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.
Belki Whole Foods Market'imiz yok henüz ama buyrunuz ülkemizden leziz kozmetik ürünler hakkında Türkçe bir "post"...
Here is another great gift idea for your precious pre-literate, newly literate 0-6 year olds. We buy a lot of books for our kids. Unfortunately some end up being room decor while others end up being licked, read and re-read over and over again. Here is a selection of our favourites from our library. I have also included five creative ways to gift books to your friends and family...
December is a good month to wrap things up...literally and figuratively. Lots of presents will be wrapped carefully and unwrapped frantically by young and old...wouldn't it be great if everybody found something delightful and useful when they unwrapped their packages? Like for instance an IPad Pro with Stylus Pen (in case my husband who never reads my posts is reading this one).
Just in time for this gift giving/recieving season, I wanted to write a post about what we will be buying for our friends and family this year. Read on for some great gift ideas for loved ones of all ages.
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?
I haven't written in a long while. I would like to blame IKEA for my extended silence. They haven't introduced any interesting products for a while and as a result, I have lacked inspiration. Wouldn't it be great if we could just blame IKEA for all of our woes? Actually, I haven't written because I have been very busy creating content and programs for my training and consulting business. But, two days ago, inspiration hit me like a thunderbolt at a two day public speaking workshop I was delivering for a group of senior-level managers. And so, I am back...trying to add a little more simplicty and splendour to our lives...
Read on to find out how busy executives will benefit from IKEA's new HEMSMAK collection.
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...
My five year old daughter says that her favourite activities in life are packing suitcases, organising closets and grocery shopping. Yes, it appears that I am raising a mini-me. I took over grocery shopping duties for my family at age 18 when I got my driver's license in Canada. I must confess that up until very recently grocery shopping in North America or parts of Europe was much, much more pleasurable than market shopping in Istanbul. All the big players in Turkey were greatly lagging behind in the game in terms of the ritzy, glitzy, enticing, beguiling grocery-store models we were used to from our international experiences...and the products themselves were a mess in terms of packaging, labelling and product variety/options.
More recently quality food products that are pleasantly packaged have started popping up all over the place. Here are my favourite products...I have tried them all but these are by far the best. See which products made my list...
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...
September is a good time to refresh yourself and your wardrobe. Here are a few simple, stylish, clean, chic, casual selections from COS, Mango and Zara. They are all staple pieces which you can dress up or dress down. Each was carefully chosen from the new F/W 2014-2015 collections. All are very affordable but are so chic that they definitely do not give away their price points. As always…lots of neutrals (grey, black, white, khaki, tan )+ shots of color here and there. Let me know what you think…
I have probably tried every single children's shampoo, oil, cream and wet-wipe on the market. With two girls under the age of 5 and lots of product mishaps in which entire bottles of product are "accidentally" spilt, poured, squirted, squeezed, pumped out on to the bathroom tiles, walls or mirrors, one gets price-conscious pretty quickly. Obviously I don't want to buy products for my children based solely on value but it is becomes a serious consideration after a few pricey disappointments… After lots and lots of research and trial and error, I have chosen my favorite 8 beauty products which work beautifully on beauties of all ages. Five of the eight products are from Turkish companies but all are available throughout Turkey.
I don't know where to start praising this Turkish colognes & beauty products company. Should I start by commending them on their amazing re-branding, comprehensive new product development or courageous expansion via self-branded boutiques? Should I talk about how amazing it means to be "depuis 1895" in any consumer goods field? Should I talk about how absolutely simple and splendid their new stores look and feel and smell? Or should I talk about my first shopping experience at their Zorlu location…guess how many products I purchased on this first visit?
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).
It is not easy to find simple and splendid beachwear. Much of what I have come across lately is either too sexy (cheap-looking), too polyester (cheap-feeling) or way way too expensive (not cheap enough). I went to a charity fundraiser bazaar yesterday where there were literally thousands of kaftans, tunics, beach dresses and beach "gowns" on display but none were to my liking…
Here is a selection of stylish yet simple beachwear to guarantee you won't look like a burlesque-performing-leopard-from-Bollywood (an unfortunate look you will see often on our beaches).
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
We are all back on our diets. And some of us have even started working out…
I know that mid-May is a little late to be hitting the gym or the track for a bikini ready body in June but better late than never has always been my motto. At this rate, I should be smoking hot by about November 2015.
But if there is going to be shopping involved to get fit or look good on the beach then I guess I am going have to amp up my workout/beach wardrobe so that I can be fully invested in my new fitness regime.
Take a look at the image gallery below for inspiration…I am sure some of these beauties--both for you and your kids--will have you clicking on the "shopping cart" icon of the amazing online retailer I am featuring in this post. As always, this tempting site delivers internationally so click with care...
Wine and cheese parties are the simplest way to entertain friends. They allow you to showcase all of the special entertaining skills and tools you have picked up over the years.
You cannot really go wrong when choosing the right cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, veggies, breads, crackers, nuts and wines…anything goes really and that is why wine and cheese parties are so easy to prepare for.
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.