Décor inspired by Istanbul—the city that is both Asian and European, modern and ancient.
Dreaming of the 15th-century Topkapi Palace, home to Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years? Or the colorful murals decorating the Beyoğlu district? The city of Istanbul, once the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, is a vibrant, eclectic, and fascinating amalgamation of glittering domes, blue-tipped minarets, frenetic markets, and dazzling tile work.
And it’s an endless source of inspiration for interior designers.
As part of a new series, Travel + Leisure is seeking design and décor influences from cities and countries across the globe. To decorate your house like Istanbul—a city that straddles Asia and Europe, and seems to exist in both the ancient and modern worlds—consider this shopping guide, which looks to Byzantine and Ottoman architectural styles, as well as contemporary Turkish designers and classical motifs.
Some of the items on this list are traditional, straightforward interpretations of Istanbul design: an antique Oushak rug, or Turkish cotton bath towels like the ones you might find in a hammam. Others are less explicit, like a bed frame with carved, geometric patterns and a candle with the transportive aroma of Persian limes and exotic vetiver.
After all, Istanbul is a place where antiquity and the cutting edge coexist seamlessly. It’s a mesmerizing metropolis, and a crossroads of cultures. Whether you’re most excited by the Hagia Sophia or the Grand Bazaar (where generations of artisans come to sell their works); the high-end galleries or the designer hotels, there’s a way to incorporate a touch of Istanbul into your everyday spaces. Regardless of your budget or the span of your project (do you want an Istanbul-influenced bedroom, or an entire home of Turkish details and accent pieces?) you’ll find that the items in this guide appeal to all price points and aesthetics.
From blankets, tapestries, and rugs to candle holders and shower curtains, let these global pieces transform your apartment or home into a residence plucked straight out of Istanbul.