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Interview with „DgL – Das ganze Leben“ – Furniture full of character

Find out more about Das ganze Leben, a South Tyrolean furniture company, that celebrates the essentials in design and functionality. In an interview with Lorenz Sternbach, one of the founders, you can find out how the alpine landscape influences their philosophy. Find out more about the origins, the craftsmanship and the search for stability in a changing world.

Interview „DgL – Das ganze Leben“ – Furniture full of character

Interview with Lorenz Sternbach


The South Tyrolean furniture company “Das ganze Leben” pursues the philosophy of functional minimalism, both in terms of design and functionality. Inspired by the simple life in alpine landscapes, “Das ganze Leben” strives with its furniture to provide familiarity and stability in a constantly changing, increasingly dynamic world.


We spoke to Lorenz Sternbach, one of the founders and owners, and asked him about the origins and philosophy of “Das ganze Leben”, what the carpentry craft means to them and what influence the alpine environment plays in this.


1. Please briefly introduce yourself and your company “Das ganze Leben”. What is special about your furniture?


We develop and produce multifunctional furniture that accompanies you throughout your life in the various situations and phases. The adaptability of the furniture means that you can take it with you when you move and expand it again and again. Hence the name “Das ganze Leben = The whole life”.


There are two of us in the company: Georg Agostini is a carpenter and manages production and I, Lorenz Sternbach, manage the showroom in Bruneck and am responsible for sales. We are both designers and creators of ideas for our furniture. The partnership started ten years ago. At the time, I was looking for a carpenter who was a bit more forward thinking and with whom I could implement my ideas and plans. We then started to work together on custom-made customer projects and gradually developed our own products. Three years ago, we merged our companies and founded our own label “Das ganze Leben – Furniture full of character”.


2. Did you always want to become a craftsman or did you have alternative career aspirations?


We both always wanted to learn the carpentry trade. Georg started earlier and stuck with it. I did my A-levels first and then started studying. But I didn’t like it because I always wanted to be a carpenter, which I only really realized during my studies. That’s why I started my carpentry apprenticeship late, then took my journeyman’s exam and worked as a carpenter for a few years. I liked that a lot. At some point, I wanted to expand my skills to go more into interior design. So I did a two-year course in design and furniture construction in Austria.


3. How close are you still to the original plan for “Das ganze Leben”?


We didn’t really have an initial plan for “Das ganze Leben”. It developed on its own. Georg is a great carpenter and can implement things quickly. In 2017, we developed the “EVA” kitchen into a product based on customer requirements. That was a milestone.


With EVA, you have a modular kitchen. If you move to another home and your living situation changes, you can take the modules with you, rearrange, and expand them.


4. You call your design approach timeless and sustainable – what does that mean in concrete terms? What aspects and details reflect this in your products?


The materials play a major role here. The modules simply have to be robust if you want to move or relocate them. I move everything in the store once a month, including the kitchens, and we always make sure that it works well and that nothing breaks.


5. What material do you mainly use for your furniture?


We started with birch plywood because it is extremely hard and stable. This means you can also make great things from thin sheets. Due to material shortages and the associated price increases, we were forced to look further afield and then came across the company Nordpan, which produces spruce panels just a few kilometers away from us – using spruce from South Tyrol, Germany and Austria! The spruce is a little softer than birch, but works great.


6. What are your next plans?


We constantly have new ideas. However, as a small company, we are at the moment limited in our ability to implement them due to the problems of finding good employees. EVA is still a very important product. GUSTAV, the convertible multifunctional wall, has also become very important. And our next project, which we hope to finalize soon, is a complete children’s range in which you can hang the crib and changing table. Later you turn the table around and it becomes a desk. So GUSTAV also accompanies you throughout your life.


7. How do you sell your products? Do most people come to your showroom in Bruneck?


We currently sell our products directly. We have various dealers in Germany and Austria. We are looking for specialist stores and dealers who appreciate our furniture and know what we are about. Thanks to the high quality, durability and multifunctionality, we are still cheaper than other, cheaper furniture that has to be replaced every 4-5 years.


8. What role does the alpine mountain world that surrounds you play for you as an entrepreneur and craftsman, to what extent is it important for your attitude to life?


It’s not so easy to say because we don’t know what it would be like to live in the Po Valley. But the alpine, the mountain world, of course shapes us. We are surrounded by forests and nature and we learn from an early age how to deal with it and how to preserve it. And that has actually always been the case. Sustainability and the sensible use of resources, especially the forest, have always been normal for us. That’s probably why we became carpenters!




If you’re in the area in the run-up to Christmas, you should definitely make a detour to the Christmas café in the “Das ganze Leben” joinery. In addition to tasty treats, the show kitchen demonstrates how more sustainability can also find its way into the kitchen.