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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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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // FINNISH EXPERIENCE HOTEL KOTI IN PARIS

I have been eyeing out this place for a while, it simply is gorgeous and a great excuse for any Scandi lovers to take a trip to Paris.. The Koti hotel is a pop-up experience taking place in Paris for 100 days from January to May 2017 at the Institut Finlandais, a big sleepover in Finnish cabins!

The concept is simple; it’s a living art installation celebrating the Finnish home. There are 6 different cabins, during the day they are open to public viewing and in the evening they are available for guest to use. There is a daily schedule for all guests starting with quiet time & morning showers before a Finnish breakfast is served at a large communal table with specialities such as rye bread, salted butter and Finnish berries.

Getting back to nature in simple cabins can help us escape the busy everyday life and reconnect with family & friends. And the Finnish people are very good at just that, they like to enjoy frequent visits to the cabin as an essential part of everyday life. It really is a lovely way to relax and get away from the pressure and stress of daily life.

“Be our guest at Koti and escape the hectic pace of modern life. Savour the luxury of simplicity, the importance of home and the value of sharing unforgettable new experiences. Sleep in your very own cottage and indulge yourself with tranquility and communal hospitality right in the heart of Paris.” – Koti

You can book your stay through Airbnb. Because who wouldn’t want to have a sleepover in Finland, and waking up in Paris?

// Photo credit: Koti

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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // FIKA CAFE IN TORONTO, CANADA

Fika is a Swedish word that means to have a coffee break, the perfect name for this cute cafe located in Toronto. FIKA Café provides a cozy place for people to come and break away from the ordinary with typical Scandinavian treats, coffees and teas. Because in Scandinavia you take your time with the coffee, and if you want to have a coffee break the Scandi way then pastries are a must.

These lovely photos are from the Cereal website, and they show a light space full of character that looks inviting and cozy in that true nordic style. The logo is the dala horse, which was a popular toy for children in the old days but in modern times has become a famous symbol of Sweden and it’s culture.

If you live nearby you should stop by and have a fika with friends here, I know I would!

// Photo credit: Rich Stapleton

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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // COZY LUNCH DATE

I am a ferm believer in enjoying those little things in life, appreciate the moment and just be happy. I know there are so many things in life that can get you down (we all have those moments..) and because of that I think it’s important to have times to look back at and say to yourself “in that moment I was truly happy!” It can be things like meeting your best friend for a coffee & a chat, popping a prosecco bottle with a group of girlfriends or as simple as a walk in the park when the light hits the trees in that magical way. It can be laughing so hard that you start crying, getting a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or listening to your favourite music. Those moments are what keeps you going, those moments will lift your mood on a cloudy day and put a smile on your face.

For me one of those moments I will treasure for a long time was a cozy date with my boyfriend when we were in Norway. We decided to take a little drive to a place called Hå Gamle Prestegard, which is an old vicarage that served as the residence of a senior civil servant several hundred years ago. Today, as well as hosting exhibitions and events, you can find a cafe serving lunch as well as cakes and coffee for guests. When stepping inside you get that warm welcoming feeling, its like visiting someone you know and eating lunch in their living room. The cafe has the perfect Scandi vibe and the food is rural and hearthy. We had the chicken soup, which was perfect as it was a very windy, cold day. Sitting there in silence, enjoying the meal and looking out at the view of the pebble beach was one of those moments. A truly happy moment.

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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AUTUMNAL TRIP TO STAVANGER, NORWAY

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Last week I came back to Italy from a lovely week in Norway. Here are some autumnal images I took there to start your wanderlust off..

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While visiting Stavanger I had to check the newest addition in town; Kokko! After hearing so much about this coffee place I was very curious to see it for myself, and I was not disappointed. Kokko is a space for anyone interested in coffee, architecture & design. It is a café, but also has a architecture firm located on the top floor. Because of this the interior is very aesthetically pleasing with a lot of great details like an exposed brick wall, a cozy fireplace and a open wood shelf. There is also a great selection of design and lifestyle books for sale, and of course coffee plus delicious looking food.

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I also had a lovely walk along the Hafrsfjord walking path looking at cute houses, the beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh autumn air – recommended if you are in the area!

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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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