options 1options 4options 2options 5options 3I love Amsterdam. I never lived there, but I did everything else there: study, work, shop and party. Luckily, my front door is only a fifteen minute train ride away from Amsterdam’s Central Station. Only downside: not living in Amsterdam means I have to enter the city via the Damrak or the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. Both are busy streets with tram lines, tourists and loads of loud shops and restaurants aiming to lure in those tourists. Not the Amsterdam I like. But something has changed for the better. Since 2012 concept store Options (it is also a cafe and is connected to design hotel The Exchange) has opened its doors on the Damrak. Conveniently located between the train station and fancy warehouse the Bijenkorf, Options comes to the rescue if all the visual and literal noise from the street is making you in need of some tranquility.

In the shop you’ll find beautiful stationary that gives Muji a run for its money, fashion for both adults and babies, sturdy backpacks from it-brand Herschel, fashion magazines, books and of course ‘design’ souvenirs for those tourists I spoke about earlier. The cafe serves fresh food to eat in or take away and they even have a small terrace for when the sun is shining.

photos by me 



I am a great supporter of all young, talented people turning to the world of craftsmanship lately. This brings back the personal in all we consume and hopefully it will help us learn to appreciate quality again after years and years of spending our money on ill constructed products from unknown origins. One of those people is Amsterdam based Petra van Roon who taught herself the dying profession of being a barber.

In her perfectly designed shop Barber in the centre of Amsterdam, she offers trims and touch-ups of beards/moustaches, complete head shaves and facial massages, all presented under names like the Dude or the Hemmingway. Only for the guys, of course.



droogforrent.comdroogforrent.comdroogforrent.comyesterday I took you to Belgium through the eyes of photographer Eefje de Coninck. Today we stay in Belgium but we add a touch of Dutchness to the story. Droog design and gallery owner Sofie Lachaert have opened Droog for Rent in Gent.

Consisting of a studio and an apartment that you can rent for the night, Droog for Rent allows you to test all the Droog products for yourself. From tea towels and lamps to rugs and radios. You can even expect iconic Droog designs like Tejo Remi’s Rag Chair. If you want to take any of the designs home, you can. The available iPad makes ordering Droog design as easy as ordering room service.

You have untill the end of March 2013 to dive into the world of Droog.

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radioroyaal.beradioroyaal.beradioroyaal.beradioroyaal.bea year ago I accidentally came across Radio Royaal while visiting the Dutch Design Week 2011 in Eindhoven. The small neon sign on top of the old machine room of the Philips factory was not giving away much on what was to be expected inside. It was a pleasant surprise. Black and white tiled floors mixed with teal colored machinery and Dutch primary school furniture. And good coffee.

During that first visit Radio Royaal was not completely done. The restaurant had a sort of ‘permanent-pop-up’ feel to it: everything was served in paper, the heating was not working yet and they had a very simple kitchen set up and a small menu. But what they had, was of high quality.

This year Radio Royaal looked even better. They now have a very professional open kitchen situated near the entrance of the building and you can have both lunch and diner here. What hasn’t changed is the amazing atmosphere. When I visited the place last October, it was packed with people and even though the restaurant is housed in such a big building, it still felt cozy inside.

By the way, the owners of Radio Royaal are the same guys who are behind very successful restaurant Hotel de Goudfazant in Amsterdam.

photos by Radio Royaal het kabinetdutch design collective Droog has opened a hotel in the centre of Amsterdam. But of course, as can be expected with Droog, the hotel is not just a hotel. In fact, the beautiful building Hotel Droog is housed in has only one room to sleep in, the Bedroom. So technically it is a hotel, but it is most of all a way to experience the hospitality of Droog. When you are done shopping at the Droog shop (Droog design, books) or at fashion store Het Kabinet, you can enjoy a coffee at ROOMSERVICE, the cafe of Hotel Droog. If there is still some time left, check out beauty shop Cosmania or the exhibition on furniture design on the ground floor. And, as said, like in any hotel, you can sleep there.

hotel Droog | Staalstraat 7B | 1011 JJ Amsterdam

hotelmodez.nlon September 15th of this year the doors of fashion and design hotel Modez in Arnhem (the Netherlands) opened. Fashion illustrator Piet Paris (you may know him from his work for Saks Fifth Avenue) was responsible for the decoration of the 20 hotel rooms. Paris invited 10 Dutch fashion designers who received their fashion education in the city of Arnhem, to translate their work into a hotel room design. The other 10 rooms are dedicated to fashion in general and they deal with a variety of fashion themes, like embroidery, knitting and patch work.

The hotel lies in the area Klarendal, a former problem area in Arnhem which is now being transformed into the city’s fashion quarters. Sjaak Hullekes