I love Istanbul! Istanbul is one of my favorite cities and Sam and I have just spent a fabulous week shopping, site seeing and gathering inspiration for our next projects during the first annual ISF (Istanbul Shopping Festival). So as I enjoy a glass of Turkish wine (if you haven’t discovered Turkish wines you should, they are wonderful) on the 9 hour flight home (Istanbul direct to Toronto on Turkish Airlines who even have their own chef on board) I thought that I’d share some of my favorite ideas with you.
Honestly, Istanbul is a design hotbed. An amazing destination for apparel and home fashion products, materials and ideas. Its one of the best kept designer secrets and Sam and I love to shop there for textiles, antiques and home décor products in the Cukurcuma District. What did we buy- while we found a carousal house that I am having shipped home for our dining room. I plan to set the top half of the horse on one of my tables and have the bottom half set on the floor-very avant-garde. We also found some amazing wooden signs, old chair frames, stone pots and old capitals and wall stones, great to simply sit on the ground inside or outside of a home. Many of the antique stores also had beautiful antique mirrors that would be fabulous brought home for bathroom mirrors. We feel strongly that it is the diversity, the jux of position with respect to texture, colour contrast, modern and antique that makes a room exciting. It is the diversity that creates the drama that creates the best spaces.
I’m recreating a brilliant idea that haute couture designer Ozlem Suer used in her show room (she’s dressed Jessica Simpson and I can tell you it wasn’t in those high waisted jeans). She filled a pot with old clocks and simply left it on the floor of the show room. I have some great modern and old clocks in my prop room and will fill a metal pot with a collection of them as soon as I step off the plane-love this idea. We also saw at one of the fabulous dinner clubs we went to another brilliant idea using old oil drums. Painted with in street fashion these drums became fabulous bar tables. Loving this idea, we’ll surly employ it at home or in one of our projects perhaps in a man space bathroom as a sink base or on a contemporary patio, oh the possibilities.
Istanbul, being so close to Italy is also filled with great Italian furniture pieces; we fell in love with lots of bright and uniquely upholstered pieces. We have said it before but when you travel keep an eye open for interesting fabrics, textiles and unique items to use in upholstery. For example, you could buy and antique caftan to be used as a chair back, a fur pelt, carpet, harem towels, scarf or even a painting. We often upholster the chair back and seat in different fabrics/materials.
If you are searching for the perfect travel destination, one that combines your quest for culture and shopping than you need to go to Turkey. Its an amazing destination filled with great food, wonderful people, history, and of course some of the worlds best shopping-now that’s a fabulous trip!!!