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EASTER HYGGE IN ITALY

It’s been a while, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I took a bit of time off from the blog after the busy Milano Design Week to enjoy some quality time over the holidays. My parents visited us from Norway, which was so nice! It ended up being quite a Scandinavian Easter after all full of good food, fun and hygge – just the way it’s supposed to be! My parents had brought with them Norwegian Easter eggs in the luggage which was the icing on the cake. These beautifully decorated cardboard eggs are filled with chocolate and sweets, a lovely tradition I am happy to keep.

Thinking back to my childhood, we would always spend Easter at a cabin in the woods going skiing. Whenever I want to get That Scandinavian Feeling here in Italy, I head to the lake. If I look at the view it almost feels like I’m back home, it is something familiar and safe. And although having a walk in the park seeing all the white flowers looking like snow makes me miss home, it also makes me feel content and happy to be here.

If you want to learn more about the typical Norwegian Easter traditions and see what I got up to last year when I was in Norway, have a look at this post.

Now that Easter is done, I am working on a couple of different blogposts from MDW, so stay tuned for that. I saw a lot of great Scandinavian design and I can’t wait to share it with you!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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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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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // FOGGY PARK WALK

Hygge is not just something us Scandinavian’s do in our homes, the feeling can also be found outdoors. Now at winter simply put on your warm, comfortable clothes and go outside for a winter walk alone or with friends. And although you might think that the feeling is reserved mostly for winter & autumn time, you can still experience hygge during the spring & summer months. Something to look forward to!

Living in Italy I do sometimes miss the Norwegian nature and landscape. There is nothing quite like the view of the fjord or a walk in the many hiking places we have. Lucky for me however, I do live very close to Monza park – the fourth largest park in Europe. Here you can find anything from a farm, a stunning royal villa, race tracks to cute cafés and restaurants. For me this is one of my happy places, especially now this period when it is nice and crisp outside. I love going here for a walk to clear my head and find peace. It is also a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends, outdoor concerts or events and bike rides, which is all very hygge.

These photos were taken on a foggy and chilly but nice day last week when I went out for a little lunchtime walk. The fog made it look so magical and really set the tone!

What is your happy place, where do you enjoy outdoor hygge now at wintertime?

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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JUST LIKE A SUNDAY HIKING TRIP IN NORWAY

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This Sunday we had a trip to the mountains, sometimes I forget how close it actually is. For a moment I almost felt like I was back in Norway on a Sunday hike.. I wanted to share some images with you to show that it is actually quite easy to get the Scandinavian feeling here in Italy, you just have to look for it.

Growing up Sunday’s were usually the day for family and a lot of times this meant being outside. We would go for hiking trips, walks in nature or exploring different areas around us. It was always a great way to end the week, to get a chance to switch of your brain for a bit and just enjoy the surroundings. Living in Italy can be quite different from back home in Norway, but in the north it’s actually not as different as you would think. The great thing is that it’s so easy to just jump on a train or in your car and get away for a day or a weekend, perfect for anyone with some serious wanderlust. We live quite close to one of the biggest parks in Europe, Monza Park, but sometimes I crave that mountains feeling. Because of that we decided to take a little trip yesterday to an authentic little mountain town about one hour from us; Piani Dei Resinelli. We arrived just in time for lunch, and found this super cute cabin serving Italian winter-food. How good does fried cheese-filled doughballs and blueberry (!) pasta sound?

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“The mountains are calling and I must go..” – John Muir

After the lunch we went to explore the area, and even ran into a group of goats. I had with me my trusted Kanken Fjällraven backpack, because us Norwegian’s will never go hiking without a backpack. Usually this backpack would be filled with hiking snacks like oranges, biscuits (a favourite being the classic Kvikk Lunch – Norwegian for “Quick Lunch”) & a thermos with hot chocolate. It’s important to keep the energy level up as well as being prepared incase of emergency, especially if its a “hangry” emergency!

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Little trips like this really is an energy boost, I now feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new week! In Norwegian we have a saying “ut på tur, aldri sur” (which translates to “out for a walk / hike, never in a bad mood”) and it’s so true.

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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COME WITH ME TO PUGLIA

Puglia lies on the heel of the ‘boot’ of Italy, and is known for the cuisine as well as the rustic landscape, cute white villages and beautiful beaches. I just came back from my annual holiday to this beautiful region and though I would share some images from two of my favourite places; the fisherman’s city Monopoli & the fairytale that is Alberobello.

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Monopoli is a small and cute city full of the plants fichi d’India which I have become quite obsessed with. A great place to stay and wander around the old town which is full of trendy restaurants and bars as well as more traditional ones too. It’s an old fisherman’s port and you can therefore enjoy a great selection of seafood.

SOME THINGS I RECOMMEND THERE;

🌵 Stay at Fico Apartments, a trendy new apartment solution right in the middle of the town. We stayed here and loved it! Blogpost coming soon
🌵 Breakfast at Carlo Quinto with a beautiful view out on the sea
🌵 Wander around Centro Historico
🌵 Rent a Vespa for the day at Way to Move to explore even more
🌵 Eat the best panino at Vini & Panini in the cute outdoor area
🌵 Enjoy the best gelato at Gelateria Caruso
🌵 Have a cocktail or two at Tiles, and check out the amazing tiled floor in there

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Have you ever heard of Alberobello? It is almost like a dream, full of these adorable little houses called trulli. These house are great examples of Italian folk architecture, a traditional structure found only in this region. Some of the trulli houses are now either stores, restaurants, or available to rent, which I would recommend you do! But many of them are still inhabited by locals, and some even open so that you can walk inside and have a look.

When you walk inside this little town it is like going back in time, or stepping into a weird but beautiful fairytale place. It is the greatest feeling, just getting a bit lost in time for a few hours and wander around..

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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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PHOTOS FROM OUR STAY AT A CUTE AIRBNB APARTMENT IN FLORENCE, ITALY

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After staying in the lovely airbnb in Torino a few weeks ago I was bit by the airbnb-bug! I love the idea of searching on their website for the perfect holiday home, and then living like a local in these quirky and cool apartments instead of staying in a hotel. We recently had a trip to Florence where I found the most perfect apartment, a bright and airy recently renovated place in a cool and trendy area near the city centre. It is owned by an architect who has an eye for colour and details. With its cozy, comfortable and quiet atmosphere, this place had the perfect Scandinavian vibe! Here are some images I took there, and if you want to see the full listing you can find it here.

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The apartment was on two floors, with a large living room and kitchen as well as two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, and a open loft solution with two extra beds. This gave a lovely feel to the flat, and made it very open and inviting. The colour scheme though the whole space was blue and light pink, which really works well together with the vintage elements. I am usually a lover of white walls, but after staying here I think I might be converted to adding some colour.

The kitchen was small but cute, I loved the fabric handles on all of the cupboards as well as the retro wallpaper behind the sink area. The marbled kitchen top was a beautiful detail too.

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The light fixture in the bathroom with hanging lightbulbs and copper + yellow was stunning, even more so in real life! This was something I have never seen being done in a bathroom environment before, but it really worked. The cool wallpaper on one of the walls was a great detail too.

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Here are some images from bedroom number one, my absolute favourite! The high seiling, clean lines and statement yellow chair gave it a great look. If you are planning a trip to Firenze I highly recommend you checking out this apartment. It’s cool, spacious, in a great location and owned by the loveliest people.

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Next week we are off to Puglia, so if you want to follow along do add me on Instagram, find me here!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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