Designer Profile: Bill Rooney, President of Bill Rooney Studio, Inc.

Name: Bill RooneyBill Rooney Studio, Inc.
Company: Bill Rooney Studio, Inc.
Position within company: President

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I was born in New York State and studied architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and Rome, Italy.
I founded Bill Rooney Studio, Inc. in 2010 specializing in hospitality and residential interior design. The prior twenty years, I spent working for two very prestigous hospitality design firms.

I am currently designing a Four Seasons Hotel & Residences in New Orleans and the Peninsula Suite at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago.  I recently completed a new build Four Seasons Hotel, One Dalton in Boston, The Peninsula Chicago guestrooms,  The Peninsula New York Gotham Lounge and 5th Avenue Suite, The Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami, The Cadillac hotel renovation in Miami Beach, Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, the guestrooms of the Liberty Hotel Boston,  St. Gregory Hotel in Washington D.C., and the Mason & Rook Hotel Washington, DC. and another Four Seasons in New Orleans.

I have been licenced as an architect in New York State for the past 29 years, and I am also licensed to practice architecture in the state of Florida and Louisiana.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Contextual; bespoke one-of-a-kind interior design, that is a refined blend of modern and classic distinction.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I draw inspiration from: 

  1. The context of a specific place
  2. Our client’s goals for the end result
  3. Art and Fashion
  4. The Natural environment for color and texture
  5. Personal travel experiences

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is very important, now more than ever.  It contributes to our emotional and mental health. A well designed space feeds our aspirations and dreams.  It is the unexpected juxtapositions and surprises that makes our experiences special, comforting, and broadening.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Our connection to the natural environment is most important. Anytime we can include or connect with nature is important. When we can reference biophilic design it positively contributes to our mood, whether through material, open air spaces, natural patterning, water, planting, color, or connection to the landscape outdoors.
  2. In an overt or subtle manner depending on the project, make certain there is a connection to a sense of place. This will give the space a soul. We all look for these new and unique experiences in our travel.
  3. Technology integration into our spaces remains very important. A seamless, touchless, and universally consistent approach to how we interact with our spaces is very important, (ie. room access, menus, door access, temperature, lighting, etc). For example, with more efficient guest interaction with a hotel this can free up more time to allow for more meaningful guest to hotel staff communication, which still is at the heart of any hospitality experience.
  4. Depending on the context of the design, a layered blend of new & vintage, refined & casual, and multi-cultural references keeps design fresh. This idea of juxtaposition of design elements allows for unique experiences.
  5. In hospitality, remembering the personal and individualization opportunities of the guests is important in the spaces we create. Looking for opportunities that allow for individualized guest experiences in spaces that blur the lines between traditional use definitions, remains relevant.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
As a designer you certainly need take a position, be a creative, independent thinker, and have a distinctive point of view, however, you must always remain collaborative.  It is important to think out loud with your client.  It is the collaboration with your client and other member of the design team that can inspire and often lead to the best solutions and mood for the project.

How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The International Hotel & Property Awards are such an honor to be associated with.  Seeing the work and hearing the point of view of such talented designers around the world is inspiring.

What projects are you currently working on?
– The new Four Seasons Hotel & Residences, New Orleans, LA
– Peninsula Suite,The Peninsula Chicago
– The new Omni Hotel Oklahoma City, OK
– Westin Grand Central New York, Lobby
– A 21C Museum Hotel guestrooms at the Old 1920’s YMCA building in St. Louis, Mo.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I am using the time and adjustments we have all made in recent months to concentrate and focus on any area that improves my ability to provide better service. I have re-examined everything from Office space, library, software, and professional skills. For example, in addition to our NYC office, I recently opened an office in the country to enhance creative focus.


Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession? My library of Art /Design/Landscape/Travel books, Auction Catalogues, and Personal Sketch Books.

Your favourite food and drink? Food: Raw clams,  Drink: Champagne

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? Sad


Bill Rooney Studio, Inc. have 2 projects shortlisted, and are winners of Beach Hotel category in The International Hotel & Property Awards 2020.

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