How-To Guide: Plan a Design Getaway

If you follow us on Instagram, then you’ve likely heard us mention our occasional “design getaways.” When we’re not over our heads in work and we’re fortunate enough to be able to skip town for a bit, we like to plan trips that are centered around reigniting our passion for design, inspiring some creativity and helping us to feel inspired by other designers, builders and artists.

We recently went on a two-week trip to Japan to admire their clean, modern architecture, a designy cabin in Chattanooga to check out the way they let the outdoors in, and a few back-and-forths between Nashville and NYC to hit some museums and stroll through the streets. If you’re looking to plan this type of design-focused excursion of your own, here are some of our favorite destinations.

  • New York. It’s obvious, but for good reason; a trip to NYC is convenient from just about anywhere in the country because it’s so easy to hop a flight, and with so much going on any given weekend, it’s great for an impromptu getaway.
    Our favorite design spots: MOMA, the Chelsea Hotel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Guggenheim

  • Nashville. If you’ve never been to our home city, you’re overdue for a visit. While Nashville is more well-known for its music scene than its design scene, there are more than a few beautiful buildings that we’re happy to admire on a daily basis.
    Our favorite design spots: Nashville Public Library, The Parthenon, Ryman Auditorium

  • Los Angeles. For us, mid-century modern architecture is always a favorite, and there’s no shortage of great mid-century buildings and homes in and around Los Angeles. Take a drive to check out one or a few of the iconic Case Study homes, make the trek to one of the city’s beautifully designed museums or just stroll the streets to admire the way the orange trees cast shadows on the Spanish-style homes in one of the residential neighborhoods.
    Our favorite design spots: The Getty, Case Study Homes, Eames House, Griffith Observatory

  • Pittsburgh. It’s a smaller city, but Pittsburgh is one of our favorite design destinations for a more low-key weekend away. The downtown area is filled with historic buildings designed by world class architects, and if you’re willing to make a short drive outside the city, you can even take a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater.
    Our favorite design spots: City View building (designed by IM Pei), The Pennsylvanian, Fallingwater

  • Tokyo. We recently took our first trip to Japan, and we were completely enthralled by the city’s architecture and attention to detail in every aspect of its design. The city is a huge metropolis with something new to discover around every corner, but even more so if you’re interested in Japanese architecture and design.
    Our favorite design spots: Truck Furniture studio, Nara Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Imperial Hotel