The FINANCIAL -- Etablissements
Romoli, a specialist in decorative parquet flooring, will be displaying
its bespoke work at the French Design Forum, at Chandos House, in
central London (UK), on 10 May 2012.
According to EUbusiness, this event, organised by the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in London, will focus on high-end, bespoke interiors created by exceptional craftsmen from France. Yves Romoli, Manager of Etablissements Romoli, explains, “We specialise in high-fashion flooring, but, just as any great designer, we also offer a line of ready-made items. People sometimes forget this. Our work is not exclusively for elite consumers, either, and our parquet flooring is not necessarily more expensive than more minimalistic options that architects turn into trendy pieces, while maintaining comfortable margins.”
Etablissements Romoli will be at the French Design Forum — an exhibition displaying the work of French-based craftsmen, which is open to all professionals with an interest in interior design. The all-day event, which is organised by the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in London, will take place at Chandos House, in the heart of London, on 10 May of this year.
The Etablissements Romoli range features more than 100 original ready-to-install models — parquets, decorative borders or friezes and rosette patterns — made of naturally coloured hardwood. The company’s bespoke products are fabricated so as to ensure the best possible quality.
The production of parquet flooring begins with the choice of wood. “We would rather use wood from Africa than South America. On the one hand, it is easier to get supplies [of the former] and, on the other, the colour of these woods is stable over time,” explains Yves Romoli.
Etablissements Romoli chooses hardwoods because they are fine-grained, have attractive veining, and are hygrometrically stable (i.e. they are generally unaffected by changes in levels of humidity). Hardwoods come in a range of vibrant colours, such as the deep honey tones of oak, the lively orange of bilinga, the stunning violet of purple-heart wood, the passionate red of bubinga, and the yellowish brown of amazakoue.The company chooses from 15 different species of hardwood, provided by a handful of sawmills that use old-fashioned wood-chopping techniques in order to yield a straight, stable grain that only varies as much as the thickness of the inlay.
Neither laser cutting nor water-jet cutting is used by Etablissements Romoli in its workshop in South-Eastern France. Several workstations, in the production facility, have been custom-made and are equipped with carefully sharpened carbide blades. Each flooring saw has been meticulously calibrated with various stops to facilitate cutting at any angle.
The company’s workshop is made up of a small team of highly qualified workers, whose training requires a minimum of 10 years. Yves Romoli explains, “Training is completed as it was during the era of the guilds, that is, with patience, perseverance and humility, and when know-how and skills were passed down from father to son.”
As the tradition of hardwood marquetry is kept alive, the art of flooring, as practised by the expert workers at Etablissements Romoli, has become internationally famous. The company has been trusted by no fewer than 12 presidents in office. Kings, sultans, ambassadors and billionaires have also called upon the talents of Etablissements Romoli: among them was King Hassan II (the father of Morocco’s current king), for one of his residences, and the owners of the Queen Mary II liner, for the ship’s dining room.
Thanks to its virtual showroom, Etablissements Romoli now offers bespoke flooring options online: visitors can come up with original designs that can be integrated into mosaic parquet flooring, or can choose from 100 basic models, at a cost of approximately €500 per square metre.
“With a growing number of wealthy buyers and, so, increased demand, we have had to adjust our approach by coming up with standards that blend process industrialisation and our know-how as craftsmen,” Yves Romoli explains.