Istanbul was full of so many incredible shades of blue, I barely knew where to look. Apart from the Blue Mosque there are also the many gorgeous blues of the pavilions of Topkapi Palace, influenced by the deep-blue azure of the sea surrounding Istanbul. We were also lucky enough to experience a clear tone of aquamarine water in the Bosphorus, due to an explosion in the plankton population.
The Islamic art of the mosques and palaces of Istanbul centre on geometric patterns, built up through layering circles, squares and arabesques to form complicated asymmetric patterns. This style of patterning has been recreated since the 9th century and yet it still looks modern and fresh, celebrating the colours of Istanbul.
Topkapi Palace is a wonder of the city and well worth a visit if you are in the area. The palace commands tremendous views over the Bosphorus and the various out-buildings and summer pavilions are all decorated with a sense of splendour.
Underneath all the blue was an undertone of red and pink hues that I can only imagine reflects the millions of pink flowers that are in bloom all over the city (even on the motorway)! In the Royal Council pavilion of Topkapi Palace, red and gold were ablaze across the walls and ceilings blended with rich floral patterns and opulent fixtures of acute detail.
That's what really struck me about everything in Istanbul, - it is all decorative, it is all done with a fine attention to detail, the level of craftsmanship is unimaginable and so everything appears ornate and treasured. It's wonderful.
When you are in Istanbul, don't forget to look up. The ceilings of everywhere are decorated with what I can only imagine was back-breaking work and painstaking precision, making it feel as if you are surrounded by beauty on every side.
And when we weren't enjoying the gorgeous decorative patterns of Istanbul, we were out enjoying the full colours of life in city...
I can't wait to start designing patterns and shapes, and create beautiful chairs that capture the essence of this city that has stolen my heart :) I had been researching my trip to Istanbul for a few weeks and in my excitement to surround myself with all things azure, I created this fun 1960's cocktail chair, with a mix of dark blue velvet and accented with a coral-patterned back, take a look!