An Interview with Sonya, Designer of the Vietti Bar Cabinet


Pier-Ann: Hi Sonya! For those who don’t know you, how about a quick run-down of your career at South Shore Furniture?

Sonya: I celebrated my first anniversary at South Shore on June 1 (time sure flies!). I was hired as a technical designer in the New Products Development Department. There were a lot of projects on the go, so they suggested that I might like to design furniture because of my training in industrial design. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since, along with technical design!

P-A: What does the Vietti bar cabinet mean to you?

S: This piece is really my “baby!” It’s the first design project I worked on from A to Z. The usual route is that you’re offered a particular assignment – and you go on to conceive an idea for the piece through research and analysis, then you present your initial concepts, which you usually have to rework until you get a final result that’ll go into production.

For this project, I visualized the bar cabinet as soon as I was offered the assignment! I presented my initial concept, and the approval committee accepted it right away. Here’s the proof: this is the concept I presented – hand drawn by me – and this is the final result.

I’m really proud of this creation, since it’s such a great combination of functionality and esthetics.

P-A: What kind of ideas were going through your head as you created this piece?

S: I wanted to create a functional and very attractive piece, so people looking at it would want to buy it right away! I also wanted something versatile that could, for example, be used either as a bar cabinet or for storage in the entryway.

P-A: Well, in that sense, you can definitely say “Mission accomplished!” What feature of this piece would you say is your favorite?

S: The diagonal shelves! This feature gives the piece a lot of style, and whoever buys it also gets the option of customization: I personally would arrange the shelves in a V, but they can also form an A, or be parallel to each other… or you can just take them out and put in some baskets. So people can buy this piece to use as a bar cabinet, and a year later, put it in another room and change the look so it meets a new set of needs.

P-A: I would say that my favorite feature is the storage space for 32 wine bottles!

S: Exactly – that’s another great feature! It really meets your bottle storage needs: the small square spaces can hold 2 wine bottles apiece, and the triangular spaces can hold 6. And you can even add more bottles if you take out the 2 diagonal shelves! So this one piece of furniture gives you a number of storage options.

P-A: Where would this piece go in your home?

S: I have 2 choices – and I can’t decide!

I could use it as a bar cabinet in my dining room: the height of the piece makes it the perfect place for people to gather when we have family and friends over. And the vinyl surface – which is more resistant – is perfect for holding our glasses and bottles.

But the look of this piece also means I could put it in my entryway: take out the diagonal shelves and put in baskets to store my kids’ mittens, toques, and scarves in winter when they come in from playing outside, and place a bowl on top for keys.

P-A: Wow! You’ve already thought about your décor and how you’d organize things!

S: For sure! What’s more, it’s the perfect height for our mail or keys… all the stuff you want to put down somewhere when you come in the door!

P-A: So what 3 words would you use to describe your bar cabinet?

S: Functional, design, and customizable!

P-A: Bonus question: What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

S: A mojito, with friends! And what’s more, I can store my rum in the closed compartments at the bottom of the bar cabinet!

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