I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for small, boutiqe hotels. They typically feel very thoughtfully designed, engaging to customers, and just so darn cozy. It seems to me, though, that most of them reside on the west coast or in more northern states, but not really in the larger DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area. So imagine my surprise when The Line opened a location here in D.C., and imagine me quickly jetting there to snag a few pictures and get a sense of how the space is designed.
I think the spot above is quickly becoming one of the most Instagrammed locales in the city. Most of the building is converted from the old First Christ of Scientist Church in Adams Morgan, and a lot of original detailing and architecture remains prevalent in the front lobby of the hotel.
I wasn’t able to see any of the guest rooms in person (HUGE bummer), but I think I see a staycation somewhere in the near future?
I’ve been following Orlando Soria since watching him craft up cool DIY projects with Emily Henderson (who is also an inspiration) on her HGTV show some years ago. I was ecstatic when he announced that he would be moving to and renovating a condo in Silver Lake (that he graciously named “Orcondo”), and I was even more ecstatic (read: envious) to watch the space blossom into an extremely well-designed home.
Follow along with Orlando on his blog and Instagram (which is a treat to follow), and check out Emily Henderson’s blog where he frequently writes guests posts!
Photos via Hommemaker and Homepolish.
One mainstay in my daily inspiration regimen is to check out Stadshem, a Swedish real estate company that uses the talents of some spectacular stylists and photographers to design and shoot their spaces. I could seriously leave for Sweden today and cozy up in the corner of any one of these rooms until they kick me out for being a crazed American squatter. Stadshem only shows homes built before 1970, so all of their spaces have an authentic European charm.
If you want to be inspired to become a lunatic squatter like me, be sure to follow these guys on Instagram and Pinterest. They kill it every single time.
All photos from Stadshem.
Union Market, located in Northeast DC, is an awesome place to be. The large warehouse space is home to dozens of pop-up food retailers that would suit any taste, as well as a few boutique retail stores. The only full-service restaurant in Union Market is Bidwell, and they were kind enough to let me bug them for a morning with tons of questions about their well-designed space and brand.
The first thing that I noticed about Bidwell was the implementation of their logo as signage (on subway tile, to boot). I chatted with the manager about how the logo came about, which led to a pretty interesting story. The designer noticed that a bidwell melon (I didn’t know that bidwell melons were a thing until this story!), cut in half, revealed an interesting shape, that ended up being used as the form of the logo. As a designer, I love getting into these spaces and hearing cool stories about how certain design elements come about. Super inspiring.
The bread and butter (not literally) of Bidwell come from their rooftop garden, where they grow all of their own vegetables for their dishes. Unfortunately, I visited during off-season, so my photos of the rooftop don’t tell an accurate story of how lush the vegetation can get during the spring and summer.
Good design lies in the details.
Truer words were never spoken about Pearl Dive; whose brand relies on maritime-inspired surfaces, cool blues, and some excellent uses of typography to tell it’s story. Pearl Dive is connected to Black Jack (they’re both owned by Black Restaurant Group), which I featured here last week. Some friends put me on to both of the spaces, and I’m glad that they did!
As a graphic designer, a good logo used in interesting ways always tends to catch my eye. Both the tiled wordmark and the wall mural pictured above are prime examples. The worn textures and whitewashed patina visible throughout the space makes it feel like Pearl Dive has been a 14th Street staple for decades, when it’s only a few years old. It’s a casual and approachable brand, but the food feels pretty upscale; their clam po’ boy is probablyyyy the best that I’ve ever tasted.
Salvaged materials, rich colors, and moody vibes all pretty much sum up the brand of Black Jack. Reflecting the craft cocktail movement that it represents, Black Jack’s style harks back to an old school speakeasy, complete with dim lighting and luxuriously rich (but perfectly worn) textures throughout the space. AND there are indoor bocce courts, if the drinks and ambience aren’t enough to draw you in.
I sat down with E. Jay, the bar manager of Black Jack, to talk a little more about the brand and how it’s reflected in the way the interior is designed. He walked me through the space to show how reliant the design is on reclaimed materials, such as the “GOLF'” signage, old tufted furniture, and old pipes used for the beer taps. We also talked about repeated elements of the brand throughout the space, as you can see in the custom wallpaper that’s also used on coasters. The angry monkey on the other side of the coaster is repeated as a crazy mural in the space as well, but my photography skills failed me when it came to shooting it, unfortunately… Check out the restaurant to see it in person!
It’s been a while since I’ve published an Inspired post! Life has been hectic for the past few weeks, so I’ve had to move some priorities around a bit, but I have a full slate of fun things to show and discuss over the summer! Stay tuned!