In conversation with: Roome London

I am fascinated by Roome London’s fusion of art and furniture so I jumped at the chance to find out more. Laura Allnatt kindly agreed to answer my questions about the business she founded with her sister Caroline

When did you start the business? 

We started our business early 2020, after a year and a half of planning whilst working on other projects.

Can you explain the concept to me?

Roome London is a bold concept in luxury furniture design that elegantly bridges the gap between art, fashion and furniture by translating any work of art or illustration onto textiles and then, using super fine upholstery techniques onto furniture.

We can work with interior designers and trade to match any pattern or artwork they want onto elegant furniture shapes which are all made by hand in Norfolk. Each piece is a work of art yet practical and can be moved around to suit a scheme.

Laura and Caroline Allnatt, founders of Roome London

You previously worked in fashion and art. What do you bring from those industries to furniture design?

We have been very fortunate to have worked with a great mix of inspiring projects and designers from the fashion and art worlds, also having founded cult shoe label Laura J London where we collaborated with well-known shoe couturiers to create unique designs that graced the pages of Vogue, and we have been greatly influenced by these projects and experiences.

Working in these industries opened our eyes to the creative possibilities of translating patterns and detailing by using different methods, along with giving us the confidence to not have boundaries in terms of design.

A focus on creativity fused with functionality has formed from us crossing over between fashion, art and interiors, much like the thought process of purchasing a piece of art or a statement outfit we believe that furniture should be an extension of ones style and personality.

The colour and vibrancy of the fashion world has influenced us greatly in terms of the prints and designers we work with, a desire to show prints that are still very relevant even after having been shown for a season and re-imagine them onto furniture.

With regards to the production process fashion has played its part in terms of giving us the skills to develop the printed patterns that are used on all the fine upholstered elements of our designs.

Having worked with a number of artists over the years it has brought us to open conversations around hand painted surfaces, due to the texture and colours that can be achieved through this.

Screen in the Alexander print by artist Syrett

How does the creative process work?

We are always thinking of ideas and shapes to add to the collection and have formed such an exquisite library of pattern that we can easily test on new concepts.

We are flexible in how we work which we believe maintains creativity, we can see a beautiful pattern and imagine it on one of our existing shapes, or design a new shape to showcase a particular pattern and we are lucky to have a fantastic team that are reactive to the creative process.

We are a creative team that can work with interior design briefs or design something from scratch to meet requirements.

You have worked with a number of fashion designers and illustrators, how do you decide who to collaborate with?

All the designers we work with are known for their beautiful print work and the fashion designers have particularly  been a huge influence on us using fine upholstery elements within our design.

The artists we form conversations with always have similar thoughts around process, story and capturing colour and texture within their work.

We are currently exploring a new method of translating art onto furniture through a painted process to introduce limited edition pieces and are speaking to artists who’s design handwriting will look spectacular translated onto furniture.  It also opens the door for limited edition hand painted commissions.

Floral Urn design by Matthew Williamson on the Barclay chest of drawers

Your latest collection is with Matthew Williamson. Can you describe the collection for me?

We have always been drawn to Matthew’s use of detailing and color and it really has been wonderful to collaborate as there has been such a meeting of minds in terms of the creative energy around the collection.  

The collection reflects a refined yet spirited sense of glamour inspired by global and artistic influences and perfectly demonstrates our commitment to designing furniture that celebrates the simplicity and elegance of shape patterned with beautiful materiality and expert British making.

What is your favourite piece from the new collection and why?

We absolutely adore the Sunburst showcased on the Tamara Drinks cabinet (image at top of page). It is so decadent and luxurious, almost like a painting that you want to get lost in, the sunset has been captured in the form of large hand painted golden sun which, when translated onto the silk mix fine upholstered fabric, reflects the light in such a magnificent manner, giving such a warm and inviting glow.

How do you imagine your pieces are used in interiors?

The pieces make a statement in a neutral setting, and bring texture and colour to an eclectic space.  They introduce story and quality craftsmanship, and are for those who appreciate considered design.

Although a lot of what we do is pattern orientated we appreciate that pieces often have to work to compliment a space and we can adapt and design pieces to meet requirements for projects and private commissions.

Bespoke brass handle detail

Can interior designers commission bespoke pieces?

We are always delighted to open up conversations around a textile or pattern that a designer has selected for a project and can work closely with them to make their furniture vision a reality.

We give access to a uniquely curated library of pattern and texture by world renowned designers and artists, alongside being able to source more neutral choices, that focus around interesting textures, for those working with a muted colour palette.

We can customise our existing furniture shapes or design a bespoke piece of furniture or pattern to work with a brief.

As part of our service we provide rendered images, so that the creative can be brought to life and easily communicated.   We are also delighted to announce we have also launched a digital showroom to make communication more seamless.

  1. Chris Billinghurst

    I was so intrigued to see these beautiful pieces come to light Elspeth. Many of our pro designer-remaker members have been artcycling using decoupage (fabric and paper) for some time so it’s great to see the idea is now mainstream.

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