The quixotic, evocative world of Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch has finally become something everyone can experience with the opening of Roman and Williams Guild NY – a two-floor design emporium located on the fringe of Soho. Like the design duo’s reach, the space is a multi-dimensional union: medling restaurant, library, design gallery, art studio and boutique, effortlessly bringing together the many facets of their creativity.
With over 7,000 sq ft at its disposal, the Guild is an eloquent showcase of Roman and Williams’ many talents and most notably carries The Founding Collection, the first holistic compendium of furniture, lighting and accessories that Roman and Williams has designed over the years. Spanning office, dining, seating, storage, lounging and entertaining, many of the 40-piece furniture collection and 15-piece lighting offering originated during the development of the firm’s numerous hospitality projects.
Located on a previously forgotten corner of Canal Street – the space formerly housed a Citibank branch –the store boasts a light-filled, yet raw and moody interior that harks back to a Soho that’s long gone. Wooden floorboards, painted brick walls and an eclectic display of furniture, objects, glassware and textiles gives the space a lived in, loft-like feel, except for the fact that everything is for sale.
French café La Mercerie at Roman and Williams Guild NY
Interspersed amongst the shop’s signature collection are curated additions by Standefer and Alesch from workshops and craftspeople all around the world. From La Soufflerie glassware and painted stoneware by Andrew Mcgarva to Finnish reindeer fur hides and sculptures by the Montana-based artist Casey Zablocki, this trove of treasures is every design buff’s (and magpie’s) fantasy.
All around, the faucets and fixtures featured are from RW Atlas Collection for Waterworks, architectural doors and cabinet hardware are from a separate collaboration with H. Theophile and books are from Phaidon.
Glamorously bringing up the rear is La Mercerie, an elegant, French café concept from chef Marie-Aude Rose and restaurateur Stephen Starr that doles out pastries and eggs in the morning, café classics during the day and tea, coffee and cocktails in the evening. Flanked by a flower shop by Emily Thompson, whose wild, architectural compositions also pop up around the store, there really isn’t much more that one could ask for.