Vintage Haus – your midcentury design Pop-up store this September

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I am very proud and excited to announce my next event: Vintage Haus! I have hooked up with the talented Lorraine from HUME vintage, who has just launched her vintage business in Aberdeen. Together we will be turning the studio on 8 Chattan Place into the most amazing midcentury pop-up boutique, full of carefully selected and curated furniture, textiles, ceramics, art and accessories from the 1950s-1970s. I can’t wait!

Opening hours

Tues 19 Sept 10am – 6pm
Wed 20 Sept 10am – 6pm
Thurs 21 Sept 10am – 8pm
Fri 22 Sept 10am – 6pm
Sat 23 Sept 10am . – 6pm

CURATED STORIES STUDIO, 8 CHATTAN PLACE, ABERDEEN, AB10 6RD

3-5 February: Big Sale Weekend


If it is as big a success as last year’s, I’d better hunt for some extra stock! Come down on the weekend of 3-5 February to the old church hall in Kirkton of Rayne, as there will be plenty of treasures and bargains – old or new – to be found from various local traders. Styled and displayed beautifully as usual, offering something truly special. Open every day from 10am – 4pm. Come! 

Here are a few previews of some of my items on sale:




Did I say the C word? The Christmas Shop is open!

I know, I know, Halloween hasn’t even been yet and we’re already talking about Christmas. It is many people’s favourite season though, something they really look forward to each year – especially when it comes to decorating the house. For those itching to get those garlands up, this is for you. However, even if you insist in not putting any decorations up until at least the start of December, you really need to come down, because it is an amazing place. Go for a nice countryside drive, have a cup of tea, a piece of homemade cake and a browse around Nina’s Apartment’s quirky finds (not Christmassy, but usuable year-round!). I am talking about the Kirkton of Rayne Christmas Shop, open from the 27th of October. You are welcome!


For the second year running the wonderful old church hall in Kirkton of Rayne in the Aberdeenshire countryside has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland with beautiful gifts, decorations, home wares and vintage finds by various local traders. Nina’s Apartment has a corner in the shop full of lovely goods, including furniture, cushions, lanterns and retro coffee sets. There are also a cafe with amazing cakes by VanillaBoutique, creative workshops and even a gin tasting evening coming up.

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Open every Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm. Until Christmas. Entry and parking is free.
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Old church hall
Kirkton of Rayne

AB51 5AH

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Autumn interior design offer

Nina’s Apartment is now offering interior design services in addition to blogging about beautiful homes and selling cool stuff online. To celebrate this news we are offering the service at a reduced price this autumn for bookings made before the 1st of January, to help spread the word and get us involved in even more exciting design projects. Want to know more or book a free first appointment? Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information. We are here to help. Contact

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Example of a recent room design (in a new-built house) by Nina’s Apartment

Mood board

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3D designs

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Nina’s Apartment is back in business after a fire destroyed the shop

scottish home show flyer and stand numberNina’s Apartment is back on her feet since a fire destroyed the shop and all vintage stock at Lethenty Mill at the end of April.

Nina Eggens, owner of the business, tells about the experience: “It was horrifying to see my shop go up in smoke in front of my eyes that morning. I worked hard for four years building up the business, collecting rare vintage pieces and creating a real destination for people to find something unique. It felt like I had lost a limb.”

Since the blaze the business woman has not sit still however and after an extended summer break she has rebranded the business and has decided to go into interior design as well as still selling vintage, but only online for now.

“Hundreds of people sent messages of support after the disaster and I felt very humbled. Customers told me they had always enjoyed following the Nina’s Apartment design blog and how much it inspired them. I have now decided to develop that side of the business and help people create a home they love, designing interiors with ‘soul’ and using a unique combination of new and vintage furniture .”

Nina’s Apartment – Interior Design and Vintage will be at the Scottish Home Show from 23-25 September 2016, at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Special introductory offers will be available at the stand.

When your beautiful shop gets destroyed by a fire

Nina's Apartment lethenty mill destroyed in fire

I keep remembering things I had in the shop. A beautiful vase, a vintage Danish pottery dish. Pictures and mirrors. My toolbox and staple guns! My books. My upholstery foam…that must have burned well in the fire. Countless items of furniture. I have now even lost the concrete wall I use as a background for taking pictures for the web shop.
Everything is gone. I went to have a look yesterday and it was the saddest thing I have ever seen. My wonderful, beloved shop, my baby, my creative haven, my pride and joy… the thing I had built up and created all by myself and that I had poured my heart and soul into.
I saw a shell full of rubble. The sign is still up, looking strangely optimistic and almost untouched, as well as the stupid dead plants outside the shop that I should have chucked away ages ago. Inside it is a complete mess. Nothing to salvage. The roof has caved in, everything is burnt. A sad green ceramic coat hook peeps up from underneath the mountain of ashes as a vague reminder of the happy, colourful place my shop used to be – until that early Thursday morning, April the 28th 2016.

interior shot of the shop

I was just having my breakfast, sorting the kids’ packed lunches and getting ready for the day when my friend phoned. It was 7.30am. “Did someone die? Who on earth calls this early?” I thought while running to the phone. “Have you heard it on the news?” she said. “Lethenty Mill is on fire”.

Nina's Apartment lethenty mill destroyed in fire

The thick plumes of smoke were visible from miles. As I drove up seeing Lethenty Mill in the distance I could only cry, knowing that what I would find would be horrific. I parked my car and ran over. They were all there, the guys from the cabinetmakers, the garage owners, my landlord and mill resident Allan – thank god he got out save, even if it was only in his pyjamas – and a crew of caring neighbours serving us coffee and tea. Eight fire engines and 55 fire fighters were trying to tackle the blaze but nothing could save my wee shoppe.

nina's Apartment lethenty mill destroyed in fire

Nina Eggens Lethenty Mill fire

People have been so kind. Hundreds of messages of support on social media, via text and email, phone calls and people turning up at my door with flowers, chocolate and bottles of wine. I am truly blessed and overwhelmed by everyone taking the time to show they care. I know it was only a retail unit and ‘stuff’, nobody physically got hurt, but it felt like my heart got ripped out on Thursday. And I am sure I am not the only business owner in that building who feels like that. I have lost everything and wasn’t properly insured for this kind of event either. Yeah, bummer. So I gotta start all over again.
What will I do next? I need to think. It would be the obvious thing to just continue as soon as possible, finding new premises, gathering stock, getting that high speed train back on track again. But I need to think. I need a rest. I have used up way too much energy building my business the past four years without taking a breather and the destruction of my shop has suddenly put everything to a halt. You know how you realise how exhausted you are the first few days when you finish work and go on a holiday? That’s how I feel. Drained. Except, it’s not a holiday.

So my next steps? I am going to sleep on it. Not one night, not two, but pretty much all summer. And then I will be back. In one shape or another. But I will be back.
Thanks for sticking with me, you are all amazing.
Nina x

Nina in front of her shop Nina's Apartment in Inverurie

About sideboards and nappies or how I became a mumpreneur

Lethenty Mill in Aberdeenshire

It is four years this year. Four years of lugging furniture around, changing millions of nappies and breastfeeding on the go, because I also had two babies in the meantime. I have a shop. I am a business owner. A ‘mumpreneur’. I am my own boss. How on earth did I get here? And what drove me so mad to combine tiring motherhood with running a business?

First of all, I never thought I would end up as a Dutchie in Scotland. Thought I would be here just temporarily, passing through. But here I am, ten years later. I also never thought I would start up my own business, let alone one where lifting a two meter long teak sideboard is a regular task. It was never on my radar, never in my plans. I was just happily doing all kinds of jobs when one day a seed was planted. And it grew. And grew. It grew a bit more. And here we are.

Aberdeen

I am a creative being. I have always been interested in art and design, was forever drawing, and did a masters in Art history at uni, focusing on 20th century architecture. At 26 I moved to Aberdeen to be with my now husband, continuing to work for arts organisations like I did in The Netherlands, just in a different country. I settled in fine, but like most foreigners arriving in the granite city I was missing the variety in cafes, museums and yes – independent shops, that I was used to on the continent. Maybe I should just set up something myself, I thought at times. Surely there was a huge gap in the market. I would go and add some continental style to Aberdeen! The first seed was planted.

Once my husband and I moved from his bachelor pad in the city to a four-bedroom house in a village nine years ago, we had to shop for furniture. Oh boy, did I get frustrated! I couldn’t find anything in and around Aberdeen that was even vaguely my taste. Too bulky, too beige, too traditional, too tartan, to boring. There were no vintage furniture shops other than stuffy antiques and Ikea was three hours away. I wanted colour! Nice European furniture. Things to suit the average sized house without taking up too much space. Eclectic old stuff as well as stylish contemporary pieces. Things to add soul to a home.

 painted staircase saying the words dreams don't work unless you do

img via Pinterest

Many people in this country seem to have a funny habit to cram large corner sofas into tiny living rooms and I just didn’t get it. I also detested the brown and beige ‘catalogue look’ that I spotted in so many houses. So many interiors looked exactly the same. What was going on? Surely North East Scotland could do better than that? The granite architecture as well as the dark winters make this part of the world grey enough at times and I yearned for bright colours and things for the home that made me smile and feel inspired. So I started dreaming. I started wondering. If I felt like this, surely other people felt like this too. If there was nowhere up here to buy nice European style furniture, I was going to open a shop myself.

Shop window in Copenhagen
A trip to Copenhagen gave me plenty of inspiration (I love that city!)

It took another five years and many mood boards and collages, bullet point lists and ideas in journals for me to take the plunge. I did lots of research, signed up for some Business Gateway courses, made a trip to Copenhagen to indulge in Danish design and see what kind of shop I wanted to be. The combination of losing my day job and being pregnant with my first child made the decision to change careers a little easier. I registered as a sole trader while still on maternity leave and began selling small vintage items and handmade cushions in an Etsy shop and at local fairs. When my baby boy was eight months old, I found local shop premises and got the keys to my very own space at Lethenty Mill.

Baby in a shop window
My little boy and ideal treasure hunting companion in the shop before it opened

Since then Nina’s Apartment has grown with leaps and bounds and it has certainly not been a walk in the park trying to cover all the bills that come with running a business. Not to mention the juggling of business and family life. Nothing romantic about that, just really hard work! But I love what I do and believe 100% in my products and service. Winning the Life with Style Creative Award last year and being shortlisted for two others was a great boost and reminder that I am doing something right and that people are appreciating what I am trying to achieve. And that I am, in fact, putting my own little quirky continental stamp on the North east of Scotland, one step at the time.

Having started as a shop selling a mixture of vintage, upcycled, handmade and retro, Nina’s Apartment has now specialised in the mid century modern and Scandinavian style. Trying to stay unique rather than duplicating what more local people started doing (the painted furniture, pre-1950s vintage), just makes sense. I want Nina’s Apartment to be the main destination in the North East of Scotland for mid century modern design.

Nina's Apartment mid century vintage furniture shop

I have built up quite a bit of knowledge about British and Scandinavian mid century design and it just is the style I love most. The minimalist lines and details are subtle and sophisticated and remind me a lot of modernist architecture, another love of mine and what I studied during my degree.

I always get excited to find quality new stock that I just know my customers will love. And there is nothing better than knowing that a piece of original vintage furniture is going to be appreciated again after some TLC and plenty of elbow grease. I simply love sourcing beautiful furniture and helping people furnish their home with unique pieces to bring some soul and personality into their interior. And my own house? I think I have definitely solved the problem that gave me my business idea in the first place, many moons ago! No beige and boring, that’s for sure.


Nina’s Apartment wins The Creative Award!

So, so chuffed to have won The Creative Award, one of the Life with Style Awards, given out to lifestyle businesses in the Aberdeen area.

A fantastic evening at Aberdeen’s Ardoe House Hotel, organised by Trend Magazine; lovely venue, beautiful decor, superb food and great entertainment. And to top it all off, I got an award to take home! I couldn’t be happier. So many talented businesses in the room, I didn’t think I would win, but I did. Needless to say the speech didn’t go too smoothly…it was very late, I was nervous and I had been enjoying the tasty prosecco, but I’m sure my beaming surprised face made up for that!

Just want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me and my business in the past three years, to the judges of the Life with Style Awards, and also a massive congratulations to all other finalists and winners on the night!

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