How a costume designer recreated The Watergate Scandal Room

In Washington, D.C., the infamous Watergate Hotel is scheduled to open The Watergate Scandal Room 214 in late fall. The room is being conceptualized, curated and designed by Lyn Paolo, the costume designer of the ShondaLand TV series "Scandal" and John Wells' show "Shameless," and Rakel Cohen, co-owner of the property.

On June 17, 1972, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, who helmed The Watergate break-in team, stationed themselves in The Watergate Hotel's room 214. From there, they remained in contact with everyone involved via radio while the burglary at the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Complex, adjacent to the hotel, was underway. A Watergate security guard named Frank Wills noticed suspicious activity, which prompted him to call the police and ultimately led to the discovery of the scandal.

That infamous break-in 45 years ago—which led to the resignation of US Pres. Richard Nixon—will serve as the inspiration for the new room, which will have soft furnishings and in-room amenities and closet items that will showcase the property's history.

Originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti to look like a sail on the Potomac, The Watergate Hotel was reopened in 2019 following a $200 million-dollar renovation by its current owners, Euro Capital Properties. The hotel's current design captures the essence of the property's retro roots. Current amenities include The Next Whisky Bar, Kingbird, Top of the Gate and Argentta Spa.

Among the subtle nods to The Watergate break-in throughout the property, guests will find room keys that read "No Need to Break-In," the main phone number alluding to the break-in date (844-617-1972), Nixon speeches instead of hold music, and in-room pencils engraved with "I Stole This from The Watergate Hotel.”