Roman and Williams’s New Furniture Collections
Nature has inspired many an artwork and furnishing, but it’s an especially influential muse for Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams. During 2020’s shelter-in-place mandates, the ELLE DECOR A-Listers found themselves spending more time than ever observing the natural world near their studio in Montauk, New York. “We never saw spring on a day-to-day basis like we did that year,” Alesch tells ELLE DECOR. “All those curvy, round forms really inspired us.” The result? Roman and Williams’s first original designs in five years—a newness that comes just in time for the firm’s 20th anniversary in November.
Roman and Williams’s latest consists of three disparate collections, all of which hold a similar DNA. “These continue the aim we had with the founding collection, which is to build a family of furniture in different shapes and typologies that can live together,” says Standefer. “It’s like branches of this kind of family tree—unity in variety.” The first of these latest works is Dado, a series of white oak side tables, benches, dining tables, and sofas that rank among Roman and Williams’s most architectural works to date, boasting a sleek linearity. Exposed joinery puts materiality on full display, and the collection’s many different sizes means it will fit in almost any living environment.
Seed, a pendant light, and Branch, a candelabra—together the Seed and Branch collection—marks Roman and Williams’s first foray into bronze products. Branch is a limited production, so only 20 are available, but Seed will likely end up in many different rooms and contexts due to its chic-yet-versatile shape. “I love the idea of a gradient glass, like a balloon,” says Sandefer of the piece. “It looks so magical.” The final result resembles a plump dewdrop held in place by a large bronze chain.
Ovo, a collection that consists of a curved chair and a dining table, rounds out the bunch. The seat in particular has already become a favorite for Standefer. “Maybe every time we make something I get really attached to it, but Ovo I’m just completely enamored with,” she says. “It sort of hugs you…. it’s a beautiful form.” The name refers to the egg-shaped ovate leaf, a form that served as inspiration for the collection’s rounded silhouettes.
Altogether the collection pays homage to nature and its materials as well as the last two decades of Roman and Williams. “We’ve been doing this a long time,” adds Standefer. “You have to really simmer and learn from the things you make.”
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