To learn about Istanbul’s architecture is to delve into a history that is older than two millennia. This massive city holds on to the legacies left by the Byzantine, Ottoman and Genonese in one hand and the equally rich creative exploits of the locals in the other. This aspect of Turkey is not unknown to anyone. For years it has been recognised as a cultural melting pot. This unity in diversity is reflected in the way city continues its march through time. French author Pierre Loti was so overwhelmed by the city’s grand presence that he exclaimed, “Your name is the most enchanting one of all names which enchants me.”
Today’s Istanbul is more urbanised and global in its design aesthetics than ever. Its towering buildings stud the same sky already made gorgeous by Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Obelisk of Thutmosis and Kiz Kulesi. Standing in the shadows of such enormous architectural masterpieces of the past it is difficult not to be influenced by them. Perhaps not so surprisingly, Istanbul’s modern homes still preserve the grandeur of the past in its nooks and corners. The following is one such home which incorporates very few yet refreshingly traditional design elements even in its contemporary set up.
A narrow but well decorated hallway welcomes guests to this beautiful house built for a family with children. It is modern in facilities and comfort but does not hesitate to borrow a few significant elements from Istanbul’s diverse repertoire available to every interior designer. Esra Kazmirci Mimarlik did a commendable job of blending differing design philosophies of past and present to create a graceful and lively interior. In that sense it is truly eclectic and in accordance to a greater part of Istanbul’s architecture.
The living room is another example of fusion in design aesthetics. Pale grey modern sofas sit comfortably beside the vintage leather one. The antique area rug, also in grey tone and extremely subtle motifs, cover a part of the wooden floor. The glass top coffee table is accompanied by a rustic wooden side table.
The book case cum tv cabinet in the living room deserves a special mention. It is full of books and decorative pieces yet manages to possess an uncluttered look. Alongside the floor, the wooden element and ambient lighting induce the necessary warmth in the space. Modish table and floor lamps as well as ceiling mounted lighting fixtures also help to increase the cheerful vibe.
A small and portable bar unit occupies the corner. Storage units are tucked behind the sofa and mounted in the wall. Natural light from the outside deludes the area during daytime.
So impressive is the décor of the living room that it is possible to miss the dining area altogether. The dining space is actually a part of the free flowing living room itself. An almost nondescript dining table can be seen accompanied with mismatching table. The pendant lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling look rather imposing. Storage units and a large mirror occupy the partition wall behind.
The kitchen is relatively small and oblong in shape but has beautifully polished marble flooring, wooden cabinet and, most importantly, ample flow of light. Except for the wooden elements it wears almost an all white look which helps to make it look more expansive.
Compared to the other parts of the house, the master bedroom is almost minimalist in appearance. The cosy bed supplied with cushions, linen and other bed furnishings follow the colour scheme set by the living cum dining parlour. Wooden panel and flooring break the monotony. A small terrace outside provides added space for relaxation and peace.
The en suite bathroom is dominated by black, white and pale grey tones. Wooden vanity unit, wall panel and floor in the shower room incorporate a cheery note. The black and white tile in the shower room gives it a chic feel as well. The same can be said for the unusually shaped black wash basins too.
The children’s room is one of the finest features of this modern Istanbul home. It has cosy twin beds, study area and shelves mounted in the wall. The grey and white colours follow the overall theme. Wood floor and study table prove to be the exceptions once again.
A corner of the children’s room is reserved for wardrobes and additional storage units holding all the playthings. These are covered with doors and mirrored surfaces and kept in suitably white tone to reduce any sense of clutter.
A well decorated but rather unfussy guest bedroom is another one of the house’s many assets. It is tastefully decorated with a comfortable full size wooden bed, adjustable wall mounted lighting fixtures, floor lamp and bedside tables. The wall and curtains are seen in neutral white.
This stylish modern house manages to surprise us in almost every corner. This traditional power room decked up with an old fashioned wash basin, elegantly framed mirror and dark wood vanity unit is another one of these.
The terrace is embellished with fashionable lounge chairs, small decorative features, candles, wooden floor, large skylight and potted plants. It is a fine place to relax and enjoy the city’s timeless face every evening.
Esk House does not have any dearth of decorative features. This modern sculpture is one of the many that is seen skilfully scattered in different areas of the house. Though languidly seated under a golden star it is on the brink of stirring up as if to brace itself for more work. In more ways than one, it seems to speak in union with Istanbul which like the sculpture has hardly any time to relax, for it is a city that continues to create and recreate the its skyline almost incessantly.
See how in another part of the world a family has created an urban abode of a very different kind.