Travel is one of our favorite ways to seek design inspiration. New surroundings mean fresh ways of looking at things – and endless opportunities to get our creative minds flowing with new ideas. Every time we travel, we reconnect with loved ones, meet potential new vendors, and find new ways to bring spaces and places to life.

April jet-setted to iconic Detroit, MI, and Meagan and her husband recently visited picture-perfect Hermann, MO.

Hermann, MO: old-world European charm on the river

About an hour’s drive from St. Louis, Hermann is a red-brick wonderland set in a scenic valley and nestled up against the Missouri River. Clock towers, church spires, and 19th century buildings that are home to restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums make for an enviable setting. Add in the impressive list of local breweries, distilleries, and wineries, and you’ve got a quick trip that will create lasting memories.

After choosing the destination, our next step is always finding a well-designed space to stay! First on Meagan’s to-do list was checking into the Garden Cottage of the iconic Schiller House, a local landmark whose design pays homage to the German settlers who arrived in the area in the 1880s. A serene oasis in the heart of the downtown district, the Schiller House brings together minimalist, primitive decor with all the modern amenities for a stylish, relaxed stay – all just steps from the historic downtown area. Added perk: a local beverage of your choosing is waiting for you upon arrival.


It wouldn’t be a trip to Hermann without a bagel with lox at Stompn Grounds, a seed-to-sale espresso bar that focuses on local produce and ingredients – and has a great little gift section bursting with Hermann-crafted products and branded merch. After brunch, grab a coffee to go, and browse the downtown area and Riverfront Park before heading to the Hermann of Winery, home to unbeatable Reuben sandwiches and the Three California Vineyards tasting room, which offers impeccable tastings of California wines.

We always take the scenic route home – feeling refreshed and grateful for our time together in this charming town.

Detroit, MI: the Motor City is picking up speed

While Meagan kept her trip close to home, April went north to Detroit for her annual family pilgrimage. With new boutiques, dining destinations, and galleries opening by the day, the Motor City is making a serious comeback, and its gritty, creative heart is bursting with design inspiration.

April started off downtown, checking out the sculptures and artwork that are transforming the area – including the new 100-foot-tall mural of Motown legend, Stevie Wonder, on the Music Hall Center.

A wonder to behold: the new Stevie Wonder mural in downtown Detroit

Leon and Lulu: full of bright ideas

From there it was off to the Papa Joe’s and Westborn Markets, famous for their produce and local treats, including the iconic Sander’s Bumpy Cake (and, of course, a Coney dog). Retro home decor and gift store Leon and Lulu in Royal Oak was the next stop, with no shortage of kitschy whimsy, one-of-a-kind objects, and locally crafted brilliance.

A tower of treats at Leon and Lulu

Does this brew ring a bell?

Finally, she rounded out the trip with a jaunt to Bell’s Brewery in Comstock – it’s hard to pass up their Bright White Ale! Cheers to good times, good places, and good people!

The holiday season can be a whirlwind. That’s why we at ADJ love a quick trip with our loved ones (away from our day-to-day stress) to remind us what the season really means to us: family, togetherness, and community.

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