I Want To Go To There: The Dean Hotel

I have grown up incredibly close to Providence, RI but to be honest, I think I’ve visited only enough times to count on one hand.  For some reason, when I was growing up Providence had a”Boston’s forgotten step-child” kind of vibe (unless you got into Brown, which I did not), but lately I’ve been seeing SO MUCH awesome press about amazing things blooming in the small city.  I am going to absolutely have to make a pilgrimage this summer!  One place I would love to see (and stay at) would be The Dean Hotel design by ASH NYC. It’s an incredible, modern take of New England Traditionalism. Take a peek! There’s SO MUCH good stuff here to be inspired by for your own home:

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The bathrooms are REALLY good.


There’s so much more to see…

I adore the mix of clean lines, simple colors, texture and vintage portraits!


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The lobby bathroom is also incredible. The framed sketches, round brass mirror….

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The exterior.

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They have a variety of places to eat and drink at The Dean from Bolt Coffee Company to The Magdalenae Room (a small cocktail lounge) to Faust, A Bavarian inspired eatery.

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Some notable places to visit in Providence- the museum at RISD (how amazing are those floors and the blue on the walls?)


The Arcade (oldest mall in America) and the Atheneum.

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The group that designed The Dean, ASH NYC, is spectacularly talented!!! I am obsessed with nearly everything they’ve done! Check out some of my favorites…I have a total design crush on these people.


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  1. As a Boston native who has lived in RI for more than a decade and knew nothing about Prov before moving here, I can attest – it has a charm and vibe all it’s own and couldn’t care less about Boston. It’s full of creative types – artists, culinary wizards, architects and social entrepreneurs, drawn by the city’s quirky character, rich history and affordability. Talent streams from places like RISD, Johnson and Wales, Brown and about 10 other colleges and universities in RI don’t hurt either. The local food movement is huge, as is design in general.
    I just wish all this richness trickled down to more residents in the state overall, as RI continues to have pockets of privilege and hardship that are hard to reconcile.
    But for a small city/state, there is a lot to offer for sure – landscapes, coastline, incredible food, museums, bike paths, boutique hotels, wineries, unique shops. Enjoy!

  2. Love it. Clean, graphic and just enough quirk to be really interesting. I wish I was brave enough to paint one bathroom jet black. The white fixtures look so crisp in that setting. Are there any special tricks for making a black bathroom look so fabulous?

  3. Patricia- Semi-gloss or high gloss paint and painting everything (mouldings and walls) the color is one way! I think small bathrooms with interesting trim detail look the most amazing- but in mine I just did the walls an eggshell black and left the trim and beadboard white!

  4. I love the black bathrooms and the black doors / trim. If I do not lose my nerve, the doors in my master bedroom will be painted black before the start of summer.

  5. I love my little city! Thank you for the shout out. Another interesting thing about this hotel is that is in in the building were a NASTY “gentleman’s club” was located. They are doing their best to be useful to everyone in the city, not just overnight guests. The three rooms on the top floor are all connected so if they are rented together, it could be pretty amazing. They have also have a service where they rent out rooms if you get too drunk downtown, until you sober up. It’s a great idea. We all hope they do well.

    No I don’t work for them :)

  6. Thanks for the PVD shout out! Its a great city, I love my hometown! When you make your way down and you most certainly should. Stay at the Dean, and dine at Al Forno (life changing) and have a great weekend!

  7. Thanks for the advice on the black bathroom. Hopefully your bathroom is shown in your upcoming book. I’d love to look at it also before I make the black commitment. Right now the bathroom in question is sandy brown with navy and white details but most importantly, all white fixtures. I’ll look around for something classic in a shower curtain in black and white. I’ve already got white towels …it’s like I knew what I was doing when I bought them.
    Maybe soon you could do a column on black rooms? You’ve mentioned them in other posts in the past.

  8. Nice post about PVD! When you come, you must check out the store Butterfield in Wayland Square- it’s got your name written all over it. Also, the best Mexican food can be found at Cilantro Mexican Grill- it’s so fresh and a local small biz.

  9. I’m totally getting a crush on this place too! The style is so me!!! Love those gallery walls of black framed art, the crisp white linens and wide planked floors, dark gray doors! Just everything. Perfect.

  10. Providence…all grown up!! THAT was my first plane “trip” (early sixties)…we wore gloves and hats then to fly. Best pizza I EVER had was in Providence! franki

  11. A good friend who grew up in PVD recently moved back from DC and I visited two weeks ago. I LOVED Rhode Island but PVD in particular had so much going on for a small town. I grew up in Pittsburgh and it somewhat reminded me of home in that it offered city attractions like arts, sports (P Bruins!), food, shopping, etc. while retaining its charm. The down town areas were fun and it didn’t cost a fortune to have a great meal and some drinks (best fish & chips I’ve ever had at Union Station Brewery). I can’t adjust to the Dunkin Donuts “regula” sweet and light coffee, but can work around it next time! Look forward to my next visit.

  12. Providence has been home to us for 8 years now and we still feel like we just moved here in that we get to discover new and exciting places all the time. Thank you so much for highlighting a great spot for people to come and experience here. Great food and historic architecture are just a few of the things that make this city a great place to come to. And it’s only an hour from Boston…that doable just to come for dinner :)

  13. I, recently moved to PVD. I love it… It is a small
    city with an eye for the future. I live in a condo that
    is right on the basin where they have WaterFire.
    @JDL: Well stated about PVD! @ Erin, you also should
    visit Watch Hill and stay or have dinner @ The Ocean House.
    I stay with my beau every year for 5 amazing day.
    I am so happy that you wrote about or gem of a city.

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