The first: Go big. Dictators’ building projects are almost always ludicrously overscaled.
The second rule of the dictator look is all about “repro.” Dictators might work in the grand styles of earlier centuries, but they don’t usually use old materials and furniture. Everything is brand spanking new
the third rule: Think French. Sometimes dictators pull from other places and eras—Roman, Palladian/classical and more—but French can always be counted on to say “money” faster and louder
Dictators often seem to draw from hotels (rule No. 4), perhaps the grandest ones they saw at a young age. Hotels often put all their status cues up front in reception areas and big public rooms, offering obvious ideas to would-be dictators who came from modest backgrounds as rebels or soldiers.
Then, there are the materials—rules 5, 6 and 7. “If I’ve only got one life,” most dictators seem to think, “let me live it surrounded by gold.”
Notes: These 7 points come from an article written for Politico, here.