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Home is where the heart is... But a bed would be great too.

So you have just arrived in Zwolle, Netherlands and stepped into your perfect little apartment with nothing but your suitcase, to see that your new home is a bit bare (maybe even missing flooring and lighting). We arrived to a very stark and dark little apartment that definitely needed some cozying up. So I will share with you some tips and tricks on where to find the things that will make it feel like home. Disclaimer: I have not received any benefit, financial or otherwise, to promote or list these business. This list is based on affordable and accessible stores I have shopped at.

Your first stop, without a doubt, should be IKEA. I come from a country without IKEA, and I had no idea what I was missing until I visited the one in Zwolle. It is the perfect place to buy your big, practical, necessary items such as beds and cupboards. With the almost endless options and home delivery, possibly even on the same day; I recommend you head here early, equipped with your measurements, shopping list and ready-to-spend credit card.


Useful tip: Measure your apartment before going shopping to avoid expensive mistakes, especially if you have a door frame, staircase or window you will need to get the furniture through.


Putting flat-pack furniture together is not an easy task, and for us it took the combination of both skill sets (one of us is good at reading and executing according to instructions and the other believes there is nothing a hammer can't solve) to set up our purchases. For this and other tasks, such as hanging light fittings and pictures, you may need some tools to get the job done. Gamma, Hornbach or even Action have everything you need from ladders, hammers and screwdrivers to paint and glue.

Once you have something to sit on, so every meal is not a picnic on the floor, you may need some kitchen utensils and home supplies (assuming you didn't do a mad trolley dash in the one-stop shop that is IKEA). Action and Hema are great for gearing up your kitchen with the essentials.

Luckily mismatched kitchenware is now fashionable instead of disorganized! (Picture is not from mentioned stores)

Media Markt and are great places for big appliances such as washing machines, microwaves and coffee machines. It is always a good idea to go into a store to see these appliances in person and use online stores to price check once you know the make and model.


Useful Tip: When selecting delivery, be sure to specify what floor you live on. Sometimes it costs extra for upper floors and if you haven't specified that, the delivery staff will not carry it upstairs.


Finally, once you have all the basics in place, you can start to personalize your home with decor. Candles, rugs and picture frames fill the space to make it feel like yours. Take a ride out to Woonboulevard to visit Leen Bakker, Kwantum and other great home decor stores there for the perfect finishing pieces. Luckily in Zwolle, we have so many places you find "leuke" things for your home such as Zara Home, Blokker and even Primark.

And for everything else you could not find anywhere else or to get ready for your house warming party, try Xenos.


Last Tip: I always believe that nothing makes a place feel more like home than a plant, so be sure to pick one up while shopping or at the Saturday market.


Hope this helps to make Zwolle your home.Happy Shopping!

We'd love to hear what your favourite shops for buying items for your home are so please do comment below. And, if you haven't found the perfect place to live yet, check back soon on the blog for a post about how to find accommodation in Zwolle.


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