If your summer vacation turned into more of a staycation, look no further than a new boutique hotel for inspiration on how to bring the escapist vibes home. Dreamers Welcome is a new eco-friendly destination located in the heart of historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, and is topping our list of retreats that we can’t wait to visit. Housed in a 130-year-old Victorian mansion, the Pinterest-worthy interiors include statement pieces from CB2 and Ikea next to splurge-worthy finds, like Italian marble poufs from 1stdibs. Here, Dreamers Welcome founder, Stephan Watts, sounds off on wallet-friendly design hacks that can be easily recreated in your own space. It’s almost better than being there.

Dreamers Welcome founders Stephan Watts and Roy Delgado
Dreamers Welcome is housed in a 130-year-old Victorian mansion
10 Dreamy Design Tips
1. Layer on Next-Level Texture

Who knew mink, marble and acrylic would go so well together? For “The Romantic” suite, Watts seamlessly mixed textures and finishes that lend it an extra touch of luxe. The mink faux mohair velvet bed, acrylic bench and marble floor lamp are all from CB2.  

2. Bathe in Luxury

Instantly upgrade your bathroom with designer wallpaper, like this splashy palm-print style from Versaces collaboration with Wallpaper Direct. Sure, you might be spending your Saturday night in the tub, but at least you’ll feel like you’re at a club in 1980s Miami.

3. Incorporate Pink Seating for a Steal
3. Incorporate Pink Seating for a Steal

Decorating with pink can be tricky; you want it to be sweet not saccharine. On midcentury–style furniture the look is all-grown-up. Watts doubled down with a powder pink sofa from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop x CB2 collection and a dusty rose backwards couch from Anthropologie—his go-to for affordable furniture with a curated feel. Quality couch-time, indeed.

4. Paint Your Bedroom Blue

According to color therapy experts, those with blue bedrooms tend to sleep better, as we associate the shade with clear blue skies, calm blue waters and the like. Design-wise, the color choice has a number of added benefits. For example, at Dreamers Welcome, “The Visionary” suite features 10-foot ceilings; however, by extending the Yves Klein blue paint job from the ceiling to the floor, the room feels cozier.

5. Add Elevated Beach-Inspired Elements
5. Add Elevated Beach-Inspired Elements

A floor lamp with a whimsical palm-tree motif is the quickest way to inject your space with sunny California vibes. With a velvet barrel chair nestled under the canopy of leaves, it’s the next best thing to a dose of Vitamin D.

6. Reconsider Plywood
6. Reconsider Plywood

Ditch the curtains and let in the sun with a DIY plywood headboard. By emphasizing natural light in your bedroom without obstructing a window, it’s visually appealing, affordable and practical, too.

7. Lighting Is Everything

Upcycle an out-of-use fireplace with an inexpensive hanging orb pendant light in lieu of wax candles. You’ll achieve the same mood, minus the cost or mess. For maximum effect, line the interior with rose gold mirrors. “It’s like creating your own art installation,” says Watts.

8. Use Dried Florals
8. Use Dried Florals

When fresh flowers are scarce, opt for dried arrangements as a seasonless and sustainable alternative. The look was all the rage in the ’80s, and judging by the larger-than-life blooms sprouting up at Dreamers Welcome, it’s poised to make a comeback. No green thumb required.

9. Turn Wall TVs into Works of Art

Interior designers are always looking for creative ways to conceal a TV, which can be an eyesore in any setting. Watts and his partner Roy Delgado, who is also an artist, created custom fabric covers reminiscent of mini tapestries to hang over every flatscreen.

10. Build Your Dream Closet
10. Build Your Dream Closet

With clean lines and a lightwood finish, the custom-designed closets at Dreamers Welcome have a distinctly Scandinavian feel. Recreate the look at home by removing the doors of your closet and let clothes serve as decor. (Just make sure you do a thorough wardrobe cleanse first.) 

Can Bright Colors Change Your Mood?

To find out, White + Warren’s Editorial Manager, Maria Ward, spent a week in the season’s most feel-good shades. Here’s what happened next.


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