Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Arrivals - Silk Ikat Pillows

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Have you seen our new pillows yet? Ikat remains popular and these designs pack a great graphic punch. There's a great selection of black and white pillows along with some fresh, bright colors for spring. Check them ALL out here

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Style Tip – Bring Beauty to Everyday Tasks

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I try to encourage people to use the beautiful things they buy. Don't let them gather dust, stored away for special occasions. Use them today. Right now. Because your every day is a special day. I incorporate my love of tinned copper into my mundane, every day routines: doing dishes, washing my hands, cooking and corralling odds and ends.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Basic Tips for Your Next Trip to Turkey

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Recently, I met with a friend who was traveling to Turkey for the first time. Since I had just come back from my trip, she asked for some simple tips before she packed her bags. Some of the questions she asked will seem rudimentary to more well-seasoned travelers. But for those who are just getting the wanderlust bug, it's good basic knowledge to have, whether you're traveling to Turkey or to other corners of the world.

1. What kind of shoes do you recommend?
I wear my trusty camper boots and Puma boots. I love the way they hug the cobblestones. 

2. Is it cold at this time of year? Coat or jacket?
Who knows with global warming? It was temperate when I was there, but layering is always the key. Bring a waterproof jacket, gloves, and of course a fabulous scarf.

3. What are the best places to shop? As a first-time visitor?
I love the Arasta bazaar. It has a bazaar feel with less pressure maybe. The Arasta, and shops nearby, have some hip designers. Look up where weekly fleas markets are.

4. Do I need to know the language?
I know very little Turkish. I just have some of the bargaining mannerisms down and certain looks.

5. Should I haggle? Does it work?
No question, you should haggle. If a store has fixed prices, expect to pay that unless you are buying wholesale. That means more then one!

6. I'm looking for a rug. What should I look for in terms of quality?
Too broad a question. RESEARCH. Ask questions before you go. There are so many blogs, books, resources you can find. Allow yourself to be seduced by the stories. LOOK and DO NOT buy the first day, no matter what. But if you try to bargain and a price is met, be prepared to buy.

These are two books I recommend: Rugs and Carpets of the World by Ian Bennett (great images of what looms are used and what weaving looks like) and Kilim, the Complete Guide by Alastair Hull and Jose Luczyc-Wyhowska. Fantastic images and great insight of all the tribes and explanations of what the pieces are and why things are done a certain way.

7. Do I need to wear a head scarf?
Your trusty pashmina works. Mostly you will need to cover your head when you go to a religious place.

8. Do I need cash or can I use my credit card?
Cash always is best for the vendor and often for you. More bargaining power, less fees for all!

9. What kind of bag should I carry? For shopping...
I use my ancient Tumi bag that is a cross bag with hidden pockets, it's light weight and black. I am not a back pack lover.

10. Can I buy most toiletries and things over there?
Yes, you can buy all of that over there. Istanbul is very cosmopolitan. You may not find brands you are familiar with but take a chance and go local! 

If you have additional questions about Turkey that you'd like to ask me, leave a comment or message me on Facebook. I'm happy to share my love of this beautiful country. For now, enjoy some night scenes and street shots I captured from my last visit.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Arrivals - Rugs!

Fuat and his brother...the suppliers from Van
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Rug dealers are a special breed. However, so are those of us buying them!  With each trip to Turkey I repeat ...I will not buy rugs, I will not buy rugs, I will not buy rugs. I am in control! Luckily for you, this trip was a perfect example of my lack of control for these beautiful creatures. I am a sucker for the crafts I fear will disappear as time goes by – the camel bag, the baby cradle cover, etc. 

Check out the newest rugs in the collection below. It's just a small sampling of what I brought back so you'll have to check the shop to see them all. I fell in love with the new colors, the mix of techniques, and the asymmetry of the designs. Such great workmanship!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Taste of….Pul Biber

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During my trip to Turkey in February, I tried quite a bit of pul biber, a smoky, crushed red pepper similar to red pepper flakes you find here in the states but it's slightly damp with a subtle fruit flavor. Pul biber is made from the aleppo pepper and is regularly seen on tables at Turkish restaurants, either in a shaker or a small tin bowl. As with most things, you'll have to taste the various kinds to see which one you like best. In the U.S., pul biber can be found at your local Mediterranean market. I brought some home and have been adding it to just about everything. The flavors instantly transport me to Turkey.

I also brought back these wonderful tinned copper condiment dishes. They are perfect for holding spices, dips or sauces. The crescent moon on the lid is functional, but I think it adds another element of beauty to the design. You can find them here. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amp Up a Neutral Home with Boho Style

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Sometimes adding color and patterns to a neutral home can be intimidating. What if bright colors clash with your existing interiors or the mishmash of patterns don't work together? The best way to learn is through experimentation. Try different things and if you love it, then it works. Simple as that! But if you need a little bit more guidance for adding a touch of boho to your otherwise neutral home, here are some tips that might be helpful.

Layer vibrant colors with a more neutral color, but play around with patterns. In the image above, we've completely changed the look of this couch by covering it with a hot pink Moroccan pom pom blanket. Then we softened and cozied up the space with a bunch of pillows in varying shades of blue. The patterns are all different, but the blue holds it all together.

Colorful throws make a sitting area seem more inviting while adding life to your space. We took one of our zinc baskets and flipped it upside down for a makeshift table to hold the Yoruba Ceremonial Crown. Mixing finishes and adding detailed, tactile pieces like the beaded crown adds subtle interest while the blue indigo throw draws your eye in and adds a nice pop of color to an otherwise neutral space.

Start small and work in objects that are neutral but interesting. This architectural stone from India is a perfect accent for a stack of books. Against a soft gray wall, the altar adds warmth and dimension to a flat space.

Don't be afraid of mixing finishes and different textures. These traditional off-white arm chairs make a perfect backdrop for any pillow. To stay with a more traditional look, we chose a pair of our velvety ikat pillows from Uzbekistan. A sheepskin rug will keep your toes warm and we echoed the brown from the rug with a similar-colored throw.

Be adventurous in your decorating and keep trying new things. Share your style with us on Facebook or leave a comment and link to your blog to show us what you've done!

P.S. We added a hidden link to all of the products featured just for our blog readers. You can see it here.