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Living la Vie en Rose in a Parisian Home

The time spent in Iza and Paul’s beautiful apartment in the 7th arrondissement of Paris was truly magic. We were there for a total of five days during this Easter holiday.

La vie en rose is definitely not a myth, I can tell you that much. It starts in the morning, when pushing the curtains sideways to open the window. The classic white shutters need unlocking and I swear there is no better promise of a new day than making this gesture! The crisp air comes in and the flavoured coffee steam is raising from the cups, into the sunlight. On the dining table, fresh buttery croissants and pain au chocolat from the boulangerie downstairs. And the gentle, warm flickering of candles. Whoever said candles were an evening delight only was definitely not Parisian.

With the traces of sleep still visible on our faces, we would have breakfast together, enjoying the comfort of food and friendship. La vie en rose. The sweet life. We would have a similar ritual late in the evening, with a cup of tea, to share stories about how we spent our day. Needless to say, as visitors, we were out most of the time, wandering the city streets and taking photos, so there was plenty of catching up to do.

As always, leaving Paris was hard. Leaving this sweet home away from home was even harder. Although our friends have only recently moved in and they believe there is still plenty to do in terms of decorating etc., I say they’ve done a great job. They made the place theirs, that’s for sure. Being such a sucker for beautiful details, I had to keep on taking photos of it. I also had to take home a bottle of that same rose scented shower gel Iza was using – my attempt of bringing a bit of la vie en rose to Amsterdam. Will it work? I surely hope so!

<< Post originally published on Amsterdamming.com in April 2017 >>

Home in Rotterdam

This past Sunday we paid our first visit to Jennifer and York’s new home in Rotterdam. Like I have already confessed to them, I felt like a kid in a candy shop, trying to absorb all the beautiful details of the space – the light, the mood, their choice of furniture and decoration – and, at the same time, to take photos of everything.

“It’s work in progress,” Jennifer said apologetically, to which I replied I was already impressed, yet was nevertheless looking forward to seeing it in its final form, too.  It really is one of the most charming and full of character homes I have ever been to.

<< Post originally published on Amsterdamming.com in January 2018 >>

Sunday in a Bubble

Among other things, Alina loves to be a host. She would effortlessly throw something in the oven, get some drinks on the table, put on a nice dress and some lipstick, and wait for the guests to arrive. Food, conversation, and pretty clothes – three of her favourite things into one activity. For years I have been witnessing her home parties on her blog Life in a Bubble and, together with Knausgård, Alina is the person who put Norway on my map. She has been living in Oslo for so long, sometimes I forget she is Romanian.

This weekend, Alina and her boyfriend have come to Amsterdam for a short visit. We had dinner together at our place on Friday evening, then met for brunch at New Werktheater on Sunday. When they invited us for a post-brunch glass of wine at their rental apartment in the East, we could not refuse.

I was caught totally off guard by the overdose of cosiness and the plethora of beautiful details in the house. Alina and I could have spent the entire afternoon just lying on that sofa, the sun on our face, talking in the carefree Romanian style, slightly amused by the reactions of our non-Romanian boyfriends. I could tell how much she loves to be a host – even when travelling!

We did not stay for too long though. The weather was good and they had plans to go to the museum. Before leaving, Alina took me upstairs to show me the cradle hanging from the ceiling in the bedroom. I took some photos, then said goodbye, hoping to meet again in Amsterdam, Oslo, Bucharest, or elsewhere.

<< Post originally published on Amsterdamming.com in March 2018 >>

Romanian Home in Bucharest

It’s always a great pleasure to visit Diana of ZSTR into her beautiful home in Bucharest! Back to my hometown to spend time with family, I stopped over at Diana’s for coffee and a little chat – and this time I brought the camera with me.

The central, historic neighbourhood, with buildings reminding of la belle epoque – a time when the city flourished like never before – makes you feel like a character from the books of Mircea Eliade or George Calinescu. You can easily understand why, back then, they called Bucharest “the little Paris”.

Diana’s home is full of light and, with few exceptions, totally see through from one room to the other. The wooden blinds, old lamps, high ceilings, and glass doors are good indicators of the building’s age and its privileged location in the city. With respect to this, Diana and her boyfriend gathered elements of Romanian folk culture – furniture, carpets, ceramics etc. – to populate their home with. The effect is refreshing and traditional at the same time. They’ve created a space to relax and feel connected with the history of Bucharest and with the Romanian culture and traditions. Above all, they’ve created one of the most beautiful homes I’ve seen.

<< Post originally published on Amsterdamming.com in May 2017 >>