For buildings like New York’s SoHo Synagogue and for products for Tumi, Target, and Alessi, the Israeli-born Benshetrit finds inspiration in symmetry and geometry. Both are in ample supply in Turkey’s largest city, where his firm, Studio Dror, has a major architectural project under way. “The heritage of the Ottoman Empire, mixed with European and Asian influences, makes the city so diverse,” he says. The designer picked up these keepsakes from the Grand Bazaar and at shops in Karaköy.
1. Rug: A Turkish client gave this to me. I loved the geometric pattern, so I bought a few more in the Bedesten section of the Grand Bazaar. You can tell it was made a long time ago, yet it feels very current. $250.
2. Card case: I like to look for vintage pieces—things that have a certain memory. This silver box, which I discovered at the Grand Bazaar, feels very traditional. I gave it to my wife, but I don’t know if she even uses it! $100.
3. Bracelet: My family is incredibly superstitious, so evil-eye symbols were prevalent during my childhood. I found this one at Paşabahçe, a famous glassmaker. I keep it on a shelf in my office alongside other collectibles. $20.
Related: Secrets of the Hagia Sophia
4. Pen: Whenever I have to sign something special, I use this pen. It was given to me by a client, who bought it at the Grand Bazaar. The Turkish people have such an amazing gifting culture.
5. Coffee cups: I’ve developed an obsession with Turkish coffee. I drink it every day, but I only use these cups from Hiref when I take the time to make a proper brew. Hiref; 90-212-345-6038; $100 for the pair.
6. Towel: Every time I’m in town, I go to the hammam—Kılıç Ali Paşa is my favorite. This traditional cotton cloth is worn at the baths; I bought some to use at home. The fabric is airy, but still soaks up water. Similar styles for $20.