Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Age: 30 (Cat O’Brien) and 35 (Stephanie Schroeder).
Occupation: Owners, principals, and interior designers at Alchemy Studio.
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI (Cat) and Laramie, WY (Steph).
Studio location: Noho, Manhattan.
Describe what you make: Our main gig is designing interiors for new multifamily residential and condominium buildings in New York and Miami—from the lobby and elevator cabs, to the apartments themselves, and every type of amenity in between (fitness centers, spas, lounges, co-working spaces, etc). This line of work has really forced us to adapt with the changing needs of society and everyday people and be super thoughtful about how people interact with the spaces around them. It sounds fun to say we do interior design, but I think a more appropriate term would be “expert problem solvers.” We also do some private residential, commercial and hospitality work as well.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Some of the early buildings we designed really launched our careers professionally such as 1399 Park Ave and 1 Flatbush Ave, but oddly enough the first thing we ever designed as Alchemy Studio was a small corridor renovation of a walk-up apartment building in the West Village (236 W 10th Street) and it was an instant hit. We started seeing it pop up all over Instagram and Pinterest and is what solidified what our clients now refer to as our own “Alchemy Style.” Less known but equally as important to us, we design a lot of affordable housing buildings. We are big advocates of the fact that good design should be accessible to everyone. The spaces surrounding us have a major impact on our emotions and identity and can play a huge role in what empowers us, so we try to put our resources to good use in designing a better world for everyone to live in.
Describe the problem your work solves: On a micro level: creating timeless interiors that people love to live in and are super functional for everyday life (particularly important for us New Yorkers where every millimeter counts). Macro: Accessible good design for a better quality of life for everyone.
Describe the project you are working on now: We are crazy people and have around 20 active projects at any given time ranging from new construction apartment and condo buildings, private residences, and ongoing renovations.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: This year we’re excited to start designing some products that are exclusive to Alchemy Studio, so stay tuned to see what we come up with. We’re also starting work on a home renovation for one of our most stylish clients (he actually found us from that West Village corridor we designed).
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Queer Eye episodes on repeat, hot sauce, and always music! We all take turns being the DJ for the day and love to hear what everyone’s listening to. We also always have our Alchemy Studio reed diffuser out which will soon be on our website to purchase.
What you do when you’re not working: We don’t know what that means 😊 but for Cat it would be yoga, cake baking, pina colada drinking, and spending time with her favorite people. Steph likes to cook, garden and Soul Cycle and is actively looking for a Lucas Terrier.
Sources of creative envy: Freddie Mercury, Kelly Wearstler, Fiona Lynch, Stevie Nicks, Ralph Lauren, and the gentlemen of Apparatus. Anyone who fearlessly marches to the beat of their own drum.
The distraction you want to eliminate: COVID-19!
Concrete or marble? Marble.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse (Cat). High-rise (Steph).
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens.
Dark or light? Light (Cat). Dark (Steph).