Amsterdam is full of lovely cafes, places to explore, and streets to stroll. I have chosen a few places to share that I really enjoy. One can spend hours if not a full day in the Museum Quarter strolling though the well-known museums of Amsterdam. You have your choice of The Rijks Museum, Van Gogh Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, and The Moco Museum. Each one offering a peaceful place to sit and take in the magnitude of this area. My favorite place to meet a friend and sip a drink is at The Rijks Museum. In the winter one can sit inside the museum or in the warmer months the outdoor garden is stunning! I always find myself spending a small window of time in this area especially on a sunny day. FYI, within a short stroll one can walk to fashionable PC Hoofstraat for luxury shopping.
Here is a place to linger, chill and rest in between strolling The Jordaan neighborhood and De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets). Hotel bars are relatively a newish thing for Amsterdam. I am digging the Amsterdam spin to them. The Lotti’s at The Hoxton Hotel is a hot spot for locals and tourists located on the Herengracht. It has a welcoming vibe that offers cozy and comfortable places to sip a drink and nibble on some food. Honestly a place that you can find yourself hours later departing. Love a new place to add to my long list of places to enjoy.
Next is an alternative posh spot. I am a huge fan of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders! He has designed the Andaz Amsterdam Hotel with a Alice In Wonderland theme. There is no detail that he has not thought of or delivered. Delft Blue is prominent and complimented by the over sized furnishings that creates a playful twist. The Andaz is hip and modern. It offers a cool lounge area for all to enjoy. A perfect place for tea time or cocktail hour! It is worth just popping in to experience this interior masterpiece and be surrounded by everything Dutch. If you need a place to stay, I wouldn’t hesitate booking this hotel.
Here are two lovely additions that I enjoyed and are in close proximity to each other. The Secret Church, Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Soder located in the Red Light Distract of Amsterdam is a must see. I never knew that Amsterdam at one time was filled with secret churches that were hidden in private homes and canal houses. This occurred during a period of political and religious changes in the early 17th century. This particular church I visited was housed in a wealthy merchant canal house. One gets to tour the canal house and the church. It is so amazing to travel back in time and experience how people lived back then. The museum does a lovely job explaining the history of this canal house through an audio guide. So many gems to explore and delighted I had the opportunity to learn more about the rich history that makes this city so special.
Nacarat, a city oasis located in the hustle and bustle of Dam Square. A roof top restaurant in the new Hudson’s Bay offering a fresh take on Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine. The views of the city are stunning along with the impressive and creative use of glass. A very Missoni feel through the play of patterns, color tones of pink, orange, and green while walking on the mosaic flooring makes the restaurant feel posh with a casual twist through the street food inspired menu. One feels miles away from the tourist packed center but by the end of your meal you are ready to rejoin the fast-moving city.
Amsterdam is an easy city to move around. Walking is my preferred way to move around the city with riding a bike a close second. Walking allows you to feel the city and embrace its charm. Biking gets you places quickly with a sense of freedom peddling from one place to another. As you quickly appreciate how Amsterdamers move along in their everyday life. The tram is efficient and dry when it is raining. You decide what is best for you!
Anything that hints of spring is welcomed with open arms. The Finnish textile company, Marimekko is known and respected for their bold colorful prints. There is nothing shy about their brand. Marimekko has a long history of offering unconventional designs for your wardrobe and home. You can’t help but appreciate their knack for offering season after season a timeless and unique aesthetic. Spring is the perfect time to embrace change and perhaps reach outside your style comfort zone. This season is about patterns, prints, and colors. I spent some time in both the Cambridge and Boston Marimekko stores . The stores are full of bright and lively pieces for your wardrobe and your home. Time to be bold!
Marimekko has so many pieces to freshen up your space. You may feel inspired to recover a few cushions or pillows with some bold and playful fabrics or maybe it’s a sweet tray for your drinks. A small bud vase with fresh flowers makes for a perfect host gift!
Check out isostilo’s picks off the Marimekko website. Go big this summer!!
Basket bags mean one thing: ease! They are a perfect classic summer accessory. A bag that will compliment your nautical or city style. When the magnolia trees and cherry blossoms begin to bloom, start preparing yourselves for warmer days and lighter accessories. Straw bags can range from simple to well decorated. They also come in every handbag style. These simple and functional bags set the tone for a laid back, easygoing vibe that we all tend to favor during the summer months. Baskets bags are fun, versatile, and perfect for strolling around a seaside village or walking around a farmers market.
These beautiful handmade baskets are made with love from the women of the Bolgatanga communities trying to make a difference for themselves and their families. The funds from these bags help provide health care, school supplies, and community buildings for the weavers and their families. The baskets are stunning in person and no two are identical. Truly works of art! Please check out Johns Jungle African Market Baskets if you fancy a basket bag or baskets for your home.
Net bags are all the rage! Time to get on board with this trend. They are a perfect city bag alternative for holding just your essentials. The net bag makes for a great last minute accessory to throw in your suitcase for a weekend away. An easy way to have some fun with a trending piece. My hot pink find costs $12.00! You can opt for a fancy designer stamped one or anything in between. But we can’t ignore how fun they are for summer!
Hands up for earth and wallet friendly purchases! They both are on trend (bonus). I love them for their care free nature. They are isostilo style! Time to swing into longer and lighter days!
Check out Eco Bags for inexpensive options for the string bag.
At the moment spring is being a bit moody which is more of a reason to find ways to keep reminding yourself it is in fact spring! I bought these beautiful cherry blossoms last week and have enjoyed watching them slowly bloom. The delicate flowers are stunning! Happy spring from my home to yours!
isostilo has a new local find in Cambridge. I am a fan of making something your own. The idea of designing and getting creative with textiles allows you to put your own spin on something. I love customizing t-shirts for my son’s birthdays. It has become a fun tradition. I scored this year with finding BOSSTOWN Custom Printing & Embroidery in Cambridge. Honestly I had gone to the Converse store originally but the equipment was under repair. So I was on the hunt to find a local business. Having a local shop that is owner occupied is always welcomed. We have to support our local shops to keep things interesting and unique. After a brief meet and chat with Melissa, the owner of BOSSTOWN, I knew a super fun t-shirt would be designed. I am thrilled to have found Melissa. She is running a business, juggling kids, and delivering a service that I hope all will consider the next time you are looking to personalize some kicks or t-shirts. I will say that she is located in an unassuming location and you walk through a little maze to find her small space. Another gem! BOSSTOWN
I am a huge fan of the Danes and all the Nordic countries. For years I have admired their sense of style. I could easily move to almost any part of Europe especially one of the Nordic countries and not think twice. Life is too short to think anything has to be permanent. Maybe it is my wishful thinking. The Danish aesthetic is one the main reasons I wanted to explore Copenhagen. I did just that with one of my best gal pals, Donna (the one that makes me laugh like no other:) We hit the streets blazing!
Illums Bolighus is the first stop! Every Danish designer and more under one roof will sweep you off your feet. It is a place to escape and find inspiration. Give yourself ample time to wander the floors. There is so much to grab your attention. Illums Bolighus is located in the heart of Copenhagen, delivering you a shopping experience that you will not forget!
The Coffee Collective has a vibe that will keep you hanging out. The coffee is creamy, smooth, and served with a smile! I love the warm moody tones of the space created through the use the dark wood, soft lighting, Nordic blue walls, and lit candles. A perfect place to take a break!
Night At The Museum
The Ny Carlesberg Glyptotek is a highlight. An absolute stunning art museum housing an impressive collection of ancient and modern art in a beautiful architectural building. In the middle of the four winged museum is a Winter Garden that creates an oasis with overflowing tropical plants. It is an unexpected gem. On this particular evening was a special one night performance by Danish Designer, Henrik Vibskov. “Please analyze, volumize, moisturize me” was a human installation that was part of Copenhagen’s Light Festival. A spectacular performance that gave us the opportunity to wonder the museum. It was a night at the museum indeed!
Vinbodegaen is a charming wine bar offering an extensive selection of wines by the glass listed on a chalk board. It is a locals place to linger and sip in a traditional cafe setting.
Tight serves up local Danish cuisine in a wonderful old charming space with exposed stone walls, wooden beams, and candle lit tables. One might walk by this restaurant do to its casual entrance. Lovely meal, lovely service, and word of advice, always carry a bit of the local currency so you can tip!
Spring is in full bloom at the new Converse retail store connected to the new Converse global headquarters at 1 Lovejoy Wharf in Boston. The minimal, clean, and hip space is stunning with sunlight streaming through the large glass windows. Very cool! It is well laid out showcasing kicks in pastel colors, track suits, and basics of t-shirts , sweatpants and joggers. You can head to the Blank Canvas to customize your sneakers or t-shirts. Converse welcomes you to engage with the products and get creative. One of my favorite reasons to head to Converse is to play at the Blank Canvas. I have designed my son’s past two birthday gifts at the old Newbury Street location with a unique customized t-shirt. Unfortunately the printer is currently under repair. But I did get to explore the new space and products. There is also a nod to the Boston Celtics with NBA x Converse Franchise Collection with Chuck 70 high tops paying tribute to local heroes. The TD Garden is a stone’s throw away. So be sure to pick yourself up a pair of screen printed leprechauns and clovers for some good Boston luck . After visiting the store, take a stroll along the waterside and enjoy a panoramic view of the Zakim Bridge. Converse could not have asked for a more stunning urban environment.
I love the new home of Converse. Sorry to say farewell to Newbury Street. The one downside to the new location is that there is no parking so I highly suggest public transportation. At the moment the Converse store is more of a destination with not a lot around it. But hang tight knowing Boston is exploding with new neighborhoods everyday. Plan your outing on a spring or summer day so you can stroll along the waterfront and take full advantage of the waterfront setting. Maybe head to the North End for lunch. There is cafe at Lovejoy Wharf so be sure to grab a coffee or whatever you fancy to get you to your next stop.