What does designing a dress have to do with designing a dining table? More than you might imagine, says Pound Ridge designer Richard Ostell. “The general principles that guided me in clothing apply to furniture, as well as other mediums,” he explains. “My design has always been about silhouette and proportion, simplicity and quiet, quality and longevity.”
The apparel of this former creative director for Liz Claiborne (who heads his own label) has been featured by some of the world’s most illustrious retailers—Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and Liberty in London—during a career that spans 25 years. But Ostell always wanted to design furniture, so last year he founded Richard Ostell Furniture.
In a studio converted from an old barn on his property, Ostell has designed a sophisticated collection of clean-lined, modern wood and copper furniture—plus ceramic dinnerware—that evokes an almost sculptural quality in its elegant simplicity. While made traditionally by hand—the wood furniture in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the copper in Astoria, New York; and the ceramics in New Haven, Connecticut—it has a more modern aesthetic.
The current collection ranges from a white oak side table with an asymmetrical cantilevered top ($850) to a copper side table ($6,750) and includes consoles, tables, and benches, as well as a striking large copper box mirror ($4,500). A five-piece place setting of stackable dinnerware, in potter’s white or celadon gray, is $124. On the drawing board? Wooden furniture featuring leather and glass, plus upholstered pieces. For more information: www.richardostell.com.