where to go in lisbon After living in this city for five months and countless city trips to Portugal’s capital ever since, I had to compile all my favorite hangouts in one handy city guide.  So, if you’re wondering how a semi-local twenty-something spends her time in Lisbon, this is it!

At the end of this post you can find a google map with all my tips, neatly organized by category. On that map, you’ll find even more tips that I’ve collected from my most trustworthy sources, and intend to try out myself in the future.    Have fun!

Last update: January 2024

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AT HOME_ urban roof terrace

At home_ urban roof terrace - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblogThe first space I wanted to get started on when we bought our house, was our roof terrace. After spending a year in lock-down with little to no outdoor space, we couldn’t wait to transform this trapezoid terrace into a cosy outdoor space.  Since we didn’t own any outdoor furniture yet and I desperately wanted to start decorating and furnishing our house, this clean slate seemed the most logical option to focus my energy on.

In the three months between buying our house and receiving the keys, I started making mood-boards, comparing prices, trying out chairs and sofa’s and researching plants, hoping to enjoy our new and long-awaited outdoor space as soon as possible. The goal: turn this urban terrace into a green oasis where we could lounge, enjoy meals and have friends over from (not so) early in the morning until late at night. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the Ever Given fiasco and last year’s rush on outdoor furniture, many items were sold out and delivery was often delayed. Sadly our terrace was only fully furnished in October (let this be a reminder for you to order your outdoor furniture now!), so my plan didn’t really work out… However I’m still very happy I decided to be patient and stick to my first choices, and with sun gracing our terrace from morning until evening, we have definitely caught up on “terrace time” during the sunny weeks we’ve already had this year! Now, let’s have a look shall we?

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AT HOME_ we bought a house!

Authentiek herenhuis - Hannelore Veelaert - aupaysdesmerveillesblog.be

This past year has been quite the roller coaster, for multiple reasons, but one thing definitely sticks out: we bought a house! Ever since a certain health crisis kept all of us closer at home, my boyfriend and I started longing for a bigger home with a proper outdoor space, more daylight, a work space for each of us (my boyfriend is the music producer behind Boogie Belgique and was in desperate need of a home studio) and something we could call our own.

After one year of casually looking at listings in our hometown Antwerp, we bumped into this house from 1870, filled with authentic details, daylight, a roof terrace and more space than we could have possibly dreamed of. It’s been almost a year since we’ve moved in (and if you follow me on Instagram you’ve surely seen me decorate each room), but somehow this big decision hadn’t made it to the blog yet. So today, I present you a throwback to our empty home, and a close up of all the little details we fell in love with. Now that everything is looking more and more finished (don’t be mistaken, there’s still plenty to do!), I can’t wait to give you a detailed tour of each room. But first things first: let’s have a look at what we’re working with!

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EXPLORED_ Villa Necchi Campiglio

EXPLORED_ Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog

When my boyfriend and I decided to spend a week in Milan, the first thing that came to my mind was: “we must visit Villa Necchi!” On a rainy day in July 2019, we made our way to the iconic villa which you can only visit with a guided tour. Lucky for us, we were the only visitors that morning and received a private tour, where we discovered everything there is to know about the villa’s rich history.

Villa Necchi Campligio, Via Mozart, 14, 20122 Milan, Italy - website - instagram

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WORK_ family home by Somerset

WORK-Somerset minimal family home by Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog.beA while ago I photographed the beautiful home of Antwerp based interior architect Geraldine Somers. Under the moniker “Somerset”, Geraldine creates minimal interiors and interior objects. I’ve shared a few fragments on Instagram already, but felt that this minimal yet warm family home deserved a blog post as well! Despite its minimal color palet, Geraldine’s home is rich in materials and textures. From the Muller Van Severen for Valerie Objects wall lamp to the Louis Poulsen hanging lamp, from the wishbone chairs by Carl Hansen & son to the minimal 3D art by Edith Beurskens , every items is chosen with care. Even the salt and pepper shakers are carefully selected. The finishing touch is provided by Somerset’s original designs: the kitchen table, side table and night lights. The latter are available at Studio Ozart, a design collective run by Geraldine with three other female designers.

For more interior inspiration have a look here, for more of my work click through to my portfolio.

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AT HOME_ living room update n° 3

It’s been a year and a half since my latest living room update and a lot has changed since then! A few months after my last update, my boyfriend moved in with me and while he didn’t bring a lot of furniture (that’s an understatement), we were in desperate need of some more storage space.  Staying home for the past year made us very aware of other aspects we wanted to change.  A dividing curtain between the sofa and our “hallway” is still on my wishlist (but probably won’t happen as we’re hoping to buy a house soon), but other than that this room feels pretty finished to me! Curious for the result?  Read along!

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FRAGMENTS_ Gallaratese

FRAGMENTS_Gallaratese - Hannelore Veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog.be

In the summer of 2019, the boyfriend and I traveled to Italy by train for two weeks of pasta, sun, friends and… architecture!  I may not work as an architect anymore, my love for architecture never faded.  Luckily my boyfriend is always down to discover another magnificent building!  In Milan we visited some of the classics (more on that later!), but the one that made the biggest impression was a bit of the beaten track. (Half an hour outside of Milan by public transport to be exact!) The Gallaratese Quarter was designed in 1967 by Aldo Rossi and Carlo Aymonino, as an answer to the housing shortage after the Second World War.  It’s a huge complex, including open-air decks, interconnecting bridges and an amphitheater, all in an exquisite color pallet of browns, reds, yellow and blues.  With surprises after every corner and countless interesting views (and square meters!) it’s so easy to get lost in, and a must-visit for anyone with a heart for architecture.  Even though you get only one hour to discover the premises (the guard at the entrance will ask your ID in exchange), it shouldn’t be a surprise that I easily filled up my camera’s memory card.

Oh, if you love these images as much as I do – I’ve added some of them to my print shop!  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you can’t find the photo you’re looking for, I’ll gladly upload it for you!

Gallaratese Quartier, Via Francesco Cilea, 106, 20151 Milano, Italy

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COLLECTION_ Let’s play house

Let's play house - Joni Vandewalle - Hannelore Veelaert

Toys and kids rooms are often missing from house tours, but lifestyle journalist and young mother Joni Vandewalle was determined to prove they deserve the spotlight too.  She collected twenty playful interiors from all over the world in the book Let’s play house.  In these homes clutter creates atmosphere,  toys and design are interchangeable and creative storage solutions are key.  The book Let’s play house is a must have for parents and parents-to-be and a very early Christmas gift idea from me to you!

It’s no secret I love a good interior book, so you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to contribute to one!  Joni and I met when I asked her to be part of my Insights series.  Back then, she was living in a rental apartment around the corner of the home she was renovating.  We chatted about her love for vintage, color and flowers and we’ve been collaborating regularly ever since.  Our most exciting collaboration is definitely this book, for which I shot all of the Belgian homes!

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AT HOME_ dining room update with Master Meubel

AT HOME_ dining room update with Master Meubel - Flos IC S1 - hannelore veelaert for aupaysdesmerveillesblog

My obsession with interior design and architecture started when I just learned how to read and discovered my parents’ collection of interior magazines.  At the time, they were decorating their newly built home and took my little sister and me to quite a few interior design stores.  While some kids undoubtedly might have found this boring, I absolutely loved it.  I still vividly remember when they took us to Master Meubel, where I was almost star-struck upon seeing all these designs I knew from  the magazines in real life, not to mention how impressed I was with the stunning modernist architecture.  You can imagine my delight when they contacted me to collaborate!

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WORK_ family home by Erica Jacobs

WORK_ Erica Jacobs shot by Hannelore Veelaert - aupaysdesmerveillesblog

Leuven based architect Erica Jacobs asked me to a photograph a few of her projects, all of which were a joy to shoot.  I’ve shared a few fragments on Instagram already, but felt that these lovely interiors deserved a blog post as well! The first project I wanted to share here, is this renovation of a family home.  The bathroom is probably my favorite room in the house (and I know you loved it too!) thanks to its play on transparency and combination of materials. The rest of the house however, with its custom-made furniture, steel window and brick wall, are pretty impressive too. The styling in collaboration with Plek shop (a must visit when your in Leuven!) formed the finishing touch to this stunning interior.  I hope you like the result as much as I do!

For more interior inspiration have a look here, for more of my work click through to my portfolio.

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COLLECTION_ DIY’s for the holidays

With the holidays approaching rapidly, a little Christmas inspiration is in order! As some of you may know, I’m always spending the holidays in Portugal, which means that a Christmas tree seems like too much of a hassle.  However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to get my home into the holidays spirit!  In this blogpost I’ve collected all kinds of inspiration, from gift wrapping ideas to alternative Christmas trees and from DIY ornaments to festive decoration ideas.  Have fun and if you do try one of these, don’t hesitate to send me the result in a DM!  I’d love to see what you come up with…

  1. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping a gift in a reusable material, such as a linnen napkin, or leftover cloth which can be used again and again.  It’s a no waste approach to gift wrapping that looks good and feels good too!  Learn how to do it here.
  2. Can’t find the kind of ornaments that you’re looking for? Then why not make them yourself!  Molly from Almost Makes Perfect explains how to make these hand ornaments yourself here.
  3.  This yarn and eucalyptus wall hanging by Poppytalks  looks (and smells!) especially great during the holiday season, but you can definitely keep it around a lot longer.   Discover the DIY here.
  4. Not quite ready to dress your home in green and red?  Try this subtle dry flower wreath by Paper & Stitch here.
  5. If you’re in it for the ornaments but not quite for the tree, this image by Sostrene Grene is a good solution.  A bare walls and some washi tape is all you need.
  6. Ana Morais elegantly combined dry flowers, brown craft paper (the most sustainable option when it comes to gift wrapping paper!) and furoshiki to wrap her gifts.  For more images of her excellent gift wrapping skills, look here and don’t forget to swipe.
  7. This wall hanging is the solution for those who don’t have enough space for an actual tree.  Find the DIY by Almost makes Perfect here.
  8. Abi from These Four Walls combined paper decoration and a foraged brand for a minimal and elegant christmas arrangement.  Have a better look  here.
  9. Zwoste used pine as tassles in this cream catcher, making it the perfect addition to a boho home for a subtle nod to the holiday spirit. Read more here.
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