Home Design

Studio Carta Designer Angela Liguori Shares Her Favorite Things

The designer tells the story behind her specialty ribbon business and dishes on a few of the things she can't live without.


Photo by Cody O’Loughlin

As the daughter of a seamstress in Italy, Angela Liguori grew up shopping in textile stores filled with beautiful ribbon. It wasn’t until later, though, that she realized how much the material meant to her: Her first love, it turns out, was paper. Liguori spent her early thirties living in Michigan, selling stationery and hand-bound books at trunk shows and teaching classes on bookbinding. Both students and industry folks noticed something special about the Italian-made ribbon she used in her paper goods: It was cotton, not polyester like the materials they were accustomed to. “They would ask if they could buy the ribbon for future projects, and I thought, ‘Maybe this is something I can import,’” she says.

Cue Studio Carta, the ribbon business Liguori and her husband, Mohammed Alaeddin, started in Michigan in 2004. The couple later moved to Massachusetts, where they opened Studio Carta’s first brick-and-mortar location, in Brookline, in 2010. Since then they have designed, packaged, and sold wooden spools of Italian-made ribbon in every shade imaginable to local florists, décor shops, and stationery brands such as Rifle Paper Co. Ahead, Liguori shares a few things she loves, both inside and outside her studio.

Courtesy photo

Roman and Williams Guild

I just visited this shop on a trip to New York City, and its deep-blue interiors completely influenced the moody look of our Studio Carta trade-show booth. I also adore the simple, sophisticated table settings at its café, La Mercerie.

Courtesy photo

Palorosa Bags

I fell in love with Palorosa after meeting designer and founder Cecilia Pirani at the Shoppe Object show in NYC. Their sturdy bags are handwoven in Guatemala, and the color palette is amazing.

Photo via Nekotank/Flickr

Rome

It’s where I grew up, so most of my inspiration comes from the art, the architecture, and the colors of the buildings. A trip to one of my favorite historical buildings there, the Palazzo Barberini, recently spawned our new “Drittofilo” line of ribbon.

Courtesy photo

Noat “Anima” Fragrance

I have been wearing a few drops of this since the day it was given to me as a gift. I love it because it’s hand-blended in small batches, and the packaging is simple and clean.

Courtesy photo

Appointed Notebooks

I love the minimalist look of their notebooks and desk accessories, especially this one in “Oxford Blue.” It’s where I jot down notes about future projects, events, and studio ideas, and it’s the only piece of work I take home with me.

ON FILE

What I’m Reading
The Story of Art, by E.H. Gombrich, to help me remember everything I studied at university that seems to have vanished from my memory.

What I’m Watching
Come Fai Sbagli. It’s a TV series that takes place in Rome, about two families and their teenagers. Lots to relate to! I like to watch Italian movies and TV shows with my kids to keep the Italian language and culture alive in our home.

What I’m Drinking
Our studio’s signature espresso macchiato by my husband, every day after lunch. I can’t continue to work without it!

What I’m Listening To
The only time I listen to music these days is in the car with my teenagers. Lots of rap music, which is not my first choice, but I like Lil Yachty.

What I’m Wearing
I buy most of my clothes and shoes in small boutiques when I’m visiting Rome, but I also love pretty much everything from Club Monaco. At the next trade show, I’m wearing their “Woolfa” dress in white.

What I’m Buying
This summer I bought a set of two striped ceramic cups for our espresso corner from a shop in Rome called Container 16. I should have bought one in each color!