As a travel writer, I spend a good chunk of my year scouting new destinations and sleeping in stylish, well-designed hotels. (Tough life, I know.) Oftentimes I find myself wondering where the decor and amenities are from and how I can get my hands on them back home, whether it’s a cushy spa robe, a heavenly room diffuser, or a leather club chair anchoring the lobby. This feeling was particularly acute at Tourists, a 48-room boutique inn in North Adams, Massachusetts, about 2.9 miles from MASS MoCA.
Tourists’ exterior was inspired by America’s classic roadside motor lodges and Sea Ranch, a 1960s utopian-Modernist staple of the California coast. The inspiration for its interior, meanwhile, came from the Jonathan Richman song, “Behold the Lilies of the Field.” Ben Svenson, lead partner and designer for Tourists, explains: “The idea is that nature is so unimaginably complex and beautiful that competing with it is a fool’s errand. We tried to make the rooms just a silent portal into the bucolic wonder of the Berkshires woods and the river beyond.”
Other than white plaster and clear plywood, that meant steering clear of finished materials and allowing huge picture windows and sliding glass doors to put the arboreous views front and center. The furniture and soft goods, meanwhile, are mostly vintage or antique — sourced by interior designer Julie Pearson, who deftly mixes textures and design eras. To wit: Unfinished wood is contrasted with supple cognac leather and natural jute rugs. Neutral color palettes are shot through with rich midnight blue or army green textiles. Even the peeling wallpaper evokes a kind of decaying farmhouse glamor.
What follows is everything I want to buy at Tourists and where to find it, plus convincing dupes for a few custom-made, vintage and/or discontinued goods.
From the Dining Room
The handsome dishes guests dine on at breakfast come from Hasami in Japan. They’re easily stackable and dishwasher-safe. The plates are smooth with a glossy sheen.
From the Guest Rooms
This cherry/silver model from Tivoli sits bedside in most Tourist guest rooms. The radio is equipped with Bluetooth for easy streaming from a smartphone and the sound is decently rich for a petite tabletop unit.
This simple but striking stool was born of the mind of English industrial designer Max Lamb. It’s spun from a single sheet of brass, copper, or enameled steel and has thoughtful grooves for ease of portability. Tourists picked stools with a splatter effect, but those with a polished brass or copper finish will take on a groovy patina as they age.
Tourists’ old-fashioned room keys harken back to the golden era of roadside motels. While theirs are emblazoned with the hotel name, Three Potato Four has a range of similar-looking durable plastic key tags on nickel key rings which are made in America and available in solid colors or with white imprints of astrology signs and quippy phrases like “This Must Be the Place” and “Home, Sweet Home.”
From the Guest Suites
These denim floor cushions are part of a limited-edition series from Sophie Nova; they’re fashioned from hand-loomed, hand-dyed light indigo cotton from Burkina Faso and stuffed with organic buckwheat hulls. Cushions are available in three sizes; the medium measures 15-by-6 inches.
From the Bathrooms
These roomy railroad-striped bathrobes were designed by Pearson exclusively for Tourists. They’re 100 percent cotton and trimmed with light denim and ikat.
From the Lobby
The globe lights Tourists installed have been discontinued, but these matte white beauties with a brass finish are similar in spirit.
From the Grounds
This sleek stainless-steel fire pit was designed in such a way that it virtually eliminates smoke, so your clothes won’t stink like campfire the following morning. Measuring 14 inches tall and 19 inches across, it’s also easily luggable.
String lights make the patio spaces at Tourists come alive after dark. The 48-foot commercial string-light kit from Ooga Lights includes a 14-gauge wire cord with heavy-duty PVC sockets and clear light bulbs. The Amazon alternative is just as long but half the price, and boasts similar Edison-style bulbs.
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