Welcome to the Ace Hotel. Enjoy your stay.



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  • A Hotel Breslin--meets--Ace Hotel sketch by Roman Williams

  • Custom wall hangings add a personalized touch in many of the rooms

  • A view from one of the rooms

  • Unfussy plaid sheets tap into the hotel's lived-in, vintage aesthetic

  • A vintage-esque shower head and subway tiles in the bathroom

  • Products by Rudy's are on offer in the rooms

  • There are turntables in every room, along with a selection of music curated by...

  • "We wanted to create the feeling of being in an apartment," says Standefer of...

  • Desks create a mini office space within the loft-like rooms

  • Roman Williams fashioned this open closet from industrial pipe

A Hotel Breslin--meets--Ace Hotel sketch by Roman Williams

Later this month the Ace Hotel (1185 Broadway between 28th and 29th Sts, acehotel/newyork.com) will open its doors to New Yorkers. Housed in the former Hotel Breslin (opened in 1904), this is the latest venture in the Ace’s mini-empire (they have outposts in Seattle, Portland and Palm Springs) of budget-friendly, well-designed hotels—hipster hostels that don’t skimp on either amenities or style. We’re so smitten with the Ace’s industrial, DIY aesthetic that we hunted down the New York hotel’s design team, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman & Williams (romanandwilliams.com), and spoke to Standefer about how you can translate the Ace’s look to your own home.

On their work for the hotel:

“We either collect vintage or make custom—we rarely buy newly produced furniture [when working with a client]. For the Ace New York, we did the entire lobby in vintage and things we designed. I’ve never seen it done before. We are inspired by simple, honest materials—like wood, steel and wool—and like to mix high and low to get an ultimately sophisticated end result.”

Steal these ideas:

* Roman & Williams crafted cool open closets out of industrial pipe—not really easy for laymen to make. “Instead of buying a cheap armoire made out of particle board, put a rolling rack in your room,” suggest Standefer. It creates a similar look and is much more durable.

* “You need to get your hands dirty,” asserts Standefer. To that end, they added coats of chalkboard paint to walls and doors so anyone can jot notes down or draw on them.

* Use what you’ve got: “We were required by landmark [laws] to maintain the detail in the lobby,” says Standefer. “We were happy about that. Stephen and I are really inspired and excited by it—there’s a beautiful ceiling with plaster detail and mosaic floor. We loved using that as inspiration.” So, what do you do with old, sometimes ugly, bones in your abode? “Express those layers, if you will. Keep an edgy eye to how you approach it.”

* An easily replicated idea from Roman & Williams is to turn canvas bags into pillows. Standefer says you can score the duffels from an Army Navy store. In the same vein are the sofas and chairs that have been reupholstered in blankets—there are many great wool ones at the Army Navy store.

* “Look outside of your typical box—there are lots of resources,” says Standefer. “You can find great things on the Bowery, like restaurant wares and simple, heavy china that you could stencil on, to personalize.” Manufacturing sources and laboratory furniture is also worth a look in Standefer’s book.

Look here for inspiration:

* American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St, 212-769-5100; amnh.org) to look at all of the bugs and organic things
* Ted Muehling (27 Howard St between Broadway and Lafayette St, 212-431-3825)
* E.R. Butler & Co. (75 Spring St between Crosby and Lafayette Sts; 212-925-3565, erbutler.com)“They have great inspiration for craftsmanship.”

Standefer’s resources:

* Kaufman’s Army Navy (319 W 42nd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 212-757-5670)
* Kaufman Shoe Repair Supplies, Inc. (346 Lafayette St between Bond St and Jones Alley, 212-777-1700)
* McMaster Carr (mcmaster.com)
* Dijital Fix (218 Bedford Ave at North Fifth St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; dijitalfix.com)
* Schoolhouse Electric (schoolhouseelectric.com)

The Ace is offering an introductory rate of $99 per night for the month of March. After that, the rates start at $189 for a bunk bed and $289 for a double room.

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