Designed to compliment the hotel’s celebrated cocktail bar, Broken Shaker, 27 Restaurant and Bar embraces the idea of eclectic Americana, boasting vintage wallpaper and magazines as well as a curated selection of local artwork and custom hand drawn pieces by Roman and Williams principal, Stephen Alesch.
In keeping with Freehand Miami’s authentic and comfortable vibe, Roman and Williams converted an existing cottage on property into an intimate and warm environment for locals and travelers alike to eat, drink and unwind. Inspired by the communal spirit of coastal summer camps of the past, the restaurant is outfitted with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, while clusters of lounge chairs and couches compliment the more traditional small table seating positioned alongside communal large wooden picnic tables.
Drawing on their experience designing iconic destinations such as Ace Hotel New York, Royalton New York, The Standard High Line and The High Line Hotel, among others, Roman and Williams have embraced the local energy and aesthetic of Miami while infusing a level of sophistication, resulting in an unexpectedly refined yet casual hostel experience.
About Roman and Williams
In 2002, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch partnered to found the New York based design studio Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors. The firm has since garnered international attention for their work on hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, homes, and product design. Distinguishable by its ingenious blending of historical elements with a modern reference, Roman and Williams strives to create projects which consistently find the tension between spontaneity and rigor, refinement and rebellion, and past and future.
The studio places an emphasis on sturdy, well-made objects, custom designing many of the furniture and fixtures found in their work. Credited with reinventing the world of hospitality through the boutique hotel, Roman and Williams is known for their work on such projects as Ace Hotel New York, The Boom Boom Room at the Standard Highline, and Facebook. Each project is instilled with a sense of narrative and familiarity. The firm has received numerous accolades, including the prestigious 2014 National Design Award for excellence in Interior Design.
Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch — the wife-and-husband creative team is behind the architectural and interior design firm Roman & Williams. Credit: Robert Wright
PROJECT INFO: 50,000 sq. ft. – Miami, FL
Freeland Miami is a local hideaway, a hostel reinvented in a classic 1930’s building – formerly the Indian Creek Hotel. Hidden on an overgrown side street near the ocean, in a garden filled with huge palms, old growth vines, and a rack of beach cruisers.
With Freehand Miami, the design firm Roman and Williams has redefined the idea of hostel living. This is a place that feels secret and under the radar, yet appealing in a way you can not immediately define. Inspired by summer camp and bunk houses, it is a mixture of naiveté and sophistication. Roman and Williams’ vision for Freehand is comforting, aspirational, and communal.
The sixty-two rooms, which range from Standard Kings to “Super 8’s”, have a coastal vibe. Imagine the faded colors of a 1960’s era lifeguard school. The sturdy bunk beds are an integral part of the shared rooms and are built-in to recall the feel of a camp cabin, right down to the wooden ladders you can use to move from berth to berth. Sophisticated and spontaneous, Freehand inspires a communal spirit; it is more than just a place to crash for the night.
Roman and Williams collaborated on all aspects of the creation of Freehand Miami, including the naming, branding, and concepting. They chose the name and selected a hand drawn approach to the graphics to inspire a community that creates its own path. They created the communal spaces, including the lobby and outdoor patio that suggest a fugitive Floridian hotel meets bohemian rec room. Danish and tropical 1940’s furniture mingles with afghan throws, Turkish tapestries, and local art. Dozens of vintage National Geographic Magazines fill the shelves.
The pool area, lined with found furniture and striped chaises, wth bottles in the trees, speaks tothe spirit of being halfway between the Everglades and Havana.
The Broken Shaker, with its vintage wallpaper and wooden paneling, has the feeling of a Pharmacia in a mangrove forest and spills onto the brick patio, creating intoxicating herbal concoctions served with unique local foods. If you set a movie at Freehand, it might be directed by Wes Anderson. As imagined by Roman and Williams, Freehand Miami embraces an eclectic Americana, more phenomenon than hostel.