Founded in 2002 by principals Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the New York-based design studio known for their work on hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, homes, and product design. Roman and Williams’ projects strive to consistently find the tension between spontaneity and rigor, refinement and rebellion, and past and future. Recently, they have created their most personal work to date: Roman and Williams Guild NY where the studio’s showcases their collection of original furniture, lighting, and accessories, as well as items collected from the workshops of the world’s best artisans, space is home also to celebrated French cafe La Mercerie, helmed by Chef Marie-Aude Rose.
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Gwyneth Paltrow’s New York Apartment was Roman and Williams’ first collaboration with her. She’d loved some of their work that she’d seen in a friend’s house, so she called the office one day, out of the blue. “That kind of phone call never gets old,” laughs Standefer. “It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.” Though the design firm’s best-known work at the time was “dark and rich, very layered,” according to Standefer, “Gwyneth saw how we could instead channel this ethereal palette: light delicate whites, palest lavenders, grays, silvers, embroidery details.
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World of Interiors described the second home of Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch as “…something quite remarkable: a weekend getaway so filled with the curious that it’s more Kunsthammer than beach cabana.” The designers took a relatively unremarkable 1950’s “contractor special” with a 1980s addition, and without undertaking a wholesale renovation, we’re able to completely change the feeling and spirit of the place. They removed drywall, added new wood windows, doors, and tambour walls, and undertook extensive interior decoration and exterior landscape efforts.
EAST FOURTH STREET
As the personal residence of Roman and Williams’ principals Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the 4th Street loft was converted from an industrial workspace into an iconic downtown New York City residence that has been published in design magazines across the globe and serves as a source of inspiration for many.
211 ELIZABETH STREET
In their first ground-up residential project, Roman and Williams designed a seven-story condominium building in the heart of NoLiTa, one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods. At first glance, the building blends into its historic neighborhood, but a closer inspection reveals brick details and wood double-hung windows that stand out. Roman and Williams chose to reject modern construction trends in favor of a more traditional approach and hired a family of Irish masons to lay the handcrafted brick façade of the building, a decision that won the building and the firm the 2010 Palladio Award.
In Nantucket, a resilient place where the land meets the sea and man meets nature, Roman and Williams have designed the interiors of Greydon House for Faros Properties, creating a 20-room hotel at 17 Broad Street with a complete bar and dining room that will be open to the community. Deploying their intrepid style Roman and Williams worked to push the conventions of the local design vernacular by bridging the old world and the new. Surprising continuities and original juxtapositions help to surface hidden facets of Nantucket’s identity and imbue the hotel with new energy at its core.
THE ACE HOTEL
Having worked with Ace to create Ace Hotel New York, Roman and Williams felt the time was right to work in the cultural crucible that is New Orleans. The firm viewed this as an opportunity to play with the syncretism that is a key theme in their work — in the place that does it best. Robin Standefer points out that “This project creates a real opportunity to voice the soul of the city of New Orleans, to respond to this fractured American moment, where people are becoming ever more detached and mediated. We strove to embrace — in a fluid and perhaps more feminine way — some of the discord and the complexity that New Orleans has always managed to weave together.”