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VISITING NAMI CONCEPT STORE IN BERGAMO // FOR NORDIC DESIGN & HYGGE LOVERS

Living in Italy I do miss the homeware stores we have back home in Norway, always beautifully decorated and stocked full of goodies for Scandinavian interior lovers. So when I discovered a new store opening nearby with that same Nordic vibe that I love, I knew I had to visit. The NAMI Concept Store is located in the small but vibrant town Bergamo, about an hour drive from Milano. If you are planning a trip to this area I would highly recommend stopping by, the store is gorgeous and it has a great selection of homeware items in different price ranges. When walking in you immediately feel welcome, it is like entering someone’s living room full of treasures to discover. Warning; you will probably not leave empty handed…

On my visit I had a lovely chat with the owner Stefania, she told me all about her idea of creating an emotional store where design, quality, and craftsmanship are fused together. Her mission to enhance our daily life with little details chosen with care and attention for nature do come to life in NAMI, a store with the perfect Scandinavian feeling here in Italy.

BIO: Stefania, 28 years old, is a graduate in Design and has been working as a photographer for some years while cultivating her passion for art in all its forms. In the last few years, she has organized different exhibitions and collaborated as art director for a young artists collective called Progetto Meteora. She says she is an aesthete and likes to discover things that satisfy her taste; because of this during the last few years, she has approached Nordic design and therefore felt the need to bring up some not so well known artisans and brands for people to discover. For her, Nordic design is the right compromise between liveability, design, and nature.

Q1 // Tell us more about NAMI and why you decided to focus on Scandinavian style and hygge?

The idea originated from a little dream of mine but was mostly led by the path I had taken such as my photography experience, design studies, and experiences in retail. This all became NAMI. I started off by taking part in local markets and followed with an e-commerce, then finally I recently opened my concept store which allowed me to have a physical place to show all the products I love. The store is today also a gallery and a workshop location.

Q2 // Which Scandinavian brands do you currently have in your store?

I have decided to focus on two main Danish brands; Bloomingville and Madam Stoltz. While the first is more modern and minimal, the second is rougher in the aesthetic but with an ethnic chic soul. I have chosen these two companies as their styles are diverging but at the same time they provide our concept store with a good view of my idea of Scandinavian design, the right mix between the new (Bloomingville) and the lived (Madam Stoltz). We also stock Meraki skin care products.

Q3 // What are your future plans for NAMI?

In the future, I can see definite room for art exhibitions, workshops, and collaborations with new brands and creative people, in this way we will be able to widen the network of art and Nordic design lovers.

Q4 // What do you think is most important to think about when styling your own home? Any personal tips and smart solutions?

There are many elements to consider when giving a homogeneous and uniform style to your own home. Everything needs to appear as comfortable as possible since we have to see it as the place where we will spend the majority of our time. First of all, I believe the consistency of the palette is essential, the number of colours does not really matter, instead the ability to combine them correctly is key. Another essential aspect is the correct use of empty walls. Sometimes we tend to overload them as they can feel quite bare, in this case just the use of a wallpaper with the right colours and patterns is a great solution.

Q5 // Any new furniture & interior trends you are excited about?

Yes! One of the most fascinating trends for me is the use of plants in the home for decorative and other purposes, finally, we are bringing nature back inside. Apart from looking nice in the environment, plants appear to provide a relaxing feeling. They are also natural humidifiers, have healing power, minimize allergies risks by purifying the rooms and reduce the level of stress.

I would like to further develop these aspects in my concept store as well. At the moment you can find plants such as cactus, pilea, aloe and terrarium, but for the near future, I am planning to start retailing the beautiful vase by Boskke which aims to save space and water.

Q6 // How do you like to relax, how do you hygge?

During my free time, I like to discover new places and I am always hunting for new inspiration as, believe it or not, I find it very relaxing!

Q7 // What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you?

For me, it means to be able to understand deeply all the aspects of a different culture from mine and turn it into inspiration.

If you would like to visit the store, you can find it on Via Broseta in Bergamo. View all items available and shop online here, and if you do go let me know as I would love to hear what you though!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // HAPPOLATI RESTAURANT IN OSLO

If you are planning a trip to Oslo be sure to check out this beautiful restaurant designed by Anderssen & Voll. Happolati is located on St. Olavs Plass and is a lovely mix of Asia and Scandinavia, with both the interior and the food inspired by Japan with a Nordic twist. The space looks open and inviting, and the dark floor blends nicely in with the bar. I love the creative wood lamp on the wall which reminds me of origami, a lovely detail!

Tempted to visit? Have a look at the menu and make a reservation here.

// Photo credit: Elisabeth Heier

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COZY & GREEN RETRO HOME IN SWEDEN

Would you have dark green walls in your home? After seeing this beautiful home I am very tempted. It belongs to the Swedish couple Cajsa Berndtsdotter & Torbjörn Olsson living in Gothenburg and is full personality.

I love the dark green used here, and the combination of the green along with vintage, brown tones is perfect. The gorgeous artwork on the wall and the personal decor items around the apartment really gives it a unique look.

The kitchen has a minimal yet personal look, and I especially like the use of the String shelves and the herringbone tiles on the wall.

The bedroom has a retro wallpaper that gives off a warm and welcoming vibe.

“I love the decor from the 1950-70’s. Everything from colour to shape is amazing! I also like to mix it up with new to get your own style. But the best is to fins flea market bargains of furniture or fittings. It makes the home so personal.” – Cajsa Berndtsdotter

// Photo credit: Andrea Papini via Elle Decoration

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HARMONIC & SOPHISTICATED APARTMENT

I love the look of this apartment styled by Swedish Anna Mårselius. It’s gorgeous natural tones gives off a calm and harmonic vibe, the perfect place to relax.

The subtle grey tones in the bedroom mixed with black & white creates a timeless and sophisticated space. Adding a statement light fixture in the ceiling is a great idea to add more personality.

// Photo credit: Kristofer Johnsson

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10 CREATIVE WAYS TO REUSE PACKAGING

1 // Use a egg carton as storage. We all have little things that tend to get lost in drawers, but it can be hard to find the right solution to fit. I love this simple idea from IKEA; cut an egg tray to fit your drawer and you’ve got a great jewellery organiser for free.

2 // Use a cardboard box as a penholder on your desk. You probably have a lot of cool cardboard boxes in different sizes from different homeware or design items purchased. Instead of throwing these out they can be great to use in the home. On my desk I use the cardboard box that one of my Design Letter mugs came in, it is the perfect size for storing pens but also has the perfect look for any Scandinavian design & typography lover.

3 // Use shoeboxes as storage. I usually don’t even take with me the shoeboxes from the shop, but next time I buy a new pair I will make sure I do so I can make some DIY storage boxes. These ones by Mormorsglamour are so gorgeous, and the idea of adding little leather handles is such a great idea! Keep the boxes as they are if you like the design, or paint them.

4 // Use old jars as plant pots. Small succulents or cactuses are the perfect size for storing in jars. These from Yesterdays Sweetheart are so cute, and a great way to reuse any jars you might have such as these candle jars or jam jars.. Wouldn’t they be a cute little gift to give to someone instead of the traditional flower arrangement?

5 // Use a cool bottle as a candle holder. Don’t let glass bottles go to waste, and instead wash them and use as home decor. The Hendrick’s gin bottles have a great look, so if you are a gin lover be sure to keep your next empty bottle (or any other liquor or soda bottle for that matter). This image is by Daniel Leon Stern via Instagram.

6 // Use a paper bag as a planter. Nowadays a lot of shops will have their own designed paper bags, and its a shame to just throw these out when you get home from a shopping trip. I love the idea of using these in your home to store anything you like in, but especially as a planter as seen on Sanctuary. This paper bag is from the Merci shop in Paris, known for cool packaging. I visited the shop last year and still have my bag (the smaller version), so now the hunt for the perfect plant to keep in it starts!

7 // Use cans as kitchen containers. Just remove the labels, give them a good clean and they are ready to use in your kitchen. If you want to customise them with paint, but I like the simplistic look created by Weekdaycarnival.

8 // Use old calendars, magazines or newspapers as wrapping paper. Keep a stack of old paper items you don’t use anymore for wrapping birthday, Christmas or any other gifts, this is from Deko magazine. The monochrome look is great, but the possibilities are endless and it is easy to customise.

9 // Use a perfume bottle as a vase. Next time you have an empty perfume bottle, don’t throw it out but keep it to put a nice branch or flower in. This would be a lovely nightstand decor idea or on a vanity. This one was found via Tumblr.

10 // Use wine corks as candles. What? This seems a bit weird.. But according to A Subtle Revelry you can create super easy candles, all you have to do is soak them in a capped mason jar filled with aceatone alcohol for a week. Then afterwards, put them in little candle holders and light them up!

Do you have any other creative ideas on how to reuse packaging? I would love to hear them!

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