September 09,2022

2010 AD100: William W. Stubbs

by David Stewart

William W. Stubbs has come a long way since his early days working for real estate developers, when his decisions were along the lines of whether a carpet should be “beige, beiger or very beige,” as he describes the experience in his book, I Hate Red, You’re Fired! Today, as head of the five-person firm he established in Houston in 1987, he travels the world, designing interiors that require far more creativity—and a far broader palette. Stubbs’s projects run the gamut—from a sprawling estate outside Kiev to affordable senior housing in Rhode Island and, currently, an Airbus 319. “I attend 12-hour meetings with five aeronautical engineers in Basel, Switzerland,” he says. “This, as a design process, is the battle of the left brain and the right.”

If there’s a style he’s most comfortable with, it’s English country, but Stubbs says that his designs are driven primarily by the character and needs of his clients. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for surprise. This former Boy Scout from Gonzales, Texas, may have good manners, but he also has a playful streak. For one client, a riding aficionado moving from a large rural house to an urban penthouse, Stubbs took three saddles, mounted them on special copper brackets and hung them like art over an ebony grand piano in the entrance. The resident, he says proudly, “was overwhelmed by my incorporating her personality into her new sophisticated environment.”

William W. Stubbs



  • David Stewart
  • September 09,2022

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