Please select your language

Studio Asparagus
Architecture & Design

The design aesthetics that are proven timeless

Tina Kovačiček

February 28, 2024

In addition to being a convincing aesthetic witness of time, design often goes beyond its purely utilitarian function. True collectors and design lovers will agree that it is a matter of passion and research, following a certain era. Then the aesthetics become timeless, and the pieces of a certain era get a new life. Therefore, sometimes you don’t need a new piece of furniture, but just a new look at the old one. These are the brands and individuals who prove that the retro aesthetic is timeless.

Studio Asparagus

Tomislav Grgurević from Dubrovnik founded Studio Asparagus completely by accident and unexpectedly, he tells me. “I spent several months in 2006 in Berlin, which was already full of interiors decorated with cheap and expensive vintage designs, cheap shops and high-end galleries, flea markets and fairs. After returning to Zagreb, full of impressions, I started to find various objects and collect them for myself. In the beginning, I knew very little or almost nothing about everything. I looked forward to every new discovery and expansion of my own knowledge. I started trading on eBay as an amateur in 2010 to get rid of things I don’t need. After years of learning and gaining experience, in 2017 I decided to quit my well-paying job and start Studio Asparagus as an online shop with 20th century design.”

Studio Asparagus
Studio Asparagus
Studio Asparagus
Studio Asparagus
Studio Asparagus
Studio Asparagus

Asparagus’ primary focus is on modernism, radical and postmodern design. Many of the items are mass-produced pieces of design from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, but there are always high-production, unique, collector’s and museum pieces among them. “Since 2018, I have intensively acquired designer pieces in Italy, Germany and Austria. Sometimes at auctions, but more often from other dealers or from private owners. I found some interesting pieces in Croatia and Slovenia, but the right place to buy vintage design is the countries of Western Europe. In some periods, the collection is replenished more intensively, but almost every month at least a few new pieces arrive.”

Studio Asparagus

I asked Tomislav what is so attractive about retro aesthetics, vintage design, past times… First of all, the idea of ​​recycling the old and putting it in the context of modern living is attractive. Vintage and retro are considered old only because of the production date, but in fact it is a very modern and contemporary addition to interiors. Somewhere in there since the early 2000s, vintage design 20. century, it slowly became a trend and mainstream, and today it is ubiquitous. It refines and gives character to the spaces where we live and work. Works of great Italian and Scandinavian designers of the 20th century. century, decades after their creation, they do not fade or lose their value.”

How to get to Studio Asparagus? The shops are located on the online platforms Etsy , 1stDibsChairish , and the easiest way to get in touch is through Instagram .


Made In Yugoslavia

Spela Golčer never dreamed that she would manage to turn her hobby and passion into an interesting job. Špela, from Ljubljana, studied art history, but already during her studies she started to deal with marketing and advertising. She founded the Made in Yugoslavia brand five years ago as a result of her enthusiasm for the exceptional design of Yugoslavia, which has not yet received the place it deserves on the world map. “Vintage furniture, old music, clothes, aesthetics and design have been close to me since I can remember. I started collecting them intensively when I moved into my first apartment, which I furnished with vintage pieces from my surroundings – that is, from the time of Yugoslavia. Over time, a lot of items accumulated that I decided to sell.”

Made in Yugoslavia

The Made in Yugoslavia vintage collection consists of various pieces of furniture and household items that we used in our daily life in the former Yugoslavia. In Špela’s collection, there are certainly the most of them from Slovenia, which were produced in the former state, such as Meblo, Emi Poljčane, Sijaj Hrastnik, Stol Kamnik, Iskra, Saturnus and others. He finds items at flea markets, on Internet classifieds, and rarely in bulk waste.

“The whole period of Yugoslav design and aesthetics is for me one big inexhaustible source of inspiration. That’s why two years ago I started my own collection of retro posters, clothes and fashion accessories that draws inspiration from the good old days .”

How to get Made in Yugoslavia? You can find the collection, which includes t-shirts, posters and other products with a Yugoslav flair, as well as smaller vintage pieces on the website , and larger vintage pieces on the Etsy online store .


Retro design

The founder of the Retro Design brand, Marija Stjepanović, was led by her passion for art into various hobbies. Her professional education covers interior design, but her real passion is furniture design. “This fascination led me to take on more complex projects and renovations. I’ve always believed that old, refurbished pieces of furniture bring a sense of warmth and nostalgia to a space, which simply cannot be achieved with industrially produced items. My adventure with retro design began when I devoted myself to the restoration of armchairs from the mid-20th century. century. At that time, I was regularly searching ads for vintage furniture, and that’s how I came across a particularly interesting armchair that I decided to restore. After I posted it on the classifieds, I sold it very quickly. The numerous inquiries that followed indicated great interest, which motivated me to acquire and restore more similar armchairs. They all sold quickly, and that’s how restoration became my job.”

Over time, Marija decided to take an additional step – the production of new armchairs inspired by retro style, which turned out to be an excellent move. After the armchairs, they expanded the range with several more products, including stools and three types of coffee tables for the living room. The brand began to grow, and soon orders from abroad began to arrive.

Retro Design

“The advantage of our offer compared to mass production is the wide range of personalization options, including the choice of fabrics and wood colors. This is particularly attractive to interior designers, who can fully adapt the furniture to their projects. The handwork we put into each armchair also adds value and makes them unique. Our furniture evokes special nostalgia, and conversations with customers often begin with memories of moments spent with grandparents who owned the same armchairs. Since my creative spirit has no peace, after some time I decided to combine my love for drawing and interior design and started designing wall wallpapers with retro motifs, but with a more modern touch. Inspired by wallpaper designs from the 70s of the last century, I created a collection of original, hand-drawn patterns, printed on high-quality structured vinyl, in a peel-and-stick design.

How to get Retro Design pieces? The products are available through the webshop.