Online Diploma student Monika shares her journey into the world of design, which started decades ago in a small woodwork shop in Slovenia.

Design by EmDG & Co.


Monika Dezela Grkman
Online Diploma Interior Design Student

Design by EmDG & Co. is a brand new story, which was created last year after decades, when my father designed and crafted the first piece of a wooden chair which I strive to revive again. It all started with a family traditional woodworking shop, in my home country of Slovenia, where he made unique and high quality solid wood furniture, along with other wooden products. I could observe my father at his work in my early childhood and felt strong connection with wood ever since.

Despite my tendency towards creativity I decided to choose a different professional path, finished my Master’s degree in Environmental studies and took a job in an international retail industry. Just before my first child was born, my husband and I moved into an older house, and started renovating it. That is when my creative spirit struck again and I realised this was the path I couldn’t resist! After the birth of my second child’s I finally decided to enrol on the Online Diploma course at KLC School of Design in London. It became clear to me that in order to be seriously engaged in design profession I needed a course that would provide me with the insight, knowledge and study flexibility according to my family and other obligations. The Online Diploma gives me the perfect window into the world of interior design - with all the facets and practical guidance, as well as theoretical background, and most significantly getting to know people online from all around the world, who all enrolled into this course with similar inspiring stories and passion for interiors.

While studying on the course in the meanwhile, the idea of my own furniture brand started to manifest itself.  After consulting my father, the first designs, concepts and plans were made. Choosing wood as a furniture element was a personal acknowledgment of bringing something unique and on my own to the world. Wood, wherever placed, creates a special atmosphere and its variety enables numerous ways of decorating and random style combinations. It stimulates feelings of homeliness, warmth and connection with the nature, that's why it can always find its place in rural, as well as urban settings. It can be a perfect element to eclectic style or excellent counterbalance to industrial style of contemporary residential and commercial spaces.

Most of the design and carpentry work is done using moulds, carefully constructed and put together by hand. Apart from screws, entirely custom made out of beech wood, while other versions, for example oak, are set to be put in production later on.  What makes Design by EmDG & Co. unique is creating and evolving quality furniture from solid wood exclusively from Slovene woods (with exception of certain wood types, which are impossible to attain in Slovenia), which fulfils the so-called design and functionality balance. Our first piece, the so-called “Stef” folding chair was crafted by my father Stefan years ago and I wanted to use it as a basis for all the pieces that are part of the first “Stef” chair collection.

We wanted to create a chair with a beautiful potential, sustainability, durability and practicality. The story behind it is to keep the vintage foundation, along with austerity and charisma at the same time. The product was designed in the same year when I was born, so it is a touch nostalgic, which is accentuated with durability, warmth and the comfort of wooden material. The smaller version of Stef chair is a perfect counterbalance for colourful children environments, like kindergarten, playrooms or nurseries. Apart from that it wouldn’t be uncommon to use it for informal business meetings in creative studios where brainstorming takes place or even luxury boats. The other two versions can beautifully mix with stone or concrete interiors of dining or living rooms in commercial or private residences as well. With a proper surface coating for outdoor use, it is also suitable for balconies, terraces and verandas.

The leading principle of my brand Design by EmDG & Co. is to furnish modern or residential homes by producing pieces which are simple, functional, aesthetic and trendy of course! The most important and crucial principle of our philosophy is to create healthier and more unique living space by fitting natural materials into it. The products we make are our expression of affection towards wood, tradition and nevertheless our legacy. They represent the renaissance of traditional handicraft under the new trend satisfying the demands of present trend of design.


It's not just the products we're offering but also the perspective and the way of life. As far as we succeed in bringing this closer to the people, this will be our greatest achievement.

Filter by Category