Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alacati Turkey

The summer has started to turn into fall in Sweden, and I keep going back to my photos from Alacati, Turkey, remembering the warm summer breeze (even cool at times!), the fresh lemonade and the wonderful salad offered on many of the Cafe terraces. AHHH, what a place!! Alacati has definately some Greek inspiration, as well, as you see:

But clearly, clearly it is Turkey at its very best. Here you still see Turkish people enjoying their vacation in rather than masses of foreigners. Almost all of the hotels are boutique type small instances rather than huge tourist 'factories' like in the Antalya and Bodrum region. The food is excellent Turkish cooking rather than the tasteless club sandwiches with turkey bacon.

The mayor of the town is a true visionary - he has banned both kebab joints AND plastic chairs in the restaurants :)!

It was such a joy to walk the narrow, winding alleys and admire the small antique stores (only admire, as it is impossible to take anything more than 100 years old out of Turkey) as well as the little shops selling everything imaginable. There are 2 really, really nice home decoration stores next to each other, especially Red Horse - Red House is a must. Cok güzel!!

Matkailu, Turkki, turkkilainen antiikki, oliiviöljyruukku

Monday, August 15, 2011

IKAT silk

When rushing through Istanbul Grand Bazaar last week, I stopped to admire Ikat silks, these ones hand-woven in Uzbekistan. Now, I'm no expert in such, but grew very interested in these pieces, as some of the sellers seemed to be so proud having them in their selection. Of course partly they were pure polyester, accidently slipped to the pile probably ;), but some of them were genuine, like these ones shown in the photos.

The more complicated the pattern (like below), the more valuable the piece is. I rather like the bit simpler ones, so does that suggest I have a cheap taste :)?? That would be the first!! Well, the 'designer' cushion covers made of these silks cost around 100-150 euros / piece, so no exact relief on the finances expected here...

'Ikat, or Ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft fibres. Bindings, which resist dye penetration, are applied to the threads in the desired patterns and the threads are dyed. Alteration of the bindings and the dyeing of more than one color produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When all of the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are ready to be woven into cloth. The defining characteristic of ikat is the dyeing of patterns, by means of bindings, into the threads before cloth constrution, the weaving of the fabric, takes place. Herein lies the difference between ikat and tie-dye. In tie-dye the fabric is woven first and the resist bindings are then applied to the fabric which is dyed.' (source)

If you are interested to read more, there's quite some nice information on Posh Interior Design 's website. And lastly - wish to purchase some, google ikat silk, and you find quite a few websites, with a huge variation in prices. Your call :).

silkki, silkkityynyt, etninen sisustus, etninen kuvio, ikat silkki, sisustuksen trendit, sisustustrendit

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TULU Istanbul

Does it ever happen to you that while driving you all of a sudden step on the breaks ignoring the location AND situation, all because you have seen something absolutely delicious driving by? Well, something like it happened to me on thursday in Eminonu. I scream ‘STOP!!’, get out of the car and run across the street to a haven called TULU, a home decoration store just.... STANDING there. Ahhhhh….
Barching in almost wild (well, wild J), I’m welcomed by the friendliest host – I’m calling her this as it best describes her role during my visit – a friend of the owner Elizabeth Hurley, designer and antique textile specialist. Really, this is the way to do it – my host is able to tell me everything of the pieces they have available, where the inspiration came from for the fabrics I’m admiring, how they are made, and where, and more and more and more.
My dear reader - Fancy some lightning?

Perhaps you have some items you would like to have available, but out of sight?

Or just MAY BEEE need some  new textiles to refresh your home?

Some Mediterranean inspiration?

Or just pure beauty?

And the below marble plates are especially adorable! 

If you are in Istanbul, I would say this is a must :)!

matkustus, matkailu, sisustustekstiilit, etninen sisustus

Friday, August 12, 2011

Iznik ceramics

While visiting some handicraft stores in Eminonu, Istanbul, I dropped by an old friend’s store selling Iznik ceramics.  What wonderful pieces he had again available! Unfortunately they require some serious packing to bring back home, so I had to settle for one bowl which had gotten broken during our move from Turkey to Sweden.

But the tiles and plates and bowls he has…Instead of the 2 artists he was working with before, he now has 3, each working in their very specific style. They are using both the antique Iznik patterns in their work, as well as creating new ones, like this granate apple (NAR in Turkish) pattern in the below bowl. If you wish to learn more about Iznik, below some good sources:

If you have a chance to visit Turkey,  you have plenty of options to choose from;  from the cheap (or not so cheap depending on your bargaining skills J) pieces sold in all the bazaars to the real antique pieces which are not affordable to most of us, as beautiful as they are. Somewhere in the web there are some pieces sold for $45 000, so you get the picture... These shown here would stand somewhere in between – they are made by artists using mostly the ancient techniques and colors. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful…

keramiikka, etninen sisustus, sisustuksen trendit, sisustustrendit

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Marine antique

Without realizing, my blog has been on a very undeserved vacation for almost a month! Sorry for that - the summer was busy, and hot, and - well, PERFECT! Now full of energy and tons of things to write about, this will change!

Do I write a lot about my husband? Perhaps, but you tend to think of the things you love in this world, right :)? Well, he is a big fan of marine antiques, and when we lived in Turkey, we found a really nice shop which sold the rusty, worn-out-kind-of marine antiques.

So quite frequently we would visit the shop, but guess we were one of the few purchasing something every now or then, as the owner decided to go for - what is the term they use for not-so-authentic handbags - REPLICA designer handbags. My guess is he wasn't much of business man when it came to the marine antique pieces, more he loved the things he had in his shop, and I guess appreciated when someone came in to admire the things he had found in auctions. Unfortunately that don't bring too much bread to the table!

Anyway, we shipped our findings to Finland, and lost the most valuable items on the way. Mystically the box with the Russian diving helmet (similar to the below one at Trinity Marine), and the wheel had disappeared! And even more spooky - similar items were sold near the Russian border the same summer at a market place. We don't draw any conclusions, of course.

Secretly it wasn't SOOO bad to loose the items - the above one is only for decoration, and it is big and heavy - where do you put it? Rather I have things with function. The wheel we were planning to turn into a lantern, but now instead we have the black one shown in my post 'black and white inspiration', and it fits far better the long table.

But like everything nice at our house, they need to find their place in our house. If it doesn't exist, it needs to be built. So like the below large lantern - it has waited for our terrace to be ready, now it's waiting for electricity to be pulled in the ceiling. After that it will be used other than sitting on top of a cabinet...

kesämökin sisustus, meriantiikki, antiikki, käyttöantiikki, antiikkiesineet sisustuksessa

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Black and white inspiration

We had a chance to admire the old steam ships in Puumala a couple of weeks back - the Saimaa steam ship regatta took place in the beginning of July, and these beauties were seen on the go by our summer house.

I see these, and think, hmmm - why do we need other colors than black and white :)? Let's just combine some white furniture, and some black details, and we have a fresh summer house decor!
We have a traditional Finnish blacksmith nearby, his shop is called Goosemeadow, and below some of his fantastic work he has done for us:

Oval chandelier by Goosemeadow blacksmith
The above oval chandelier is a true beauty - we had it custom made as our dining table is 120X300, and anything of standard size looks - well, ridiculous - hanging above it. He got EXACTLY what we were looking at.  I need to remember to post some pictures when I've decorated it for Christmas ;)!

I especially like these cute hooks - they will become a coat rack one of these days!

musta ja valkoinen sisustuksessa, mustavalkoinen sisustus, kesämökin sisustus, kyläseppä, käsintaotut pyyhekoukut, käsintaotut kodintarvikkeet

Paper yarn

When spending the summer in Finland, it is impossible to miss the home accessories made, at least partly, of paper, whatever material the paper is made of. The true pioneers, and very successfull at it, are of course Woodnotes and Hanna Korvela (carpet above and below), but there are tons of options you can make yourself, as well!

Hanna Korvela's ENCORE2

The above Hanna Korvela's woven cotton and paper yarn carpets called ENCORE2 are beautiful. And you can get them in 8 different colors!

Especially paperyarn - you can use it for almost anything, it's machine washable at 30 degrees, the price is reasonable (well, not for the design products made of it...), and the variety available is unbelievable! For example, at Lappajärven Värjäämö you can get the yarn, and many KINDS of yarn, in following colors:


So far Hanna Korvela and Woodnotes seem to be staying with the very earthy colors like below, but perhaps we start to see a change when other producers hit the ground, let's see!
Hanna Korvela's CARTA place mats and table runners


Sunday, July 3, 2011

About blueberries and chip baskets

Blueberry time
 Blueberries seem to be so early this year! Time to dig out the traditional Finnish chip baskets stained on the bottom despite the greaseproof paper to save it. The chip baskets come in all shapes and sizes, of course, and designed for different use; small baskets for children picking blueberries:

 a little bigger ones for picnic, then mommy's version of blueberry and mushroom basket:

Pinetta's baskets
For buying milk and going to the market place we have a different kind:

Chip basket for milk

Pinetta's market basket
And for sure this wasn't Finnish handicraft, if we didn't have our own versions for sauna wood:

Chip basket for sauna wood

There's even large ones for storage. They are handy, beautiful, and most of all - when you purchase them, the seller don't tell you - please note, that the handles are for decoration only... :). This has happened to me twice this summer, amazing!!

pärekori, ostoskori, puukori, säilytyskori, kesämökin sisustus, sisustuksen trendit, sisustustrendit