Dino Almaguer graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in furniture design. He now creates his own unique designs from his small home studio in Washington, DC. At the end of his freshman year at RISD, Dino was selecting classes. He had already taken several paint and drawing classes in high school, but he realized he never took a wood shop class, so he signed up for one. He soon became very interested in that class and liked making furniture the most, so that became his major.

While in college, he designed a cabinet, a bench, and a chair for his family members and got rave reviews. Then, for his senior project, he designed a table he called “blue ant.” He made the entire thing out of recycled paper and used resin-free paint to coat it. The table is sturdy and functional not to mention environmentally friendly. He soon realized he had a unique product to sell and began designing other pieces in the same style. He now has a website where customers can pick from a range of chairs, benches, desks, tables, and end tables. Each piece the customer orders is then handcrafted by Dino and painted according to the customers choice.

Dino hopes to get enough online customers so he can get a larger studio, a store, and some helping hands in order to start a real furniture business. He’s had some of his pieces picked up by local shops in DC and even had a display set up at last year’s Art-o-Matic. He has even bigger dreams of going international. “I would love to get rich and buy a villa in Milan,” he laughs, but for now he’s taking it one step at a time.

Blue Coffee table

The “Blue Ant”