• 04.02.10

Ye Olde Designers: A Mini-Documentary on Roman & Williams

The designers of nostalgic-chic spaces like the Ace Hotel talk about how they bring yesteryear into our contemporary world.

Ace Hotel

If you’re a fan of taxidermy, filament lighting, pharmacist bottles, and plaid, you can thank Roman & Wiliams, a New York-based design duo who has brought whimsy, fantasy, and authenticity back into our sterile modern interiors. As one of the firms featured in last year’s book Dark Nostalgia, we got to see several of their projects (like the Ace Hotel in New York, above), and now a sweet little documentary produced by The Scout gives us insight into their process.


Their golden-lit vintage look comes from a desire to create dramatic interiors that yank people out of their contemporary routine. “It’s a shame to only have dreams at night,” says partner Stephen Alesch, who still draws all their renderings by hand. “You should have a few
opportunities during the day.” The film is a treat just to see Alesch and partner Robin Standefer’s studio, filled with so many drool-worthy trinkets and fixtures I found myself wishing they’d have a garage sale.

[Roman & Williams]

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.