Take one trip and you’ll quickly learn that inspiration can be found in every corner of the world—which makes traveling and design the perfect combo. With everything from boutique hotels to swanky restaurants and iconic residences out there to uncover, it’s easy for the design aficionado to come down with a never-ending case of wanderlust. Here are 10 places on my own bucket list.
Farnsworth House (Plano, IL)
Expressive of international style architecture, this once-private residence was designed by famous German-American architect Mies van der Rohe in 1951 as a way to reconcile nature with modern living.
The Gamble House (Pasadena, CA)
Designed in 1908 by Greene and Greene, this residence typifies the sophisticated rustic aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts movement popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This style celebrated handcrafted details, built-in furnishings, natural materials and organically inspired architecture.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Finished in 1960, every detail of this hotel was designed by famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen—even the furniture and flatware! Emblematic of Danish modern and Scandinavian design, the only room left fully in tact from that era is room 606, which you can still book to this day. The room features the iconic Egg Chair and the original Drop chair in bright turquoise.
Generator Hostel (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Only a few metro stops away from the Radisson, this boutique hostel is a bright and eclectic (also more cost-effective) accommodation in exciting downtown Copenhagen. Stemming from a project once headed by Philippe Starck, this hostel is part of a European chain all with the same design-oriented theme. Its sister hostel in London has a similar personality with distinctive rooms that encourage creativity and social interaction (you can see the Egg chair again paired with dramatic lighting pieces above).
Hotel Hotel (Canberra, Australia)
Blending art installation and hospitality, Hotel Hotel’s unique foyer was recently constructed by March Studio in Australia. Drastically linear, thousands of timber planks seem to float and add infinite space to this luxury hotel.
Kameha Grand Hotel (Zurich, Switzerland)
For the Moooi enthusiast, this luxurious interior space was fully carried out by Marcel Wanders. Each room was carefully designed with diverse themes; from Princess themed rooms to masculine lounges and dining areas, this hotel should be at the top of your list. The dramatic stature of this Giant Anglepoise lamp fits perfectly in Wanders’ design scheme as well.
Well, more specifically, the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). This small town in the deep South is surprisingly a huge hub for art and design. The school inhabits many of the historical buildings downtown with the exception of a few modern additions. As with the foyer of Poetter Hall above, artful pops of color contrasting aesthetics can be found all throughout the city.
And if you need some natural inspiration, take a stroll through the many parks and streets lined with old oak trees and Spanish moss.
Himitsu (Atlanta, Georgia)
If I’m in Savannah anyway, I might as well take a jaunt up to the state capitol and try to get a table at one of the most exclusive spots in the city. Himitsu is a reservation-only Japanese craft cocktail lounge. It was the first project to be completed stateside by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, in 2015. The selection of Tom Dixon furniture, lighting and accessories set within the industrial space makes the overall design feel dark, glam and mysterious.
Fontevraud L’Hôtel, Fontevraud Abbey (Loire Valley, France)
Located in a 12th century cathedral, this hotel is a historical attraction and accommodation all in one. Featuring a muted color palette inspired by the white stones of the vaulted ceilings, the bare bones of the original structure are enhanced with lavish furniture and lighting.
Tianjin Binhai Library (Tianjin, China)
This has been termed “the world’s coolest library.” And if the photos are any indication, I’m apt to agree. I’m a fan of libraries anyway (I could probably do a whole new bucket list, in fact), so being able to visit one that displays books in such a futuristic and dramatic way would be a dream come true.