Where to Shop in Amsterdam – A Travel Guide

shop in amsterdamWhere to Shop in Amsterdam – A Travel Guide

We all have our own aesthetic, from the clothing we wear, to how we decorate our homes. Of course this influences where we shop too. I prefer independent boutiques with a minimalist lean, but it can be tough finding them even in London. And when I go away on holiday it’s no different. So I do my research. I look for the kind of stores I want to shop in, and the souvenirs I want to bring home. With this and my recent trip holiday in mind, I decided to do a ‘where to shop in Amsterdam’ guide. From style, to homeware, art, beauty and stationary, let me help you discover…

Where to Shop in Amsterdam

X BANK | map
X Bank is a boutique for emerging and established talent in Dutch art, fashion and design. The store itself is housed within the W Hotel in central Amsterdam, and is a work of art within itself. No seriously, it looks like a gallery. But don’t be afraid to touch or try on the clothes and accessories as the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.

Tenue de Nîmes | map
Wanna shop where all the cool kids shop? Tenue de Nîmes it is. They may be known for their vast selection of Japanese and American denim, but there’s a lot more to TDN. Founded on the basic principles of quality, function and simplicity, the stores (plural) stock brands such as Acne, A.P.C, Edwin, Japan Blue, Le Bonnet, and Momotaro amongst others.

Anna & Nina | map
Filled to the brim with trinkets galore, Anna & Nina’s stores are a must-visit for any colourful, fun interior/style fanatic. Colour coordinated homeware lines the shelves alongside Scandinavian fashion brands such as Ganni.

Hutspot | map
If you’re a fan of minimalist interiors and Scandinavian fashion, then it’s highly likely you’ve come across Hutspot. Perhaps you’ve seen them on Instagram, or you’ve passed by one of their numerous stores in Amsterdam. Hutspot is the place to pick up an über cool souvenir.

De Bijenkorf | map
Clothes, stationary, homeware, beauty…you name it, De Bijenkorf has it. You’ll only find the best of the best here, which is why the department store is so well known for it’s designer brands. Located over 4 floors, you can easily spend a lot of time – and money – here.

Comme des Garçons Pocket | map
One of my personal favourites is this little gem. Comme des Garçon Pocket may be small, but it sure packs a punch. The store is minimal to say the least, as it only sells clothing and accessories from the limited CDG Play line. And yes, they have those Converse.

&Klevering | map
Last but definitely not least, is &Klevering. This Dutch store knows their homeware brands like the back of their hand. That’s not to say they only carry Dutch brands though; you’ll find Japanese favourites such as Kinto alongside Scandi must-haves like HAY (and much more).

I hope you enjoyed my Where to Shop in Amsterdam guide.
Whilst you’re here, why not check out my other Amsterdam travel guides too.

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The Line Drawing Trend | Style & Interior

line drawing

The end of 2017 saw line drawing become popular in a big way. It started with art prints, but quickly moved onto shirts, jewellery and more. From there the style slowly began to infiltrate the world of Instagram, as all the greats have done. Before we knew it, Instagrammers alike were sporting those Mango earrings – which I love by the way – whilst simultaneously illustrating their Stories with chic line drawings. And we all know that once something has made it big on Instagram, we’ll be damned if we can’t turn it into a mainstream trend.

Drawing the line…

Joking aside, line drawing has quickly become a trend with creative folks and the mainstream alike. It’s simplicity fits in perfectly with the minimalist crowd, whilst also appealing to something bolder. It’s no surprise that such a versatile trend has made it big in both the fashion and interior design industries.

I myself have fallen for it numerous time, as is made evident by my Christmas and birthday wishlists. In fact I love it so much that I decided to write a whole blog post on it. I even plan to spread the love further by showing you how you can bring a piece of the trend to your wardrobe, and or home.

Add a bit of line drawing to your life

I’ve chosen some of my favourite pieces by independent stores, artists and brands below, for both the home and your personal style.

Style

Home interior

See, it really is quite easy to bring a little bit of line drawing into your life. Perhaps it’s a one-off sweater, or maybe you’re more of a quirky vase kinda person. Whatever takes your fancy, you can be sure that you’ll be on-trend and looking pretty damn stylish whilst you do it.

Whilst you’re here, why not check out more of my home and style posts.
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line drawing

How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger | Interior

Small Apartment Look BiggerHow To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

I recently decided to do a big overhaul in our apartment. Over the years I’ve become pretty good at making the most of the space I have. And gradually with that has come the ability to make a space look bigger than it actually is. It’s something I have naturally picked up living in big cities with small apartments – oh hey Tokyo and London!

But one of my biggest challenges to date has been trying to add new pieces to our home. Well, without chucking out a bunch of stuff I’d really like to keep that is. The items in question? Trinkets we picked up on our travels, as well as gifts from friends. Small items that can so quickly make a small room look cluttered. So after taking on this challenge, I decided to share a few of my own personal tips on how to make a small apartment look bigger.

How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

  1. Colour Scheme/Theme
    • White walls will help make a room look bigger
    • Sticking with a colour/theme will make the room look more put together (i.e not cluttered)
  2.  Storage
    • Make sure you have plenty
    • Built-in storage is heaven sent
    • Storage that doubles as decorative is even better
  3. Lighting
    • Natural lighting is primary – big windows, skylights etc
    • But if you don’t have it, try recessed lighting
  4. Buy a rug
    • Place it under your coffee table/chair to make the room look wider
    • The size of the rug should be based on how big your furniture is/size of your room
    • Light colours and basic patterns will work in most rooms
  5. Be Practical
    • Go minimal with chairs and tables
    • Choose furniture that has several purposes (e.g. hidden storage)

Items in this post:

Don’t forget to check out more of my interior posts.

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How to Create a Hygge Home – In a Nutshell

hygge homeHow to Create a Hygge Home

What is a Hygge Home?

A home that is inviting. Not pretentious, ostentatious, or any other kind of -ious. It’s a place you can come back to and forget all your worries. It may sound silly, but it’s about creating a space where you feel safe and comfortable. Having a space where you are able to drop all of your work and social worries is tough. But I truly believe that your home can be a safe haven from this kind of stress. After a long day at work, I look forward to coming home to a hot chocolate, a comfy sofa, and some good food…with the occasional cuddle thrown in for good measure. That’s hygge.

Interiors and design obviously play a big part in this too though. If you have a home that looks good, you feel good. And no that’s not shallow or fickle. It’s scientifically proven that pretty things make us happy. They can even de-stress us! That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a ton of new stuff, or redecorate your entire home though. I’ve put together some some useful tips,

How to Create a Hygge Home – Tips

  • Functional, but stylish
  • Quality over quantity
  • Good food, good drink, good company
  • Craftsmanship – choose items with a story
  • Lots of plants – bring a little nature into the home
  • Lighting is very important! Keep it soft, and comfortable.
    • Yes, that means lots of candles…
  • Natural fabrics and materials
    • E.g. wood, cotton, stone, glass, wool
  • Soft furnishings
    • Go on, go buy that cosy throw you always wanted

There you have it. My how to create a hygge home…in a nutshell! This is definitely not the be all end all of guides, but it is a handy go-to for those who want to bring a little hygge into their home. Don’t forget though, it’s as much about the ‘feeling’ as any material object. And now is the perfect time of year to invite people over, and spend more time with your loved ones.

Check out the rest of my ‘How to Hygge’

Read more How to Hygge

hygge home

hygge home

What is Hygge, And How Do I Get It? | Lifestyle

What is HyggeWhat is Hygge, And How Do I Get It?

I have an odd fascination with words that don’t translate. It all started years ago,with 気持ちいい (kimochi/ii); a Japanese word that relates to a particular feeling of enjoyment. So when I heard someone talking about the Danish word hygge, I knew I had to investigate further.

Luckily enough my investigation coincided with a rather interesting email. An email asking if I would like to attend a talk with Not on The High Street and Signe Johansen – author of How to Hygge. The panellists included Skandium’s found Magnus Englund, and Not on The High Street’s director Sally Bendelow. I was eager to hear more, so I jumped at the chance. Little did I know it would lead me down a very interesting, familiar rabbit hole. One that would leave me asking ‘what is hygge?’

What is Hygge?

Hygge is not about buying a new throw for your sofa (although Wool Couture‘s is tempting). Nor is it about lighting a bunch of candles. Although both these things can contribute to a sense of hygge. Confusing, right? Well that’s because hygge is more of a concept, than an entity. It isn’t about material objects, it’s the sense of comfort you get from them. Well, amongst other things.

It’s about creating a comforting atmosphere. A place where you feel at home.

what is hygge

How Do I Get It?

For those that fancy a little Danish in their lives (no I’m not talking about pastries or Mads Mikkelsen), hygge is relatively easy to achieve. It’s about taking a step back from our hectic lives, and taking the time to appreciate the little things. Simple things such as spending time with our families/friends, or trying out that recipe for cinnamon rolls that you always wanted to bake. During the colder, darker months, a lot of Danes spend more time at home. They invite friends and family over, enjoy some good food and drink, and relax. And yes, there may be a candle or two involved.

Can We Really Get Hygge?

Hygge is not a new term, however it is having it’s moment in British culture right now. Autumn and Winter in the UK are characteristically dark, cold, and damp. Something our Danish cousins know about all too well. It’s at this time of year that people like to cosy up at home with their loved ones, pop on Netflix, and snuggle into the sofa with some comfort food. Not much different to what I was talking about before, right?

Denmark is well known as being the happiest country in the world. So it makes sense that us Brits would want in on it too. What with current political and economical events, we’ve all been left looking elsewhere for comfort. And I think hygge may just be it.

I’ll be writing a more in-depth guide on How to Get Hygge soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Handmade at Kew x In The Window | Interior

handmade at kewHandmade at Kew x In The Window

Kew Gardens is one of my favourite retreats in London (as you may know). However it’s quite a trek to get there, so I often need an excuse to go. Whether that’s friends inviting me, a photoshoot etc. Last weekend I was given the perfect excuse for my second visit in 3 months. An invite from In The Window, to visit their Handmade at Kew stall.

Handmade at Kew

Meeting designers in person is always eye opening. In The Window’s stall at Handmade at Kew allowed me to meet several of their designers, as well as learning more about their creative process. I met with Daniel Heath, Frame & Cover, and Peaceable Kingdom Cushions. For me, a product/brand truly comes alive when I can feel and see the passion behind it. So I loved hearing the stories behind the designs, products and brands. Of course it always helps if you have the designers on hand to show you.

Live The Story

This time I was able to do some screen printing with Daniel Heath – always a pleasure. As well as Peaceable Kingdom Cushions – gorgeous designs, on organic fabrics. Whilst we learnt more about In The Window’s new Press Spaces (for bloggers & press), whilst lounging in Frame & Cover chairs. Corinne (the founder) is so passionate about organic materials, and UK production. I loved that her outfit on the day mirrored her patterns – now that’s keeping to an aesthetic!

Handmade at Kew really reflected the values and concept behind In The Window, so it makes a lot of sense that the two would pair up. I loved interacting with the designers, as well as learning about all the exciting new projects coming from ITW. Definitely a day worth making the trek for.

You can find out more about all of the designers featured at In The Window.
Follow #LiveTheStory on Twitter and Instagram to find out more.

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Flower Arranging with Marks & Spencer

Flower ArrangingFlower Arranging with Marks and Spencer

Flower arranging has always been an enchanting mystery to me. When I was younger my grandmother would always have beautiful bouquets of flowers scattered throughout her house. All of which she had arranged herself. It looked so simple, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t recreate it myself. In more recent years – after moving into my own apartment – the allure of fresh flowers has grown. However without any knowledge of how to arrange flowers, I was at a loss. Enter Marks and Spencer, their flower expert Simon Richards, and a special flower arranging class they set up for an intimate group of bloggers.

Flower Arranging Tip 1: Carnival of Colour

For their stand at Chelsea Flower Show this year, Marks and Spencer created their own carnival of colour. Reflecting on this, Simon’s first tip was all about adding colour to your patio, garden party, bbq, dining table etc. We were shown how to add colourful arrangements to our tables, with flowers such as peonies, sunflowers and more. The great thing about this style of arrangement is that there are no real rules. Pop them into bowls, glasses, onto plates. Scatter them across the table. Basically have your way with them.

Simon Says- have fun with colour, and be spontaneous!

Flower Arranging Tip 2: Roses/Bouquets

Next, Simon gave us tips on how to arrange the perfect hand-tied bouquet, and he did so with everyone’s favourite – the rose. Roses are a classic. No one can turn their noses up at a well groomed bouquet of roses, right? I’d had my eye on the cream and dusky pink roses all evening, so I was very excited for this tutorial. We were shown how to create an even bouquet. Starting with one flower in the middle, hold the stems around 1/3 of the way down with one hand, and gradually add flower-by-flower in a “fanning” technique; slowly rotating them as you go. Afterwards, simply wrap your ribbon/twine around the bouquet – whilst still holding it in the same place – and secure.

You can find some of the roses we used for our arranging here.

Simon Says – fan out/rotate your flowers as your add them to the bunch!

Flower Arranging Tip 3: At Home

Of course what we all want to know is how do we integrate this into our homes. They key thing here is to find a fitting vase. This could be any shape or size, as long as it fits into your interior. That said, different flowers will often look better in different types of vase. Tall, thin vases work better with a minimal amount of flowers. Whereas wider lipped vases look much nicer with large bouquets, and big blooms. I myself prefer a shorter, wider vase, which works with a variety of flowers.

Simon Says – for a contemporary look, choose a short, round vase!

Check out more photos from the event, and my attempts at flower arranging at home below.

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This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer however all views, photos and words are my own.

 

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