Up to a few years ago, the graphic design studio Representa was right in down-town Pordenone, a little city in the North-East of Italy. It was a choice made to be closer to clients or the presumed prestige associated with having an office in the historic city centre. But at the end of the day, between how hard it was to find parking and the abysmal quality of life, it just wasn't worth it.
"We couldn't even open the window because of the noise from the cars and the smog," recounts Nicola, one of the two partners of the studio.
The choice to move out to the countryside, half an hour by car from the centre, was first and foremost a creative need.
We decided to get away from the background noise, the stereotypes, the clichés, things viewed but not really seen, things said out of habit, the saturation. And we did that physically. - Nicola Benedetti, graphic & web designer
In the end, even the clients themselves benefited. Losing themselves in this relaxing rural dimension, where the whinnying of horses and the smell of freshly ploughed soil have replaced honking horns and smog, is a pleasure for them as well.
The two partners took care of the renovation themselves. One by one, they designed and installed the bespoke woodwork running along the walls and put down natural oak floors; they painted the walls, leaving the original brick exposed and choosing red, the studio's institutional colour. What was once the drab attic of an old country house was transformed into a fresh, welcoming space that fully represents them, a far cry from the unnatural styles of industrial lofts.
In choosing the heating system, Nicola and Marco went for an environmentally friendly and easy to use alternative: a pellet stove.
"The first driver was the appearance. There aren't many stoves like MCZ's Cute on the market. It was love at first sight! We immediately imagined it nestled among the white walls of our studio. - Nicola Benedetti, graphic & web designer
Considering the wide volume to heat (the height of the ceiling is over 4 and a half metres), two stoves had to be installed; one next to the meeting table and the other in the part across from the open space. "When you're sitting still for many hours behind a computer," explains Nicola, "the temperature has to stay rather high."
The practicality of the pellet stove was a must. "I certainly couldn't wake up at six in the morning to heat the office," explains Nicola. "I set both stoves to switch on before we get there and they switch off when we leave."
The Cute model has two other virtues that did not go unnoticed.
First of all, it is a very quiet model that heats efficiently even in "No-Air" mode, that is, without ventilation. That makes it perfect for a space where concentration is key.
Second, the pleasure of the flame. Compared to other pellet stoves on the market, Cute has a wide, natural flame like a wood fire.
That kind of flame creates a homey feeling right away. Even the clients relax and working becomes a pleasure for everyone. - Nicola Benedetti, graphic & web designer