Enter The Loft, home of Mr Benjamin


Be amazed by the interior design of The Loft, an annual pop-up loft/showroom in Amsterdam where you can soak up interior inspiration and buy each item and everything on display.  From the furniture to the flooring and wall paint, and from the kitchen utensils to the bed linens and bathroom essentials. The Loft is a living catalog of interior design wanna-haves. This year, the loft is the home of fictional Mr Benjamin. Mr Benjamin seems an intellectual who loves reading books, music, and collecting curiosities and art. He is a world traveler, and he loves tropical plants. He also has a soft spot for jeans, hence a little corner that is decorated as a jeans workshop.

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The interior of the loft is robust and eclectic. Mr Benjamin loves natural materials like marble and leather. The leather straps are a recurring detail in the space. Vintage furniture is mixed and matched with contemporary pieces. loftIMG_7134IMG_7136IMG_7144IMG_7139edloft bedroomthe loft

Focal point is the stunning galvanised steel and marble kitchen designed by Eginstill. The Loft is a must-see for anyone who appreciates interior design or who likes to shop for something extraordinary.


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The Loft is open Tue-Sun until September 6, 2015 and is located on Prinsengracht 583 in Amsterdam



Hot spot Haarlem: Portrait conceptstore

Conceptstores are abound in Haarlem. One not to miss on your next shopping spree is conceptstore Portrait. The store is located in a former horse stable that was transformed into a robust space with bare walls, sleek tiles and a concrete floor. They promise beans, cotton and things. The beans refer to the coffee bar and corner where you can enjoy a good cup of Guatemalan Zagadabi coffee, freshly baked pastry, or lemonade. The vintage furniture, which they upholstered themselves, are inviting, but also for sale. All furniture and home decor accessories in the store are Scandinavian style. Moreover, all fashion is also Scandinavian design with a few exceptions made. A nice place to unwind, work, or shop, that’s Portrait! – Raamvest 29A

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The BOOM Lamp

As the days are getting shorter, I have to turn on my lights earlier than a few weeks ago. That made me think of a lamp I discovered a while ago at one of my favourite home decor stores Emma Biemans Interieur in Leiden. I frequently drop in for a chat and to browse her chic and stylish home decor items.(read my blog post about the shop here). Emma pointed out the design lamp above the table, called the BOOM lamp. Boom means tree in Dutch. Designer of the BOOM is Erwin Slierings. He wanted to create a lamp that is timeless, close to nature yet modern. Slierings uses 100% approved plantation teak which ensures the development and reservation of nature. The wood contains natural oils giving it a natural gleam. It uses LED components and has a dimmer. The BOOM lamp matches with any interior style, from industrial to country style, and at home as well as in an office space.

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The Hague Favourite: We Love This City Conceptstore

There’s a new conceptstore in the Dutch political capital The Hague, or as well call it, Den Haag. Only a stone throw away from the Queen’s palace on Noordeinde 109 you’ll find We Love This City. This might be my new favourite store in The Hague. The conceptstore holds hand-made products by creative entrepeneurs. For the fashionista there are gorgeous kimonos and shawls by Miriam Flores, exquisite jewelry by My Treasure Hunt, hand-made leather bags by Willemijn van Dijk or bags by Jee Bags designed by Janneke Peters, and printed t-shirts with the most funy texts and bohemian illustrations by Cotton Candies. Interior fans can shop vintage furniture and accessories by De Verbaasde Ree, photoblocks by Homecircus, gold foil prints by Knäppa, and cacti by BAM!. There are so many wanna-haves that it is hard to leave the store empty-handed. The fashion items have an Ibiza, bohemian flair to unleash your inner hippie, while the home decor items are mostly eclectic and vintage.

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London shopping guide: Islington

Sometimes I totally forget to blog about experiences I had that might spark your interest. Like my short city trip to London earlier this year. Each time I go to London, I try to explore a different part of the city and go a bit of the beaten track. I’ve been to London so many times, that I don’t bother visiting the touristic places anymore, nor the high street (Oxford st), unless I have time left or need something from a particular store. But that is hardly ever the case, since there is so much to do and see in London. The architecture, street life, the museums and parks.IMG_4916

Ever since I was a child, I went to London once a year with my parents to shop, so I know London pretty well. But since I started blogging I have an extra incentive and advantage : I have London-based blogger friends! Especially Tina (her blog is Colourliving) is my best resource, because she always gives me a detailed itinerary of a specific area with all the great shops, coffee places, and must-sees. So, to be honest, I have to credit Tina for this shopping guide, because without her I wouldn’t have found some of these great shops in the Islington area.

To go to Islington you take the tube to Angel metro station and take a right at the exit. From there it’s one straight walk, with a couple deviations into side streets. (all photos are taken with my iPhone 4S) First stop is:

The Coffee Works Project

The Coffee Works Project is a charming coffee house where you can a good cup of coffee, pastries, quiche and sandwiches. It has a living room vibe and there is also a secret garden in the back. – 96-98 Islington High StreetIMG_0687-2


One of my favourite perfume shops in the U.K. I have been using their lavender perfume, hand soap and hand lotion.for years now. Penhaligon’s boutiques are like stepping into a time capsule and entering an 19th century perfume shop. I love it! – 112 Islington High Street

A charming little shop with fashion for kids and women, and small home accessories and stationery is next to Penhaligons, but unfortunately I don’t recall its name.


Camden Passage

Next is Camden Passage! Here you’ll find a lot of antique shops, charming boutiques and lovely coffee places. The cobbled streets and market stalls make you forget you’re in a metropolitan. The store fronts are like local shops in small villages and lure you in.IMG_0699-2


Kipferl should actually be your first stop, or starting point since it’s a breakfast and brunch restaurant. It is a little piece of Austria in London. They serve typical Austrian dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, from the eponymous Vanillekipferl to the classic Sachertorte ‘mit Schlag’ (with cream) and from herbal Almdudler lemonade to a peppery Gruener Veltliner wine. The concept of Kipferl is based on the Viennese coffeehouse, where the kitchen is open all day and you can sit on your own with a ‘kleiner Brauner’ reading newspapers for hours. Their coffee is the best, a real must-try. – 20 Camden Passagekipferl

Paul Young Chocolate

Paul Young Chocolate is an adorable little shop with beautiful chocolates, most like real art pieces. Some have surprising flavour combinations. – 33 Camden PassageIMG_0700-2


SMUG was my favourite shop in Camden Passage. It’s a 2-storey lifestyle shop with home decor accessories, stationery, toys, books, and kitchenware. IMG_0691-2 IMG_0692-2 IMG_0694-2


I also loved Hexagone, a lifestyle shop with solely French brands. The owner is from France and very passionate about the products. He can tell you the story behind each brand and product. It soon became clear to me that all the products are hand-picked and curated with care and quality in mind. From gorgeous posters and prints, to toys, home decor items and furniture. This is a shop you don’t want to miss. 12B Camden PassageIMG_0698-2

We continue on Upper Street, where our first stop is…

Abigail Ahern

Abigail Ahern is one of Britain’s best interior designers, a book author, design teacher and shop owner. I follow her blog rigorously because she gives such good advice and tips for decorating. Her shop is boasting with elegant and luxe products and furniture, lavish plants and high quality textiles. A store not to be missed. – 137 Upper streetAbigail Ahern shopAbigail Ahern shopIMG_0705-2

Fig & Olive

To rest your feet and fill your tummy you go to Fig & Olive. I went for tea and cake but you can also have breakfast or lunch here. The decor is light and charming. – 151 Upper StreetIMG_0708-2


Folklore is a home and lifestyle shop with a variety of items and based on a simple idea that better living is possible through design. The products are of high quality and craftsmanship, with simplicity and functionality at its core. Beautiful textiles, wooden and enamel kitchenware, and timeless pottery are part of the collection. 193 Upperstreet

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Twenty Twentyone

Twenty Twentyone is a furniture and lifestyle shop, another gem on Upperstreet. They have the very best design-led furniture, lighting and accessories. As the name suggests they combine classics from the twentieth century with progressive contemporary work. – 275 Upper StreetIMG_0716-2 IMG_0717-2


For yummie pastries, salads or a lunch or dinner go to Ottolenghi. I didn’t have time to try it, but read and heard nothing but raving reviews from friends. 287 Upperstreet IMG_0736-2

In the side streets of Upper street you’ll also find nice shops like e.g Aesop in Cross street or Aria on Barnsbury street, another lifestyle shop.IMG_0718-2 IMG_0719-2

There are many more shops in Islington, and if you have time left you can also combine this part of the city with Clerkenwell.

You might also like the London shopping guides: Bloomburry, Shoreditch part 1 or Shoreditch part 2





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