Ceramist and houseplant specialist Rena Noordermeer

Ceramist and houseplant specialist Rena Noordermeer

I’m Rena Noordermeer – ceramist, houseplant specialist and interior enthusiast with a drive to create things that are inspiring and feel-good. Whether it’s creating ceramics, giving advice on plant care, hosting workshops and events or collaborating with creatives and brands, I always try to add my easy-going aesthetic.

Together with my husband Sam I recently moved from the Netherlands to Norway to be closer to nature and follow our dreams of running a workshop and living more sustainable. We are currently looking for possibilities to share the peace of mind that Norway brings us with others.

Studio Hear Hear offers a range of handmade objects and a small selection of well designed and responsibly made goods. Both products made in the studio and selected items are characterised by simplicity and authenticity. We go by the “quality not quantity” quote, which means that we like to keep the selection of brands and designs clear and limited.


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Tell us about your move from the Netherlands to Norway.

My husband, Sam, is half Norwegian. He’s born and raised in the Netherlands but Norway always felt like a second home to him. Ten years ago we went on a road trip from South to North Norway and I fell in love with the country as well. We talked about a holiday home in Norway for years. A small get-away somewhere in the middle of nature. Things started to get serious when Sam got a job in Norway last February. A few months and a lot of conversations later I decided to join him on this Norwegian adventure. We found a dreamy farmhouse in a small town with a great view over the Førdefjord and the Nordic sea.
Moving to another country is not an easy decision to make. We left family, friends and everything else behind. My ceramic studio was doing great, I absolutely loved my job in a plant shop in Amsterdam and we lived in a dreamy loft just outside of Amsterdam. But Norway has a lot to offer as well. The landscape is so majestic and there are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs.




How was your life in the Netherlands compared to your new life in Norway?


It was both more convenient and stressfully. Take the public transport system for example. In the Netherlands you can easily go wherever you want by train, tram or bus. But there’s also the downside of the crazy busy rush hours and daily delays, which causes people to feel stressed and agitated. I was living this fast paced, big city life. Norway is about ten times as big as the Netherlands but has only 5 million inhabitants, compared to 18 million in the Netherlands. Our new life literally forces me to slow down. We live in a small town and getting somewhere takes time. Daily groceries turned into a weekly planned event and services like ordering food are simply not available. Sourcing materials for my ceramic studio is also more complicated. But in return we get to live in this gorgeous farmhouse. Being surrounded by this majestic landscape makes up for the inconvenience of living a bit more remotely.


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How does your typical Monday-Friday look like?


After the move it was all about turning the house into a home. There were boxes to unpack and rooms to decorate. But now my days are a bit slow. After Sam leaves for work I have coffee and breakfast, take a shower, go for a walk, listen to music, tidy the house, work on a rebrand for Studio Hear Hear, browse the web for inspiration, practice my Norwegian, prepare diner etc. I hope to get my studio up and running soon so I can get back to creating ceramics.



Do you work full time with Hear Hear or do you have another job on the side?


I always combined Hear Hear with other jobs, both for financial security and a change of scenery. I’m going to work in a lunchroom / cafe, which hopefully makes the integration go faster.




Living a sustainable life is important to you. What are a few simple ways to change our lifestyles to a more sustainable way of living?


When you think about it, making life more environmentally friendly simply makes sense. It does not only help the environment but you can benefit financially, physically and mentally as well. Let’s start with ten simple ways to make your daily life more sustainable.

1. Bring reusable shopping bags when going shopping.
2. Think twice before buying something new, do you really need it?
3. Avoid buying plastic-wrapped products (plastic in plastic in plastic makes no sense!).
4. Invest in better quality items that last longer.
5. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
6. Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning on the heating.
7. Try to recycle as much as possible.
8. Get rid of chemical cleaners.
9. Eat less meat.
10. Wherever possible, replace disposable products with reusable ones.


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You have a lot of indoor plants. Are there any plants that are better than others?


We used to have over a hundred houseplants in the old studio but we couldn't take them all with us to Norway. The very bright studio was completely different then the Norwegian farmhouse. Most of the plants were either to big or not up for the darker days in Norway. When it comes to houseplants you need to think about a few things. Does it get full sun, filtered sun or shade? How much room is there for a plant to grow? How much maintenance does it need? For me that meant leaving some of my favourites behind. Plants are a great addition to any home, as long as you know about each plant.

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What are some of your best home decorating tips and ideas?


When it comes to decorating a home I think it’s very important to not just go with the latest trends but to take your time to collect items that tell a story. For me a home needs to be warm, welcoming and comfortable. It’s about more than an appearance. We once bought a sofa that looked gorgeous but turned out to be really uncomfortable. After that mistake we chose a less good-looking but oh so comfortable one. My best advice would be to keep things natural and personal. Think about what’s important to you and keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to experiment a little.


How has moving abroad changed your identity?

I think about this a lot. In a way I’m still the same person, with the same passions and the same drive. But in daily life I’m also this foreign speaking expat, an outsider. We all present ourselves in a certain way, mostly by using our profession. My introduction shifted from whom I am and what I do, to where I’m from. I think it will take some time to figure out who I am and who I want to be in this new environment.



Is there anything in particular you miss from the Netherlands?

My family and friends, small talk and laughter.



What can´t you live without?


It’s very corny, but sharing things and experiences with the people I love.


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What are your favourite Norwegian spots?


Go out and explore! Hike up a mountain, discover the fjords, go on a unforgettable road trip, pick blueberries and enjoy the fresh air.
The bigger cities also offer a selection of nice coffee shops, restaurants and lot’s of gorgeous shops, but to me Norway is all about the beautiful landscape.

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Head over to Rena´s website! www.hearhearamsterdam.nl




















Living a sustainable life is important to you. What are a few simple ways to change our lifestyles to a more sustainable way of living?


When you think about it, making life more environmentally friendly simply makes sense. It does not only help the environment but you can benefit financially, physically and mentally as well. Let’s start with ten simple ways to make your daily life more sustainable.







1. Bring reusable shopping bags when going shopping.
2. Think twice before buying something new, do you really need it?
3. Avoid buying plastic-wrapped products (plastic in plastic in plastic makes no sense!).
4. Invest in better quality items that last longer.
5. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
6. Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning on the heating.
7. Try to recycle as much as possible.
8. Get rid of chemical cleaners.
9. Eat less meat.
10. Wherever possible, replace disposable products with reusable ones.








You have a lot of indoor plants. Are there any plants that are better than others?


We used to have over a hundred houseplants in the old studio but we couldn't take them all with us to Norway. The very bright studio was completely different then the Norwegian farmhouse. Most of the plants were either to big or not up for the darker days in Norway. When it comes to houseplants you need to think about a few things. Does it get full sun, filtered sun or shade? How much room is there for a plant to grow? How much maintenance does it need? For me that meant leaving some of my favourites behind. Plants are a great addition to any home, as long as you know about each plant.
















What are some of your best home decorating tips and ideas?


When it comes to decorating a home I think it’s very important to not just go with the latest trends but to take your time to collect items that tell a story. For me a home needs to be warm, welcoming and comfortable. It’s about more than an appearance. We once bought a sofa that looked gorgeous but turned out to be really uncomfortable. After that mistake we chose a less good-looking but oh so comfortable one. My best advice would be to keep things natural and personal. Think about what’s important to you and keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
















How has moving abroad changed your identity?

I think about this a lot. In a way I’m still the same person, with the same passions and the same drive. But in daily life I’m also this foreign speaking expat, an outsider. We all present ourselves in a certain way, mostly by using our profession. My introduction shifted from whom I am and what I do, to where I’m from. I think it will take some time to figure out who I am and who I want to be in this new environment.













Is there anything in particular you miss from the Netherlands?

My family and friends, small talk and laughter.













What can´t you live without?


It’s very corny, but sharing things and experiences with the people I love.
















What are your favourite Norwegian spots?


Go out and explore! Hike up a mountain, discover the fjords, go on a unforgettable road trip, pick blueberries and enjoy the fresh air.
The bigger cities also offer a selection of nice coffee shops, restaurants and lot’s of gorgeous shops, but to me Norway is all about the beautiful landscape.











Head over to Rena´s website! www.hearhearamsterdam.nl






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