Beautiful Amsterdam is a heady mix of design contrasts with gabled buildings and village feel, modern structures and industry leading architecture. Its cultural centre belies the usual stag do cliches and it remains a city close to my heart, one i have been frequenting for many, many years.
Overtime i have explored and sourced items from many a homeware store, mixing reclaimed with new, minimalist with folk to create that vision of home. I am delighted to share these – my absolute ‘cant fail’ hotspots for wonderful accessories and furnishing for that most special of places – home.
The frozen fountain: Prinsengracht 645, 1016 HV Amsterdam.tel +31 (0)20 622 9375, www.frozenfountain.nl
Practically a national treasure in retail terms. The frozen fountain offers a great mix of contemporary furnishings and accessories from a host of Benelux design houses. You can find that unique something (they have long championed up and coming Creatives via ties with leading academies) plus offerings from established brands such as Piet Hein, Maarten Bass , Hella Jongerius and Scholten & Baijings. I discovered the store about 16 years ago when i was strolling through Amsterdam’s canal zone looking for a chocolatier based nearby . I loved its vast array and have been going there when chance allows ever since.
Dot shop: haarlemerdijk 46, 1013 JD Amsterdam.tel +31 (0) 20 2237142, www.dot-shop.nl
A great little haven of modern accessories and furnishes including lighting, fabrics, cushions, wallpaper and larger pieces. I have bought many a cushion here and a wonderful circular bookshelf that was totally impractical to move ( featured in image ) gorgeous clocks, lamps and rugs. Pricing is fairly accessible with lovely unique pieces to be found in each of its three stores within Amsterdam and surrounding area ( Haarlem).
nordic new : Rozengracht 196, 1016 Amsterdam. Tel +31(0) 20 4221600, www.nordicnew.nl
Like all great stories – it started with a boy and though that connection ended long ago, the passion for Nordic new , where i was introduced, lingers on. Based in the picturesque Jordaan, the ‘artistic quarter ‘ of the city, nordic new stands tall on a street previously fizzing with interior stores. Many have closed since however nordic new’s emphasis on contemporary cool, simple lines and minimalist leanings has assured it remains. A stockist of Tom Dixon’s full range (my design hero) and luminaries like Design House Stockholm, Normann Copenhagen and Muuto, its a wonderful hub of Scandinavian and International design selling lighting, table ware, accessories, and seating . It also has a great online store which has proved useful for sourcing harder to find items over the years.
store without a home:haarlemerdijk 26, 1013 Amsterdam,www.storewithoutahome.nl
Self styled as a pop up store and gallery for art and design this ‘temporary store’ has in fact been around for some time. ( locations vary ) It sells unusual furniture pieces and accessories with an often ‘raw’ finish to creations. I love the ever changing nature of its stock all carefully curated by the owners who represent emerging designers across the globe. Its a real must visit for me when seeking bespoke or unusual items and a great dose of creative inspiration as well. Love it!
Fabricati: Overtoom 396-398, 1054 Amsterdam. Tel +31 (0) 20 618 4701. www.fabricati.com
I first visited Fabricati over a decade and a half ago when i had scored a job with a well known lifestyle brand and was starting to discover my passion for interiors. At the time i was living in a dodgy part of the city ( now hip which makes me smile) and would visit the store ( located in the Jordaan back then but now on Overtoom near Vondelpark) for modest sized items i could barely afford despite being on Clearance. That’s not a reflection of pricing, more my earnings at the time as a near beginner who had accepted the first financial offer the lifestyle brand had made ( no regrets).
Since then things have progressed and Fabricati remains a store with great accessories, seating, tableware and soft furnishings. One challenge i face these days is their order times as its increasingly less of a purchase and ‘take with you ‘ establishment. As I no longer live there, I’m often to be found lovingly stroking armchairs and tables, cursing distance as i pull away and head to the airport.
Restored:Haarlemmerdijk 39, 1013 EW Amsterdam. Tel +31 (0) 20 337 6473. www.restored.nl
Restore has been pretty reliable over the years for sourcing small pretty little items like coat hooks, plant pots, mantelpiece artwork etc that you can easily transport and enjoy at home.
I bought a great jade coloured stone necklace for my mother here last year and she’s rarely taken it off since. The store is fairly minimalist in design and reflects the philosophy of its owners who carefully curate a collection based on less is more working with craftsmen and small businesses across the world
Neef louis:paperverweg 46, Tel +31 (0) 20 486 9354 (Tues to Sat)
Neef Louis is an amazing emporium of vintage, industrial and painted furniture. Located outside of the centre in North Amsterdam, its the local’s go to place for reclaimed pieces that are truly beautiful. I discovered the warehouse ( its truly big) courtesy of a pregnant friend seeking a different look for her nursery room. We browsed for hours relishing the vault of goodies that surrounded us. The prices were fair and she ended up furnishing the nursery with from top to toe. I highly recommend a visit to this fantastic design place.
Sukha: haarlemmerstraat 110, 1013EW Amsterdam. Tel +31 (0) 20 330 4001, www.sukha-amsterdam.nl
Sukha translates as joy of life in Sanskrit over the years, a joy it has been :). This eco store selling Dutch produced sustainable home wares has been great over the years for many a gift. Items are largely organic, non mass produced and rarely available elsewhere as there is an Atelier label that curates , design and produces many of the items stocked. A great destination for small items like ceramics, stationery and kitchen ware for those who believe in giving as well as getting.
I just love Hay. Its stylish, elevates the functional to beautiful and injects wonderful shots of colour to everyday items. Great for small and large homeware items alike. Have purchased a number of items including the below over time.
Probably my most favourite spot!
So those are a few of my personal gems from the Dutch capital. Here are a few other honorable mentions:
De Bijenkorf is an upmarket and first class department chain that has stepped up its design credentials over the years and now dedicates a whole floor to international homeware brands. Its a great stockist for bedding, soft furnishings ( yes those cushions again ) lighting and rugs though have found the latter of these admittedly on the price side. Amazing sales are to be found here and last Summer was purchasing able to purchase Tom Dixon lighting with a 70 % markdown ( unboxed)
This chain shop is part interiors, part fashion and part ‘ cry in the lap of your best friend’ haven. Sissyboy homeland has delivered some great pieces over the years – especially their beautifully designed floor to ceiling mirrors .
Its collections tend to be small but worth a look and my best ever buy derived from here – an original Tom Dixon wire chair at a Closing Down price so reasonable i was expecting arrest for shoplifting despite paying .It now takes pride of place in my small office :).
So that’s Amsterdam for you readers. Here are a few more recommendations beyond this area that I couldn’t resist sharing!
Leon en Raoul:Grote Markt 10,2511 DenHaag, Tel +31 (0) 641046592, www.leonenraoul.nl
Formerly known as Hout en Nieuw and now relocated from Amsterdam to the Hague, this treasure trove of vintage furniture never fails to deliver. Its an upcycler’s dream full of pieces ready to be refreshed or left untouched – their mixed patina testament to past lives and uses. I have many a tale of struggling with beautifully crafted drawers and wardrobes, the quality of which cannot be found in most modern showrooms. The inevitable drama of transporting these solid pieces of painted furniture across the pond sent my adrenaline pumping yet each time they arrived the efforts were totally worth it. Their wonderful craftsmanship brought authenticity and depth to my interior spaces and the juxtaposition of styles make for a home that is personal and warm.
Nijhof: Minervaweg 3, 3741 GR, Baarn. Tel +31 (0) 35 548 6111. www.nijhofbaarn.nl
Situated in Baarn, within the rarefied Gooi” region and a 25 minute train ride from Amsterdam, Nijhof is an unassuming home and garden destination without the airs and graces.The first time I visited i had little expectations and merely dropped in to buy screws in with a friend who lived locally. I ended up with so much more, discovering its mix of Farrow and Ball, Auping, Bloomingville, Villeroy&Boch,Riviera Maison and more. With a bathroom, kitchen, living room and garden showrooms all under one room , its a builders merchants with a difference.
I hope you found this helpful and a source of inspiration if you’re ever to be found walking along those Amsterdam canal streets looking for that special little something. Happy scouting!