Everywhere I go, I’m always on the lookout for cute spaces and creative gems. When I traveled to China this summer, I was expecting pollution, crowds, and a little bit of dog meat. And I definitely got plenty of all of those. But Beijing surprised me with its cute, quirky places and spaces.

My favorite spot in Beijing (aside from world-famous favorites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, because there’s nothing else like those) was 798 Arts District. It’s a gorgeous transformed industrial district that reminded me a little of Rille & Co.’s home at The McKinley Club on the artsy Roosevelt Row.

The district was full of stunning architecture, repurposed buildings, and all sorts of gorgeous old brick factories.

I mean, look at the size of this urban dim sum restaurant.

Each store and art gallery was full of quirky antiques, outlandish art, and design inspiration galore.

And my favorite part was the blend of Western and Eastern design elements to create a unique, beautiful vibe. Notice the modern, American-style wood elements, and the traditional Chinese dishes? There’s nowhere else in the world that this unique blend of cultures could come about.

And there’s no better place to settle down for an afternoon coffee with some stylish Beijing locals.

At Rille & Co., we’re strong believers that inspiration can strike anywhere. We love travel, adventure, and challenging ourselves. My escapades in China reinforced to me that there’s no better way to broaden your horizons and enhance your creativity than traveling, exploring, and trying something new.

Go somewhere you never expected to go; you don’t know what new beauties you’ll find there.