So...I am not a huge Pinterest user but I really do enjoy it when I do use it. My friend Didi Altop introduced me to this app/platform/website many years ago after one of our dream-boarding-with-pinot-something-or-another sessions. She noted that this might in fact be the visual "daydreaming" site that I was looking for as an outlet to having two kids in diapers and not knowing what to do with myself in my 7-8minute pockets of free time. Over the years I have diligently pinned stuff that I conceptually and visually liked. Not until recently have I tried some of the weird suggestions on Pinterest offered by millions of other folks (mostly female) with minimal pockets of free time. Here are a few of the suggestions that I have tried that are really, really pin-worthy and worth trying.
My love affair with IKEA is going strong after 30 years. You would expect hiccups in a relationship that has lasted this long...but alas...my respect, admiration and lust for their perfectly priced designs continues to grow exponentially after all of these years. Here are two simple and splendid living room and dining room boards I whipped up for those looking to refresh their small spaces. All the products are from IKEA. Both rooms cost less than 2500 USD in total.
This is a post for those of you who are sick of girly, girly pink rooms. I often hear parents complaining that there are no modern, hip, non-gendered choices for children's furniture in Istanbul. When looking to create an alternative, cool look for our kids rooms, we sometimes have to scour the city for simple, scandinavian-ish, non-disney products. Sure, one could order stuff online or have things made by a "marangoz" (Turkish people have a phone number for at least one carpenter, one upholsterer and one house painter on their iphones) but, really, why go to all that trouble when you could re-do your little hipster's room in a day?
This is supposed to be a blog about all things simple...I am supposed to like ALL THINGS simple...But I fear that deep inside me there exists a maximalist eclectic decor monster that just wants to scream "Less is not MORE you fool...LESS IS JUST LESS...MORE IS MORE!" And when this inner decor demon finds itself a new place of worship, she is happy. She declares Kit Kemp the new "Queen of the Castle" and all minimalists are declared "dirty rascals". A recent stay at the Firmdale Hotel Group's London Ham Yard Hotel has changed me forever. I have learned the name Kit Kemp...I will never decorate the same again...you fools...(evil laugh)
I am not a huge fan of the typical red and green holiday decor color scheme. I love softening the traditional reds with pink, purple, magenta, fuchsia, burnt pink, plum, wine, berry, lilac and lots and lots of greens/beiges and other neutrals. If you are getting ready to entertain or decorate your surroundings for the holidays then take a look at these beautiful color and texture combinations for some inspiration.
Unexpected but beautiful colors for the holidays...
If you follow this blog you know that I am a big fan of "Scandinavian design"," natural & neutral decorating" and "modern organic aesthetic" styles. In fact, all of these terms mean pretty much the same thing. I also like concepts such as "Simple luxe", "High-Low decorating", "Affordable luxury", "Bringing the Outdoors In"...the list is long but I won't bore you with the fancy language...
If you want to change the look of your living room start by changing your sofa. Modern, clean, versatile three seater sofas give you lots of room to experiment with different styles. Sectionals (corner units) are often just too big and cumbersome (chunky) for a living room so I always start with a simple clean three seater when designing a room. Here are 9 of the best modern sofas on the market. Many of them are available internationally....all of them are available in Turkey. Let's see if you can guess which ones are the really expensive ones and which ones are my IKEA favourites.
My daughter Ada just turned 5 this week. She thankfully chose a Tinkerbell and The Pirate Fairy theme which gave me the opportunity use lots of black and white in addition to the fairy's more colourful palette for the styling of her birthday brunch. It is not always easy to balance the menu/aesthetics of a party geared towards both children and adults...Read on to see if I got it right...
This past weekend we had a lovely dinner at Macakizi Hotel in Bodrum. It was the first time we ate in the newly winterized restaurant which had a fabulous new fall fine dining feel. The warm chestnut soup adorned with lemon foam served as an amuse-bouche definitely amused my palate and set the tone for the revised menu from which I ordered cauliflower carpaccio and homemade ricotta gnocci. De-lish!!
But what does all this have to do with ceramics you might be wondering...Since every detail at Macakizi is always meticilously planned, when I saw their gorgeous tableware last night it took me about a nanosecond to flip over the perfectly thin and round bread plate to check out the brand. (Can you guess which ones were at Macakizi?)
Read on to see my four most favourite fine porcelain/ceramics designers...these will all take tablescapes to the next level...
What do you think of when you think of fall? Here are the first words that pop into my head...halloween, pumpkins, orange, caramel, fall foliage, fireplaces, cozy sweaters, entertaining, pine cones, hunter boots, candles and roquefort-pumkinpie-whisky feasts...
Read on to see how to add some fall splendour into your life...
H&M Home products, which will arrive in Turkey this September, will test the devotion of many die-hard IKEA and Zara Home Kids fans. Let's face it, price is a deciding factor for many non-essential kids' products. And room decorations, definitely fall in to this non-essential but important category for me. Linens, storage boxes, towels and other decorative accessories should not be expensive but they should be made of quality materials as they have to endure endless washings and lots of wear and tear. And of course they need to be well-styled to appeal to both moms and tots. Look no further...the most simple and splendid products are probably clearing Turkish customs as we speak.
One of the happiest days of my life was my wedding day…followed by the birth of daughter number one, the birth of daughter number two and the day I had eradicated a slew of cancer cells from my body. However, high up there on my list of really good days are the following: the day I first drove to IKEA by myself when I was 18 after having fallen asleep reading the IKEA catalog for about 12 years (it was my Goodnight Moon), the year I bought my first MAC Russian Red lipstick and the day I sold sunglasses to Sade (the singer) who told me I was prettier than Winona Ryder (a big compliment in the 90's).
The day I moved to Turkey ("all by myself"…as my three year old constantly declares) on a crisp November day in 1998 was also pretty big. Many career and personal highs (and lows) followed but you can be sure that I had a huge smile on my face the days IKEA, MAC, Zara Home, AVEDA, H&M, H&M Kids, COS and Crate & Barrel arrived in Turkey. So, it is with great pleasure (and slight embarrassment ) that I announce my joy at the eminent arrival of H&M HOME in Turkey in on September 18…(appropriately 6 days after my birthday). Read on to find out why H&M HOME is the epitome of simple and splendid and why I might not be so shallow/crazy after all...
I recently had the pleasure of designing from scratch an entire model home in a beautiful new residential development literally in the woods in Çekmeköy, Istanbul. This duplex flat comprised of three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms has exactly four super spacious terraces overlooking gorgeous greenery. It is a boutique project comprised of 60 units and located within exceptionally easy reach of all amenities and the Asian side's commercial/financial hubs. Check out the project in person if you are either on the market for a new home or want to be inspired by the styling of the house or if you just want to dream about how amazing it might be to live that close to the city but still be so immersed in nature…ESSA FLORA
Read on to see how it is possible to decorate an entire house in 10 days for an impressively low budget.
I often find myself online perusing the websites of a variety of retailers that offer beautiful furniture and decorations for kids. I get excited when I find beautifully patterned linens, coordinating accessories and simple rugs which would look wonderful in my children's rooms (or any room for that matter). I love the styling of Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware, Land of Nod and All Modern. While all of these stores range in style from slightly country to uber-modern, they all have a huge selection of items which you can easily mix and match to create your own style. Sometimes I have my shipping costs calculated, discover that my shopping cart of items totaling 69USD is going to cost me 669USD to ship to Turkey and start crying at the injustice of it all. But don't despair…this is where I come in to rescue you from this very important "first-world problem" (in-other-words a frivolous problem in the grand scheme of things but non-the-less important if you have a particular task at hand).
Our homes are our sanctuaries. They should ideally be comfortable and calm and chic… Actually it isn't that difficult to strike this balance. Eclectic is my favorite decorating style. It is forgiving and when done well, it is visually very interesting and exudes character and individuality.
"Eclectic modern", "ethnic modern", "eclectic scandinavian", "modern organic", "modern rustic", "modern vintage" these are all different terms which signify decorating schemes which have warmth and lots points of interest without becoming too complicated, heavy or dated. When the individual pieces are chosen with care yet mixed well, rooms that are decorated in this style are simple, splendid and timeless…
Read on to find out how to achieve this style and where to shop for great pieces...
Are you ready to move outdoors? It is that time of year again…time to open the windows, set up the balcony, mow the lawn, rake the sand...
Everybody has their own way of enjoying the outdoors. Some can spend 200 dollars to make their outdoor space spectacular, some will spend 200,000 dollars to decorate their beachfront properties. The irony is that it doesn't really matter whether you are lying down on a 3 dollar picnic blanket enjoying the sun or sitting on a B&B ITALIA outdoor couch designed by Antonio Citterio or a KETTAL seating group designed by Patricia Urquiola. The sun, the wind and the beautiful air do not discriminate, they bless us all equally with their splendidness.
Having said that, most take great pleasure from decorating and beautifying their outdoor living spaces. Read on to see the inspiration gallery and my favorite basics from retailers in Turkey and online retailers delivering internationally. Enjoy!
First a few facts…Lets see if you can guess the brand...
15 March 1949
Consumer Goods and retail
€3.5 billion in 2013
Over 12,450 worldwide, of which 8,500 in Germany
As a follow up to my previous post I want to tempt you even further with beautiful selections from the Martha Stewart Collection's red, white and blue beauties…I have included home linens, kitchenware and beautiful entertaining pieces that are sure to make your next party or any everyday celebration a simple and chic event.
You know of my blue and white obsession but when red is added into the mix, I only get more and more excited. This is maybe because I was born in Utah :-)
You cannot help but think of American, British or French references when these three colors come together. But when Martha Stewart comes into the mix all I can think of is Americana and southern style entertaining and fourth of July parties….
See if these cakes and pies and beautiful products inspire you to have a lovely red, blue and white dessert buffet or brunch sometime soon...
She is the reigning queen of the simple and splendid entertaining and lifestyle movement and is a marketing/retail genius. This makes her a goddess in my books. I am sure everybody knows who I am referring to…but read on read on find out who and to see my favorite finds from her amazing line of products for Macy's…(almost all of these products are available for international delivery).
If these images don't inspire you to hop on a plane and fly to the closest Macy's store or at the very least refresh your kitchen by ordering a few of these beautiful tools and gadgets then…then…you really shouldn't be reading this blog and you really shouldn't ever come over to play with my barbies, ever!
In my previous post I tried to inspire you to get imaginative when styling your wine and cheese tables. And….I almost heard some of you saying, "great spreads, but I don't have boards and bowls and platters and beautiful accessories like these…"
Simple and Splendid to the rescue…here is my roundup of just a few of most beautiful serveware, platters, boards, bowls, plates, cheese accessories which you can purchase right here in Istanbul (or at least have delivered right to your door).
But first, Today's Top 5 SPLENDID STORES for housewares and home furnishings in ISTANBUL!!
I am not embarrassed to admit it…I USE FAKE FLOWERS. While I love fresh cut flowers, I do not always have the time or the budget to adorn my house with these beautiful splashes of color and freshness.
So, sometimes, I use fake flowers. But I try to use them carefully and when possible, in combination with real leaves or twigs.
Many companies do not get to live a renaissance…and very few are lucky enough to be able to reinvent themselves with a ceramic chinoiserie bowl.
This is probably an oversimplification of all of the hard strategic work the owners and executives at Yargıcı have done over the last couple of years to "rework" their brand. But this is how I have experienced their re-birth and have been excited by each new addition to/tweak of their brand and concept.
Click below to see updated photos (Zorlu Center Yargıcı Store…)
Who says you have to have elaborate floral bouquets, fine bone china, silver cutlery and lots of expensive trinkets on your table to create a spectacular tablescape?
Tables can be styled with a variety of items from around the house:
plants, decorative objects, vases, bottles, old fabrics/burlap, stones, lanterns, picture frames, paperweights, fruits, vegetables, paper, branches…
This list is limited to the boundaries of your imagination...You could easily place toys on a table for a children's event or costume jewelry for a ladies tea party…
Here are some beautiful tables which utilize natural and simple textures, objects, colors and materials to create what I think are absolutely breathtaking tables...
If a color could be both simple and splendid at the same time, which color would that be for you?? For me, BLUE in all its shades is especially splendid and using it in home decor or any kind of styling is especially easy.
My Instagram followers and close friends will attest to the fact that this winter I had a little bit of a blue and white obsession either capturing and sharing all related images or taking it one step further and feverishly buying blue and white accessories for my home…
If you are looking to shop for a few blue and white items for your home for this spring/summer I highly recommend you checking out the following shops and inspirational images...
A website about simple ways to add more "splendid" into your life. Curated finds from Istanbul and beyond, plus tips and candid reviews to make shopping, travel, going out, entertaining and living splendidly accessible to everyone. Life is hard but leisurely activities should at the very least be simple and splendid all the time.