Design Escapes

9 Year-End Design Escapes

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It’s truly amazing how time flies! We feel like it was only yesterday that we were talking about the biggest trends for 2017, now the question on everyone’s lips is “What are you doing for New Year’s?” Whether you think December 31st is totally overrated or the most exciting time of the year, you have to agree that it makes a pretty good excuse to take a holiday! By clubbing Christmas and New Year’s together, you can take a week-long trip to relax and rejuvenate your senses to prepare yourself for 2018. When choosing a holiday destination, we always like to look at the design side of a city because surprisingly, almost every city in the world can become a design destination. You simply have to look a little bit! Here are our top picks for the perfect NYE holiday for the design lover in you.

London
London is surely one of the most popular cities to visit in the world and is also home to some of the best art, 
culture, and design in Europe. With a history that goes back thousands of years, London amalgamates the best of modern living with history. Winter in London can be a little dreary so liven up your stay with these design laden attractions.
 
St. Pancras Train Station
St. Pancras Station is one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture and is a sight to behold. Opened in 1868, the station design was a great testament to the combination of form and function as it still stands as one of the busiest stations in London. The roof is 100 feet high with wrought iron
ribscreating a lattice-like pattern overhead. When it was built, it was heralded as the largest single spanned roof in the world and has gone on to be the inspiration for buildings around the world including Grand Central Station in New York.
 
The Escapologist
Styled as a modern-day men’s club,
The Escapologist has been recognised as one of the best-designed bars in London. Dedicated to the raucous partying of yesteryear, The Escapologist reminds one of a magician’s lair where everything is slightly whimsical and devilish. The cocktails have names like Flaming Zombie, Pornstar Martini,
and Ziggy Stardust so you better be ready for anything but the ordinary. You will find lots tile, dark wood, bespoke portraits and disco lights here. With a pizza only menu, how can you say no?
 
 
Discern Tip: Invest in this bar stool to add an interesting element to your private bar counter at home or an eclectic stool which fits perfectly for an open kitchen concept.
 
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Traversa Bar Stool: Shop now 

The Woodford
Headed by the prodigious young chef Ben Murphy, the Woodford is one of East London’s most stylish and delicious dining destinations. The design is opulent yet restrained with plush purple sofas around circular
 
jazz-bar-esque tables. Sitting in a four-floor Georgian townhouse, the restaurant is intimate and could be where Frank Sinatra would take out his dates if we went back in time. A slight nod to the past is appreciated because the food is anything but modern, daring and comfortable; this is one meal you won’t forget anytime soon.
 
Discern Tip: Have you ever been to someplace and wished that you could stay there forever? Well, it's never too late to do just that. Inspired from this luxurious gastro-pub, bring this look right into your home with a chic and classic modern tufted sofa, pairing it with a modern table and a quirky vintage lamp to stir up an eclectic space. 

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Chesterfield Sofa Collection - Sand l: Shop now  

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Arezzo Round Coffee Table l: Shop now 

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Wyatt Clochel: Shop now 
 
Rio De Janeiro
Rio is a design lover’s dream. From topically inspired boutiques to eclectic open-air markets, Rio tops our list when it comes to wintertime escapes. Embrace and sun and spice of Brazil while still satisfying your inner designer.
 
Feira Hippie
If you’re looking for unique, flea market finds then the Hippie Fair of Ipanema is where you need to go! Running every Sunday from 7-7 since 1968, this famed market is supposedly the largest outdoor gallery of arts and crafts in the world. As the name tells us, it was started by a group of hippies and has now grown to a fair of over 700 exhibitors. You will find amazing folk art, 
jewellery, fashion, art and of course food. The perfect way to spend the day!
 
 
Fasano
Conceived by Philippe Starck, this hotel has been designed with details harking back to the 50s and 60s while still retaining a sense of luxury and indulgence. You will feel like you’ve stepped into a Bossa Nova song with the mid-century aesthetic and beach views, which isn’t a bad thing at all!
 
 
Discern Tip: Give your home a vintage holiday vibe with these classic and understated pieces that make the room speak for itself. For this look, get pieces that are sleek and modern with elegant prints, or tufted cushioning. Choose colours that range from the darker shades of browns, greys, and blues to imbibe sophistication into the room. Add some warmth with a movable reading lamp without taking up any table space.
 
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1. Home Boutique - Earthy Tone Cushion Cover Beige: Shop now 
2. Home Boutique -
Polyster Cushion Cover Yellow: Shop now 
3. Home Boutique - Jacquard Cushion Cover Beige: Shop now 
4. Will Coffee Table - Indigo Upholstered: Shop now 
5. Penland Bed Mahogany: Shop now 
6. Semor Mirror: Shop now 
7. Classy Swivel Chrome Bedside Wall Sconce: Shop now 
8. Elsa Tufted Day Bed - Grey: Shop now 
9. Loveseat Tufted Leather: Shop now 

Rio Street Art Tour
Rio is known around the world for its incredible street art and one way to get introduced to these democratised works is by taking part in an organized tour. There are some great operators who will not only take you through the different kinds of street art around the city but also shed light on the culture and way of life in Rio to give you deeper insight into this vibrant destination!
 

Casablanca
There’s more to Casablanca than Rick’s Café! A jewel of the Middle East, Casablanca is an incredible mix of East and West. You will find ornate, Renaissance style villas from the French Empire’s rule standing alongside local spice merchants and gold souks. Discover a range of design styles from Art Nouveau to a localized Art Décor which are just a couple reasons why Casablanca makes the perfect NYE destination.
 
Four Seasons Casablanca
You will be hard-pressed to find a more luxurious setting than the Four Seasons Hotel in Casablanca. Designed by the London based Foster + Partners, the hotel takes abstract inspiration from the beach which is translated 
to contemporary designs and coloured hues. The hotel is actually located lower than street level somewhat on a beachside cliff offering breath-taking views and spectacular sunsets. You can walk down to the iconic El Hank lighthouse after dinner or grab a tipple at the hotel’s bar.
 
 
Marche Central
The largest outdoor market in the city, Marche Central sits in the heart of the art deco district and features some of the best food and shopping you can find. Don’t miss the seafood stalls by Chez Malika and Chez Zoubida, both local favourites
 before you head over to Mon Grenier to browse through antiques and trinkets. You can also have a look through the vintage furniture at Soco de Moina which is another flea market nearby.
 
 
Musee de la Fondation Abderrahman Slaoui
Abderrahman Slaoui was a collector of beautiful things who now have a place to display all his treasures! The museum is divided into various collections which will bring to life the Arabian and French history of Morocco before your eyes. The collections of Slaoui aim to bring a sense of peace and happiness to the viewer as his entire life was devoted to the collection of these arts and crafts.

 
Here wishing you all a very happy new year!  Hope you all will love the destinations we have selected for you and to read more about other design destinations and design events around the world download the Discern Living App (available now on Google Play Store or iOS App Store)!
 
Devika Pathak is a Mumbai-based freelance writer who enjoys the cinema, yoga and chocolate chip cookies. She's secretly a Panda, too. To learn more about her and her work, please visit www.devikapathak.com.
 
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