When there’s a fierce storm rattling the windows and the ten-minute walk to your favourite bar feels like a Frodo-esque mission, it’s sometimes nice to just bail on the world, close the curtains, turn up the radiators, and fire up Netflix. It’s no wonder, then, that Icelanders take a bit of pride in their home environment. It’s more coping strategy than materialism—a bright and comfortable living space can have a decisive effect on your mood in the dark months.
Here are some Reykjavík shops to pick up the bargain furniture, quality homewares, or design touches that’ll tie your place together and help ease you through the winter.
AKKÚRAT, Aðalstræti 2
With a tightly curated selection of clothing, design objects, magazines, and inexplicably desirable bric-a-brac, the new-kid-on-the-block AKKÚRAT store has quickly made a name for itself. There’s a fair bit of Icelandic design here, mixed in with intriguing Nordic and international products. We particularly liked the Nomess range, the & Anti Matter modular sculptures, and the signature clothing line by Döðlur.
Góði Hirðirinn, Fellsmúli 28, Reykjavík 108
This Icelandic branch of the Good Shepherd is a cavernous second-hand supermarket that’s a true Aladdin’s cave of homewares. From tattered grandma sofas to pots and pans, jumbled crockery, retro stereos, rugs, kitschy ornaments, cross-stitch samplers and bizarre quasi-erotic amateur paintings, you could furnish your entire place here, all whilst contributing to a good cause. There’s a rapid stock turnover, the prices are right, and they deliver. So go and shepherd some good stuff back to your place.
Geysir Home, Skólavörðustígur 12
A new addition to the Geysir clothing store mini-empire, Geysir Heima is an upscale homewares emporium that seemed to sprout out of the ground fully formed at the end of last year. They sell a uniformly desirable selection of geometric furniture, fancy shelving, vases and crockery, wall prints, toiletries, bikes and more, from a diverse range of designers including Andrée Jardin, Angústúra, Atelier Dottir, Auður Ómarsdóttir, Hasami Porcelain, Korkimon, Minimum Design, Usee, WDLND, Yield and ystudio.
Hrím, Laugavegur 25
Iceland has arrived as a country with a design aesthetic all of its own in recent years, and you can find many of the classics in Hrím. Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir’s Knot cushion is one such item: a long tube of padded material, ingeniously tied into a neat and comfortable form. The shop’s refined sensibilities are reflected in the prices, but dotting your home with items from Hrím will definitely brighten the place up.
Kokka, Laugavegur 47
Kokka is a fancy fantasy-land for food lovers, filled with all sorts of utensils you didn’t even know you needed. They import the best Italian pasta machines as well as beautiful Lodge cast iron pots. It might not be the cheapest, but when you want quality, there’s nothing better.
Flying Tiger, Laugavegur 13
Whether it’s a French press, an iPhone cable, a bathmat, mop and bucket, notepad, veg peeler, teapot, or a candle, Flying Tiger is a store that has basically everything you might need for your house. For standard-issue stuff, the quality isn’t bad, and neither are the prices (in Iceland terms). Be careful though—you might also come out with some weird storage boxes and a Halloween costume you had no intention of buying.
Read more guides to Reykjavík here.