Interior Design Shopping in the Dam (Amsterdam!)
This is a little guide for anyone who shares an interior design fetish who is planning a trip to Amsterdam. It is a list of my favourite hunting grounds to shop and roam for chachkas, home wares, furniture & faux flowers (but of course not cushions because Paradis Maison make the best ones).
First stop on the chachka train should be ANTIEK CENTRUM. This is an antique store that is more like a little museum and makes for a good treasure hunt for those with a hankering for scavenging (also a great place to spend a rainy Dutch day). There is a huge range of items to be found here for any budget- I find that the most affordable items tend be in the showcase by the front door. I especially love the old vintage glass jewellery boxes, vases and gilded items that can be found here for a steal. Make sure that once you see something you guard it with your life while your shopping partner plays hide and seek with the sales assistants. Towards the centre of the store you will find anything from church relics including beautiful Madonnas to chinoiserie and Art Nouveau pieces. There is a section towards the rear dedicated to retro signage which might also float your boat.
Elandsgracht 109, 1016 TT Amsterdam
This is a cool industrial furniture and sknickers sknackers store in the Jordaan area. It is a great place to pick up vintage furniture and second hand retro pieces. They also have some fabulous antique planter boxes and greenhouse terrariums. There are some unusual smaller items that are more suitcase friendly such as copper and glass jewellery boxes, vases, ornaments, frames, pictures and an interesting selection of framed archival insects & butterflies. Although if you are Australian maybe pass on the bugs- customs might strip search you on the way home and we have enough bugs at home anyways. It is a good idea to head here on a Saturday so that you can also experience the Jordaan street market across the road. Supposedly the best apple pie is served on the corner cafe next door but they refused to heat my pie (which is criminal) so I have boycotted that place.
1015 NA Amsterdam
Aarde Werelds Wonen
This is a furniture store almost next door to De Weldaad so worth a quick browse if you are in the area. Here you will find a selection of ethnic furniture, pots, boxes, carpets, kilims & jewellery from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal & Uzbekistan. They are all about fair trade so that's pretty cool too.
Aarde Werelds Wonen
Moooi Showroom (Yes there are 3 letter Os)
Mooi in Dutch means beautiful and locals use it pretty much to describe anything nice like your stylish home, your sexy Paradis Maison cushions or your hot son or daughter. But this Moooi has 3 letter os because it isn't just 'nice' it is super duper 'noice'.
If you are a designer this is a must see but don't expect to come home with anything unless you are uber rich (which you probably aren't if you are a designer or an architect). Every time I walk in there I want to kill myself or offer my first born in exchange for store credit. This is the most famous of all Dutch design brands and in my opinion by far the coolest. If you haven't heard of Marcel Wanders then please check him out- it is a need to know name for any interior designer (if you haven't heard of him then go back to school or the rock you crawled out from). Marcel had an amazing exhibition in the Amsterdam Bathtub AKA Stedelijk Museum that was so terrific I had a designgasm and then went home and thought how meaningless my contribution is to the world. F_ck you Marcel.
It is also worth stopping by for a drink at the Andaz Hotel to check out the Marcel Wanders fit out. His fantasticality makes for a great and trippy drinking atmosphere and the magically over scaled chairs create the optical illusion of my personage being much skinnier (Ladies ditch the oversized handbag and big hair for your first date- meet that Tinder hottie whilst seated in a Marcel Wanders chair). If it moves to the next level the hotel is upstairs and again Marcel comes through, your date will be too distracted by the crazy ass fish on the wall to notice the cellulite.
The Moooi Showroom
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Andaz Hotel
Prinsengracht 587, 1016 HT Amsterdam
This little gem stocks the best faux flowers I have ever seen. It is also run by the sweetest Dutch lady I have met in Amsterdam. I was even forgiven for knocking over and smashing a ceramic pot #bullinachinashop. Alexandra insisted I buy nothing that day because she didn't want me to have any 'feel bad' purchases. I have been back many times since and bring a lot of our foreign visitors here to have a looksie, no one leaves empty handed because the flowers are soo beautiful. The owner is very talented at creating floral sculptures & arrangements if you want something bespoke. The shop is like a secret garden and also sells unique antique urns and planters. It is a bit off the beaten track but very close to Vondelpark. Alexandra's partner also works at the Antiek Centrum (Maybe she has tips on where the sales staff are hiding!)
1054 HG Amsterdam