Last week, we returned from an inspiring and refreshing trip to Europe. Just like at home, spring was in the air! The trees were beginning to show their buds and heavy down coats were exchanged for lightweight jackets. The sun was out, energy was high and it was obvious that everyone is more than ready for Spring's arrival.
Our main goal on the trip was to load and ship a container of new products (which we can't wait to show you this summer), but we were also there to find fresh inspiration. We had coffee and dinner dates with some of our amazing suppliers and also got to spend time with family and a few of our friends.
We came back home with renewed energy and the vision to give our home (and the shop) a spring refresh. Taking inspiration from our time in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, we compiled a list of spring refresh tips and our favorite spots in both of these cities. Happy Spring!
After a gray, cold winter in Amsterdam, warm weather and more sunshine is highly anticipated. Although Dutch people make use of café terraces all year long, when the sun is out every terrace and patio blossoms with people. It is obvious that they truly appreciate the sunshine and warm weather when it arrives.
Spring Refresh Tip: Open your windows and refresh your home! Spruce up your patio and spend time outside even if a light jacket is still necessary. When you're out for a cup of coffee or lunch with a friend, opt for the patio table and enjoy the fresh spring air.
In Copenhagen, I was reminded of my very first time in this city when I first discovered hygge. I remember being amazed by the amount of candles lit in every window and on every café table. Denmark uses the most candles (per capita) in the entire Western world and this was quite obvious. Candles are lit all day long and this is not dependent on the weather, amount of sunshine or time of year. I was once again reminded that hygge is pursued and achieved year-round and is completely ingrained in the Danish culture.
Spring Refresh Tip: Continue lighting candles even as the weather gets warmer. Consider brightly colored or patterned tapers to bring more fun and energy into your home.
We spent a lot of time hopping in and out of shops & showrooms and stopping for delicious coffees along the way in both Copenhagen and Amsterdam. One thing that we immediately noticed (and were so happy to see) was the generous use of color. The larger furniture - tables, couches and chairs - remained timeless and classically neutral but pops of color appeared in the paint colors, accessories like a colored glass vase, a vibrant piece of artwork, or a colorful patterned pillow. And of course, in an abundance of fresh flowers everywhere.
Spring Refresh Tip: Be playful and add more color and pattern to your home! No need to buy new furniture but add in colorful accessories, like pillows, vases, throws, artwork, candles and tablecloths.
Refresh for Spring like the Danes do - take a dip in the cold sea and then retreat to a warm sauna. This is sure to wake you up after the winter's sleep.
Spring Refresh Tip: Take a cold plunge!
In case you will be visiting Amsterdam or Copenhagen, we put together a quick list of what to do & where to find hygge and inspiration in both of these beautiful cities. In both cities, make sure to rent bicycles, it's by far the easiest (and most fun) way to explore these cities.
A coffee house located on a quiet street downtown. The coffee is delicious, in fact it's our favorite Dutch coffee roaster, and the setting is perfect for catching up with friends.
Owned and operated by two of the most creative minds we know - this little flower shop is a true gem. Inspired by the Golden Age, they create the most wonderful and elaborate flower arrangements.
Our absolute favorite shop in Amsterdam. Sukha designs and makes all kinds of beautiful home goods, wares and clothing and their shop is absolutely gorgeous. Located on a busy shopping street but stepping into their store will surely put you at ease and you will definitely leave inspired!
Coffee & Coconuts
An old theater space creatively converted into one of the most buzzing and coziest cafe's in Amsterdam. Now open for 4 or 5 years already, we were amazed to see that the line to get a table still ran outside on the sidewalk!
One of the oldest cafe's in Amsterdam - operating as a neighborhood bar for centuries. It's been owned and operated by the same family for the last 50 years and you will most likely see the owner mingling with his guests each day. Our favorite stop on Saturdays for coffee, apple pie, or a beer during the weekly Saturday Noordermarkt. If you are an apple pie connoisseur, try a slice here at Papeneiland and at Winkel, another café around the corner. A known rivalry amongst Amsterdammers, who all have opinions about which cafe makes the best apple pie, or appeltaart.
In the harbor area of Copenhagen, this cozy little dockside café serves coffee, natural wines and wholesome food. Even more importantly, they have a wooden Sauna on property, with a beautiful view of the water, for their guests to use before or after enjoying a drink or bite to eat. While we were there enjoying a glass of wine, we watched several sauna goers dip into the freezing harbor water and return to the sauna. I wasn't envious but it looked refreshing!
A community garden on the roof of a building in the middle of the city. The gardens are maintained by locals around the neighborhood and the restaurant serves a delicious tasting menu each night. They utilize as much from the garden as possible, as well as local farmers and fishermen. If you go in the summertime, go early to enjoy the rooftop gardens, wandering chickens and fire pit.
We happened to stumble upon this little restaurant and we were so glad we did. It's located in an old butcher shop, which became obvious with the white tiles on the wall and some old butcher hooks hanging. Owned and operated by two young, creative locals who operate the front of the house as well as the kitchen. They are passionate about food & wine and will explain exactly where everything on your plate and in your glass comes from.
For Danish design lovers (like us), Illums is a must-see. Originally founded in 1925, this renowned department store hosts almost every Danish brand in one place - furniture, lighting, candles, clothing and home accessories. Fun place to be inspired or find gifts for your loved ones at home.
If you want to contemplate your travels over a delicious cocktail in a very hyggelig setting, make sure to stop by Libkoeb!