IDS 360° Virtual Series: Caramba Furniture
IDS 360° is a new virtual series created by IDS in solidarity with the industry and designers we champion. Launched across all our platforms, it highlights handpicked, diverse brands with video Q+As, product launches, studio tours, and more. Not taking our voice and reach for granted, the national IDS platform is accessing individual designers, architects and brands of all sizes to hear their visions, challenges, triumphs and potential for a more thoughtful, more beautiful design practice, post-pandemic.
We are thrilled to continue the IDS 360° series with Victoria-based Caramba Furniture, a furniture design studio led by Cristian Arostegui G. and Adam Gilmer.
Two stay-at-home dads that love good design.
Cristian and Adam met when their first kids were born. Being the only two stay-at-home dads in the neighbourhood forced them to hang out. A lot. It was only a matter of time before Cristian’s passion for good design and Adams’s experience with small business birthed their own baby. Ay, Caramba.
Cristian and Adam spent almost a year developing the collection, including many late nights. Their lifestyle was a major motivator in determining the company’s ethos. They knew their offering had to be able to weather rogue crayons, mucky hands, and spilled coffee, and needed to look good doing it.
Caramba was founded on the principle that they believe great design doesn’t have to cost the earth. Their affordable, space-efficient furniture will live with you for years—when you move, these are the pieces you take with you. All of their furniture pieces are proudly Canadian made. The company tagline is furniture that lasts, made by people who care.
Caramba’s designs are not only beautiful but also efficient in their flat-pack design and ease of assembly. The flat-pack design structure reduces the carbon emissions produced during traditional furniture shipping.
The furniture pieces were designed to move along with you so each piece can be assembled and reassembled easily when you move. All of their pieces are made in Victoria, BC, from sustainably-sourced European plywood. They produce their own products and therefore have the ability to maintain the highest quality standards. Nothing leaves their workshop that they wouldn’t put in their own homes.
Caramba started as a friction fit, no hardware concept, but after initial prototypes, the duo decided to use some hardware to increase the durability and longevity of their products. “Each shipment arrives with any hardware it needs and a small tool for a ridiculously easy assembly process,” says Gilmer. The 1-inch pressed timber used in all their products is not only easy to work with, but produced in a safe, environmentally friendly way.
“Using sustainable materials was non-negotiable, but that alone wasn’t enough for us—local, ethical and efficient manufacturing was always going to be part of the Caramba equation,” says Arostegui. “Plus we wanted to be able to work closely with our production partner so we can continue to create new pieces and evolve our offering.”
Caramba furniture pieces are designed for modern homes and lifestyles. Most pieces are multi-purpose, whether it’s a stool that gets used as a table by the kids, or the coffee tables that can be nested together to create more surface area when company comes over. Care is easy as well—a soft damp cloth is all you need to clean up the inevitable spills.