A Design Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.

For years, the reputation of our nation’s capital hinged on politics, monuments, steakhouses, and, of course, scandal. But recently, Washington, D.C., has blossomed into a destination for design and architecture lovers. With a spate of new design-forward hotels, restaurants, and cultural spaces—not to mention two major waterfront developments, the Yards and the Wharf, both featuring an array of attractive shops, residences, and promenades—the city has never felt fresher or more vibrant. Below, our guide on where to stay, eat, shop, and sightsee.


The Line DC

a minimally designed bedroom with a made bed

Photo: Adrian Gaut

Housed in a former neoclassical church, this buzzy newcomer in Adams Morgan is nothing short of a stunner. Many of the original features have been thoughtfully reimagined—the church organ pipes, for example, are now the lobby’s provocative chandelier—and there are five restaurants and bars helmed by local chefs Spike Gjerde and Erik Bruner-Yang. The accommodations feature a hip-yet-cozy vibe, with their eclectic mix of oak desks, living plants, brass beds, and original pieces sourced from local artists. thelinehotel.com/dc

Eaton Workshop

Image may contain Room Indoors Bedroom Flooring Furniture Bed Living Room Interior Design Rug Floor and Wood

Photo: Adrian Gaut

This new hospitality brand, with properties in D.C. and Hong Kong, doesn’t just look chic and sound cool (there’s a radio station on-site), it also takes its community-building ethos seriously. Founder Katherine Lo used her background in anthropology and filmmaking to create a lifestyle hotel that includes an artist-in-residence program, wellness classes, and workshops led by grassroots leaders. Interiors, designed by Parts and Labor and Gachot, are sophisticated and retro, with more than a hint of rock and roll. eatonworkshop.com

The Dupont Circle