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Welcome to 10 Things, where we ask our favorite creatives and tastemakers to share what brings joy to their lives (because it might enhance yours too).

Without you knowing, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch have probably been a part of your life, from the decor you’ve bought to the hotels you’ve stayed at. In the past 20 years, the duo behind Roman and Williams has designed some of our most frequented spots: Stumptown coffee shops; iconic New York restaurants like Le Coucou, The Dutch, and Lafayette; the Ace and Freehand hotels; and even a Goop pop-up store.

The couple met on a movie set in Los Angeles in the ’90s—Standefer was a production designer on iconic films like Goodfellas, and Alesch was an art director on blockbusters like ZoolanderThen, one day in 2001, actor Ben Stiller asked them to design his home. A year later, Roman and Williams was born. The pair eventually got married and moved to New York, where they now split their time between their city apartment and a beach house in Montauk. Their latest venture: a restaurant and home decor store combo, the Roman and Williams Guild and La Mercerie, which opened in Soho in 2017. Here, they share the 10 things that make them happy.


The Nostalgic Accent

These candlesticks are perfect in all sizes to bring your tabletop to life. Stephen turned the first one for me as a gift, and they remind me of our meadow.  — Standefer

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Reed Candlestick, Roman and Williams Guild ($465)

The Summer Cooking Bible

Any cookbook from Phaidon is worthwhile, but we tend to gravitate toward ones that are salad- and greens-focused. — Alesch

The Garden Chef, Phaidon ($40)

The Nighttime Ritual

This mask works so fast. It makes you feel super clean and fresh after being outside in the garden. You immediately feel better!  — Standefer

Exfoliating Instant Facial, Goop ($125)

The Fancy Footwear

These sandals are the coolest—and the most comfortable. Everything from Rick Owens makes us happy. — Alesch


Babel Shoes, Rick Owens ($214)

The Kitchen Must-Have

Stephen makes an incredible curry in our Donabes, and so does Marie Rose, our chef at La Mercerie. — Standefer

Large Donabe, Hitoshi Kato ($125)

The Upgraded LBD

A bold and wild choice if you want to make a statement. La DoubleJ mixes vintage with its own collection, and I love that. — Standefer 

Swing Dress, La Double J. ($620)

The Collector’s Piece

These vases are part of an amazing tradition of Scandinavian ceramics. We always search for them and collect groups of one color and glaze. In a group, they make an incredible collection on a mantel or in a cabinet. — Standefer 

Group of Vases, Gunnar Nylund ($2,100)

The Signature Scent

Our original scent is made of all of our favorite plants: cypress, eucalyptus, cedarwood, fir needle, evergreen, camphor, pine, balsam, and cedar leaf.  We have a passion for plants and bringing nature into our home. — Alesch


Bois du Guild Original No. 1 Scented Candle, Roman and Williams Guild ($125)

The Weekend Hobby

We use these paint sets in Montauk to capture our garden. Painting brings us a sense of calm and happiness.  — Alesch 

French Artists’ Watercolor Sets, Sennelier ($199)

The Vase Alternative

We love to put flowers in simple bottles and decanters on our tabletop and surround ourselves with these distinctive and beautiful pieces. They’re captivating and make our table feel alive.  — Standefer

Decanta Flower Vase, Yoshihiro Nishiyama ($400)

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