can also add in the four people kitchen Island


And for those who enjoy that little bit of humour in your furniture, I love this little quirky bed stand which has it’s own little nightlight powered by some secret little workers…

The little man waits under the street lamp, little is he aware that the men underground are keeping him bathed in light!!!

and repairing environmental damage!…..

I hope you enjoyed… on with the colourful journey…….

(all pictures are copyright Monteca)

#art #design #italiandesigners #Upcycle #architecture #Recycle #Italy #sustainablefurniture #repurpose #Monteca #InteriorDesign #trends

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