Behind the Scenes of vitruvi’s Move and Stay Diffusers

Words by Sara Panton

  • Sketches from Harrison Gill, our head of product.

    Sketches from Harrison Gill, our head of product.

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One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to hear feedback from our community. When you create something that matters to you—whether that be a company, a relationship, or a product—and people give you feedback, it means they care enough to help you learn. Regardless of the sentiment being good or bad, I love listening to our customers, reading online reviews and Instagram comments, and using that information to dream up ways to further expand the vitruvi home experience.

Our Stone Diffuser was one of the first products that Sean (my cofounder and brother) and I made when we started the company. With a focus on natural materials and simple design, it was inspired by the ceramics I fell in love with during my first trip to Japan. The vitruvi Stone Diffuser has been on the bedside of some incredible people and featured in a dream list of publications.

Regardless of the classic look, feel, and following of our Stone Diffuser, though, looking at areas we can improve upon is my job—and with that, I am in constant and relentless pursuit of making things equally as beautiful as they are functional. Working with Harrison Gill (our head of product) and Sean, we identified two major pieces of feedback from our community. One was a need for a diffuser that would last longer, and the other was a diffuser that didn’t have a cord. At first when we started narrowing down our design list, we tried to solve both problems with one new diffuser. This resulted in a prototype that made us all laugh; we quickly realized that the solution required different models for different functions and areas within a home.

When I think about our customers, which I do very often, I think about how they might move throughout their homes, and how their relationship with their homes may change at different life phases and through different seasons—and more recently, during global crises. I know that my personal need for having a home scenting system has been elevated in the past few months, as I have spent more time in my space and have been craving things to lift my mood and remind me to breathe.

Creating the Move Diffuser, we started with inspiration from a traditional candlestick—something almost like an old oil-burning or wax candle you would hold like a lantern. The beautiful way a candle burns makes an indentation at the top, which is the inverse of how an ultrasonic diffuser is usually designed (with a pointed spout). This intrigued me, because Harrison and I aim to make products that not only fit into someone’s home, but become conversation pieces. We want our products to be like functional artworks rather than appliances you want to hide.

With the candle inspiration, we started looking at light features that would mimic the beautiful warm glow of a flame; we also thought about the circumference of the diffuser so that it would be easy to pick up. We wanted the diffuser to be easy to fill, so we built it with two pieces (instead of the three found in the Stone Diffuser). This saves our community time when filling it up and moving it from room to room.

More technical design elements like a charging pad, plus the ability to plug the cord directly into the back of the diffuser for a quick recharge, were features I personally wanted. We spent months finding the perfect white and black colours, and settled on a matte metal finish with poured aluminum that protects the diffuser from fingerprints, but also makes it easy to clean, luxurious to hold, durable, and beautiful to photograph.

Then it was time to think about the Stay Diffuser. Designing this model was something that I was very excited about, because I often think about how busy our customer is. I wanted to create a diffuser that would allow them to “set it and forget it”—maybe for so long that they awoke to a beautiful aroma the morning after filling it up (thank you, 18-hour run time). While testing prototypes, I liked to put the Stay Diffuser on in my home office when I went to sleep; then when I woke up the next day, I was greeted by my chosen scent as I opened my inbox.

The more we built out the form, lighting, colour, size, and shape of Move and Stay, the more I could see both diffusers layering together on a counter, bookshelf, or credenza in a beautiful living room or kitchen.

I could not be more excited for these products to be out in the world. As always, I am beyond proud of every single member of the vitruvi team—everyone’s incredible passion, brains, and hands influenced the creation of these diffusers. It’s an honour to make products that fill your space with what I hope is a positive energy, a beautiful aroma, and a little piece of design to elevate your experience of home.