Skip to Main Content

Get To Know: Studio Tasso


It was during a student exchange program in Paris, France, when Monica Young met Tristan Girard. Bonded by their love for design, the two would soon become partners in life and work: marrying, moving to Young’s hometown of Toronto and launching their bespoke millwork and furniture design practice Studio Tasso. Four years later, the duo have settled their practice in Scarborough and developed a knack for bringing spaces to life with their custom builds and spatial designs. We caught up with the studio founders to learn more about their practice, collaborations, and thoughts on the future of design.

First and foremost, where does the name “Studio Tasso” come from? 

T: It comes from the French word tasseau which loosely translates to stud in English. I see it as a symbol for the beginning of building something new; taking something simple and transforming it. We tweaked the spelling so that it would appeal to a global audience and, voila.

Studio Tasso

Studio Tasso co-founders Tristan Girard and Monica Young.

What is your firm’s main focus and how has it evolved since you first launched? 

M: When we launched Studio Tasso, our main focus was to provide clients with custom millwork and, predominantly, in the first year, we focused solely on commercial spaces because that aligned with my corporate background more naturally. Not to mention, most of my network came from this space. In time, our millwork jobs began to expand into conceptual design for these commercial spaces, and eventually residential spaces. In our Divadale project, for instance, the only thing we purchased for that house was lighting and maybe two couches, everything else was custom built by us. And so, it felt natural for the studio to grow beyond just millwork fabrication. Now, we offer full service concept design in what we’ve labelled our Maison projects.

T: It’s been exciting to diversify our services. From 3D renderings to custom fireplace fabrications, and of course furniture sourcing. It gives us the opportunity to handle a project from beginning to end.

Studio Tasso, 2023, Designlines Magazine

In Maison Amelie, custom millwork makes for standout features including a discreet workspace and fireplace surround. Photography by Mike Chajecki.

How do you approach collaboration in order to ensure a seamless process?

T: Monica is usually the one to translate a client’s wishes into our design plan. This is when 3D renderings are very useful for us because we then truly begin the collaborative process with our clients when we present to them the technical representation of the project. Collaborating within Studio Tasso – we now have four employees who’ve joined our team – we make sure to communicate with one another so that everyone feels represented, it’s also important that we make the most of each other’s strengths.

M: I agree. I will oftentimes follow Tristan’s lead when it comes to technical details, and then take the lead when it comes to communication and planning. Being life partners as well, there’s always a lot of overlap when it comes to communication. Something that we do, both with each other and with our clients and collaborators, is check in on one another regularly.

Studio Tasso, Nava Cafe

In 2021, Studio Tasso completed the conceptual design and millwork fabrication for King East’s now-shuttered Nava Cafe. Photography by Juan Pablo Jaramillo.

In your opinion, what does the future of design entail?

M: We are an ever-changing company and enjoy keeping up with new tools as they become available to us and influence our work. With that in mind, we’re excited about different software tools and AI as an aid in the design process. There is such a human aspect to design that will always be integral to our work, so, we’re not afraid to embrace technology.

T: I think that what we have already seen and expect to see more of in the future is the use of technology in a non-intrusive way. Instead, I see it being used in a more symbiotic way, wherein technology is present in a design to enhance the experience of the user, not necessarily define it. STUDIOTASSO.COM


Get a closer look at what you can expect to find in the 2024 New Builds Issue of Designlines Magazine

In the 2024 Spring/Summer Issue of Designlines, we focus on New Builds and “celebrate the profound impact of creating something new, not just as an architectural endeavour but as a testament to laying down roots and shaping the very essence of our city’s identity,” editor-in-chief Joseph Cicerone writes.



Your Weekly Dose of Modern Design

Sign up for the Designlines weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest design news, trends and inspiring projects from across Toronto. Join our community and never miss a beat!

Please fill out your email address.

The Magazine

Get the Latest Issue

From a sprawling family home in Oakville to a coastal-inspired retreat north of the city, we present spaces created by architects and interior designers that redefine the contemporary.

Designlines 2024 Issue