While it may not be hard to guess just what business Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia are in, judging from their company name – Rooms – what they design is anything but essentialist or spartan. ‘Usually, when you think of the word "minimalism" something very clinically clean and minimal pops into your head,’ the duo writes by email. ‘In our case we wanted to come up with the new direction, we wanted to create something that is minimalistic but grandly wild at the same time.’
And as proven by their latest collection, ‘Wild Minimalism’, currently on view at The Future Perfect in New York, this daring range of dining and coffee tables, consoles and arm chairs is juxtaposed by the quiet composure of metal, stone and wood, sleekly cut lines and ‘a modern twist and hint of humour’, they add. ‘A stairway that leads nowhere, an unrefined stone drawer attached to the wooden console, etc. It’s a fusion of archaic and modern.’
Janberidze and Toloraia hail from Georgia, the unique former Soviet country in the Caucasus, where ‘because of the political and economic hardships... there were very few creative outlets when we were starting, but as the country transitioned into a smoother existence – all of a sudden there is a creative explosion’, explain the pair, who met at the interior design faculty at Tbilisi's Academy of Arts. And Rooms certainly is one of the first Georgian design firms to gain international recognition: they were tapped by Rossana Orlandi for a presentation during Salone del Mobile in 2014, where The Future Perfect owner David Alhadeff was stopped in his tracks.
‘I've watched them over the past couple years and have been impressed with their vision and stamina within this field,' he says. ‘I'm impressed that from some cool work, they have truly created a body of work that feels like it has a signature style. That's hard to do.’