Designer Crush: ROY Hospitality Design


Growing up in a family of restauranteurs, sisters Hannah and Emily Collins developed an early interest in the ins and outs of hospitality. Today, the two have joined forces to create unique dining experiences with ROY, their full-service hospitality design studio. Combining their passions and backgrounds in the industry with storytelling through design, Hannah and Emily founded ROY on the belief that the design process is a journey from concept to construction. With a dedication to craft, ROY works with each client to determine the most dynamic and efficient way to create beautiful and inspired spaces. Learn more about Hannah in our Q+A below.

How did you get your start in design?

Ever since a young age, I’ve had  strong sensitivity to environment and physical space. I knew I wanted to pursue a creative career. After the realization that a scripture major may not be the best fit, I found architecture and design. 

Tell us about the name ROY and why you opted to change the original name of Hannah Collins Designs.

When I started the Hannah Collins Design, I was a one woman show. As the team grew and we began to focus strictly on hospitality, I knew I wanted the brand to be more of a reflection of  the direction and scale the company was moving in. We felt strongly a new brand and name could achieve the change we were looking for to take on much bigger projects. Roy is the middle name of our Grandfather who was extremely influential to us. He taught us the beauty of being an entrepreneur and that we could achieve whatever we wanted in this life.

You firmly believe in the alignment of design and concept, as well as form and function — what are some practical ways you ensure there’s harmony among those features? 

We are fully committed to never designing for design sake. We believe in design as a solution. Each feature is addressed with purpose, intent, or conceptual clarity. While never forgoing beauty, in other words, all problems have beautiful solutions. 

You work alongside your sister Emily — what are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of working with your sibling?

We have a very special working relationship and friendship rooted in trust. We always knew we wanted to work together, so it may seem like a surprise to others, but it was never a surprise to us. The best part of working with your sister is you can be fighting one minute and laughing the next. We disagree a lot, but there are always healthy productive disagreements that make our company stronger. 

Photographs courtesy of Albert Law

Where do you begin with a new hospitality project (i.e. when you partner with a client like Barvale or Magnolia, what’s the process for developing the concept and then executing on the initial ideas)?

We work very closely with the client to define what the story is and how they want to tell it. Then we translate that story into visual inspiration via moodboards, materials, art, and other design features. Once we decide on a concept and design language, we start going into sketching and drawing mode. 

What’s your idea of the perfect Sunday, from a.m. to p.m.?

Wake up, consume an entire pot of earl grey tea while I read the paper, walk my dog on the beach, attend a yoga class, peruse a farmers market, and then host dinner with friends. 

Lightning round!

Favorite brunch spot in SF?


Current celebrity crush?

Jake Gyllenhaal currently, previously, and forever.

First concert?

James Taylor with my parents.

Go-to Netflix pick?

Billions (I don’t think that is technically on Netflix but you get it).

photography by Albert Law :

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