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Amsterdam’s Carmen Maria Atiyah de Baets on Creating a Sense of Calm In Her Life

Creative freedom is what keeps Carmen Maria Atiyah de Baets, co-founder of guesthouse, kitchen and shop Carmen Amsterdam inspired. “One day I can be making breakfast for guests, the next day I’ll be in Paris buying items for the shop, or hosting a dinner in the garden,” the Dutch-Lebanese entrepreneur, who was raised in Holland, says. In 2018 she launched her business alongside her chef husband, Joris ter Meulen Swijtink, after going to SOAS in London to complete a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and later pivoting into creative strategy for fashion agency Karla Otto. “All the while, my husband and I had the idea of moving to Amsterdam and opening a space of our own that merged both our interests mine in fashion and his in food.” 

Today, the chic, light-filled escape is situated in Swijtink’s late grandmother’s home, in the heart of Spiegelkwartier, Amsterdam. “You can hide out and rest after a day of working or exploring the city,” whether that means relaxing in the bath, hiding out to read in the library, or enjoying breakfast each morning. In October 2022, the couple grew the business to include a standalone shop featuring a curation of niche designers such as Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Baserange and Saks Potts, in addition to an array of self-care and homeware items. Soon the shop will include an eatery that serves lunches for guests, in addition to a small collection of artisanal products from Lebanon that de Baets is working on. But most of all, “I feel lucky that all of the roles I play in this involve interacting with people,” de Baets says. “Our guests often inspire us.”

Below, de Baets opens up about motherhood, her favorite self-care rituals and interior design tips.

“Beauty is all about radiating your natural self whether that be on a good day or a bad day.”

By Verity Pemberton
By Verity Pemberton

“I feel lucky that all of the roles I play in this involve interacting with people. It’s the best.”

By Verity Pemberton
By Verity Pemberton
By Verity Pemberton

“I would definitely say my beauty routines now really focus on the health of my skin rather than makeup.”

By Verity Pemberton

Host With Carmen de Baets

Creative freedom is what keeps co-founder of guesthouse, Carmen Amsterdam, Carmen Maria Atiyah de Baets inspired. One day she’s making breakfast for guests, the next day she’s in Paris buying items for the shop or hosting a dinner in the garden. “All of these roles involve interacting with people,” she says “It’s the best.”

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