Material Objects – Componibili

Material ObjectsThis past weekend I walked into our bathroom and the sun was shining through the textured glass of our rather large window and a big smile came across my face. It’s not as though the sun doesn’t shine often in our bathroom, or that I never have a smile on my face while in the bathroom, but the sight of our bold red Componibili sitting next to the window with a bit of greenery on top just made me smile.

What the hell is a Componibili? The Componibili is a system of modular storage designed by Anna Casatelli Ferrieri and sold by Italian furniture maker Kartell. It was introduced to the market in 1969. For many people it is simply a beautiful and iconic storage module. But for me, it is simply the most beautiful and iconic and luxurious toilet paper storage module in the world. I mean really, could there be a fancier modern storage solution for toilet paper? There is a reason it is in the permanent collection at MoMA.


Simple, Beautiful, Functional, and made in Italy…

I have longed for one of these for years (in red of course), and have memories of seeing them in Apartment Life Magazine back in the 1970s. It has always just been in the back of my mind that someday I wanted one and one day I would eventually get one… But to be honest, they are sorta expensive, so I just kept the desire in the back of my mind as other more important things took precedence.

Well that someday came last year. As it turned out, when we planned our wedding last year, we hinted that rather than actual gifts, we would prefer either gift cards or if so inclined, cash would be nice too. This worked to be a great way to handle things. While I can’t say we had huge windfall of money come our way, I can say that we received a generous outpouring of kindness and knew that whatever we spent the money on, it had to be on things we could look back on in ten or twenty years and say, that that was purchased with wedding money. Of course, my desire for fabulous and well designed objects doesn’t come cheap…. But those who know me know that I am really good at finding ways to getting fabulous things for less than full retail.

Fabulous things acquired with wedding gift monies... Samsung range, 1960's vintage Lane Brutalist dresser, large metal print of photo used in our wedding invitation.

Fabulous things acquired with wedding gift monies… Samsung gas range, 1960’s vintage Lane Brutalist dresser, large metal print of photo used in our wedding invitation.

Among the things we acquired with wedding funds (combined with coupons and discounts where possible)… A sizable contribution of Home Depot gift cards helped us purchase our fabulous (and deeply discounted) new Samsung stove last fall. We picked up the fabulous vintage Lane Brutalist dresser in our bedroom for hundreds less than sold in antique shops on Craigslist. We took the image I shot and used in our wedding invitation and had it printed on a large slab of aluminum from Adorama. And then we purchased our Componibili from the MoMA Design Store (using a 20% off members coupon). In the end, we got some really nice stuff that we can feel good knowing our friends and family helped contribute towards.

Componibili in my favorite color... Perfection!

Componibili in my favorite color… Perfection!

OK, back to the Componibili….and the whole point of this post… While I always wanted one, I didn’t always know where or how I (we) would use it… People use them in all sorts of places, as bedside tables, as kitchen organizers, and elsewhere. As it turns out, the perfect place for it to be put to its best use for us is in the bathroom where it makes for the most amazing toilet paper storage I can imagine. The first time in my adult life that I can buy a large 12 roll pack of toilet tissue have plenty of room to stash them within arm’s length until use.

Sunlight filtering through the large bathroom window creating a comforting glow on our Componibili

Sunlight filtering through our large bathroom window creating a comforting glow on our Componibili

So, when I walked into our bathroom on Saturday and saw the sun light … A smile took over my face and I remembered how much I love my (our) Componibili and how grateful I am to those who helped make it possible.

Material Objects is an occasional series where I post about good design and my personal lust for the objects I am fortunate to have in my life. See other Material Objects posts

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