These Design Destinations Will Inspire You to Travel (and Redecorate)

Sophie Miura

The word "bucket list" might conjure images of a backpack-toting traveller embarking on an off-the-beaten-path adventure, but for the design-conscious among us, it holds an entirely different meaning. Forget cramped hostels or landmarks swelling with tourists—if you have a penchant for excellent design, the ultimate vacation could consist of simply checking into a new It hotel, perusing galleries, or sampling the local cuisine at the hottest pop-up.

If you share our love for excellent design and dreamy décor (judging by your browsing choice, we assume you do), these are the must-visit vacations to add to your list this fall. We tapped Nate Storey, travel editor at contemporary design magazine Surface, to find out where to stay, eat, and explore in the world's leading creative hubs. Follow his insider tips to traverse the likes of Tokyo, Paris, and Copenhagen like a design pro. 

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil's capital has received renewed global attention, thanks to the 2016 Olympic Games, but Storey says the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro is now—after the crowds have left. "The legacy of the Olympics and 2014 World Cup will live on through various design projects that have reshaped the city," he tells MyDomaine. Areas that were once an eyesore, like the port, have been redeveloped to birth a thriving arts and cultural scene. 

Stay: Storey says two boutique hotels should be at the top of your list: "Fasano, where all the beautiful people hang out at the rooftop pool, and the recently opened Hotel Emiliano, which has a crazy mesmerising white facade made of brise-soleil shutter."

Eat: Dine at , Brazil's first fine raw food restaurant. The following night, be sure to book a table at Gurumê, a modern Japanese restaurant with a sleek wooden interior. 

Do: "Architect Santiago Calatrava’s new Museum of Tomorrow is mind-blowing—it looks like a spaceship crash-landed in Brazil."


Already ticked the City of Light off your bucket list? Not so fast, says Storey—a few new developments will entice design-savvy visitors to return. "Paris is having a major design moment right now, led by a deluge of new boutique hotels and restaurants," he says. 

Stay: "Stay at Les Bains if you're looking for an energetic scene, [or] C.O.Q. if you're after something more under the radar and unexpected," he recommends. 

Eat: One gourmet hot spot has been receiving a lot of attention of late, says Storey. "Chef Mathieu Pacaud's reimagined Divellec, once a popular place for local pols, was buzzing during fashion week this year."

Do: Granted, it's still a restaurant, but the culinary scene in Paris will make dining your activity of choice. "The brasserie La Rotonde de la Muette is the latest from ubiquitous New York designers Roman and Williams," and belongs on your list, says Storey. 

San Francisco

Add a Comment

More Stories