Soot by Note Design Studio and Karolina Stenfelt


SOOT by Note design studio

This architects' desk designed by Note Design Studio of Stockholm has been covered inside and out with pine veneer in a herringbone pattern, then charred black on the outside.

SOOT by Note design studio

Called Soot, the project was designed for cabinetmaker Karolina Stenfelt to demonstrate her skills while studying at Carl Malmsten School of Furniture.

SOOT by Note design studio

It incorporates brass fittings and traditional equipment like built-in rulers, hidden magnets and rolls of paper, alongside electronic devices like USB ports and power outlets.

SOOT by Note design studio

See also: Marginal Notes by Note Design Studio

SOOT by Note design studio

Here are some more details from the designers:


Good things come from taking risks and cabinetmaker Karolina Stenfelt certainly took a risk when she gave Kristoffer Fagerström from NOTE Design Studio free hands to design her journeyman project at Carl Malmsten School of Furniture. NOTE Design Studios latest design project "Marginal Notes" was anything but the easy way out and this complex project turned out to be nothing less.

SOOT by Note design studio

The brief was to design a desk that didn't reveal everything at first glance and would stand out in a discreet way.

SOOT by Note design studio

The choice of a desk was the result of that a journeyman project demands certain elements of construction and functions to be accepted for judgment by the jury.

SOOT by Note design studio

Kristoffer designed an architects "black box" that combined the old analogue approach of built-in rulers, hidden magnets, sketchpaper rolls with new needs like USB hubs and power outlets.

SOOT by Note design studio

"Pine is fine" is a shared motto of Kristoffer and Karolina and the idea of basing the desk solely on Swedish pine truly put the cabinet maker to the test. And if that wasn't enough he wanted to use charred wood as surface finish.

SOOT by Note design studio

Pine is a rather soft material and the charring was hopefully going to give the wood a hardened surface. There was no approved technique for charring pine veneer and especially no approved technique to create and conform the intricate intarsia pattern that covers the desk. Karolina tiresome experimenting with burning veneer finally gave results and the work could commence.

SOOT by Note design studio

"When you have access to a cabinet maker like Karolina Stenfelt from of one of the best cabinetmaking schools there is you have to push the envelope a bit" Kristoffer smirks.

SOOT by Note design studio

Contrast was the keyword through the project. Pine is a versatile material and Kristoffer wanted the desk to express pine from its very best side to its very ”worst”.

SOOT by Note design studio

The exterior is covered with the experimental burned veneer in a fishbone pattern and when you open the desk the inside is covered with the finest selection of golden pine in the same pattern.

SOOT by Note design studio

Kristoffer designed a tar burned steel frame to carry the "black box". The tar burning of the steel covered the shiny welding forges along with the rest of the frame with a varied sooted surface.

SOOT by Note design studio

Custom made brass fittings as locks, rulers and hinges gleam against the sooted surface, referring to the fire used for burning the veneer.

SOOT by Note design studio

Cabinet maker Karolina Stenfelt and NOTE Design studio investigates the possibilites of developing a limited edition series of the desk. The desk is currently exhibited at Carl Malmsten Schools Spring Exhibition in stockholm, Sweden.

See also:


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  • Antonio Rosa da Silva

    Beautiful detail.

  • Red Pill Junkie


    They should definitely consider producing an accompanying chair with the same principles.

  • WantOne

    Beautiful craftsmanship

  • Lelani

    Beautifull, clever and practical!

  • Nadav

    Really impressive craftsmanship, but I think that there was a kind of clash between the designer and the maker that resulted in far too many ideas, materials, techniques and finishes.

  • Nils

    Nice! although a bit fuzzy design. But great craftmanship

  • plumbing fittings

    Good things come from taking risks and cabinetmaker.And one of the most difficult and important decisions any business operator has to make is whether to specialize or to generalize.

  • Ieva | Innerdører

    Looks great, and those integrated USB connections – never thought whether it's possible.