When designers and buyers descended on New York for the International Gift Fair back in January, two hotels emerged as the go-to destinations for cocktails, meetings and merriment: the Ace Hotel and The Standard Hotel. Roman and Williams is responsible for the interiors of both. Founded in 1999 by Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the firm is hot, hot, hot.
This summer, Roman and Williams will unveil a new look for Cole Haan when the fashion brand’s Soho store opens in July. High-end plumbing firm Waterworks has also commissioned the firm to design a line of fixtures, which will be the first of what I hope are many new product lines from this pair. Here are Standefer and Alesch (above) hanging out in their own 4th Street loft in 2000.
Hands down, their style is the look of the decade. The list of trends they’ve helped ignite is long and handsome: dark painted trim, warm wood furniture, warehouse windows, industrial light fixtures, worn leather upholstery. Whether conceived for commercial or residential use, their spaces feel rich (as in, high quality and sumptuous), personal and very, very livable. The New York apartment, above, was designed in 2007.
The digs they designed for Stumptown Coffee will no doubt end up among the inspiration tears of people redesigning their kitchens.
Perhaps my favourite space by them — so far — is the designers’ own house in Montauk, which was completed in 2008. This was a 1980s spec house, which they transformed by ripping out drywall and adding new wood windows, doors and tambor walls. The result is casual yet urbane, a perfect combination.
Here’s the living room.
The principal bedroom.
And a vignette in the guest bedroom. It’s sunny and warm in Toronto this week, which has me thinking of summer escapes and cottage weekends. Can’t you picture yourself sitting in this chair, reading the latest House & Home?
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1-9. Roman and Williams