Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tulu: Too Too Fabulous

At my monthly girls' dinner on Tuesday night, my fabulous friend Clare leant in toward me with a cryptic smile. "Tulu," she whispered provocatively. "Too what?" I replied. "Tulu. Check it out. It's this amazing textile company run by an American woman living in Istanbul. You'll kind of freak."

She was right.

What John Robshaw is to India, Elizabeth Hewitt is to Turkey. Talk about an exotic story: Married to a Turk, she's been living in Istanbul for the last five years and has parlayed her background in design and antiques into starting a company that creates original hand-printed textiles, bedding and pillows inspired by motifs from the past. I screen-grabbed some of her gorgeous photos so we could all ooh and aah together.

Refill coffee/cocoa/Campari now. I'll wait.

Ready?

Let's parse.

This entire bedroom works for me. That black wooden headboard is pretty incredible, methinks. It adds a sexy (choose one) Anglo-Indian/Goth/Edwardian/Ottoman Empire vibe to the space that contrasts brilliantly with the beguiling femininity of the bedding. And those Venetian mirrors on the back wall fuel the exotic tension that is rampant in that room already. It's all very "Wilder Shores of Love."

These pillows below are achingly lovely, especially set against that black inlaid mosaic piece. This is a great example of how two completely disparate patterns working together can create a "gestalt" in which the sum is greater than the individual parts, and it's a good mental reminder that soft, muted hues + ornate black accents = Fresh and Modern in 2009. (Whew. Long sentence.)

I'm on a temporary spending freeze due to my spree at the Hollywood at Home and Lucas Studio sale last week, but these gilty (guilty?) pillows have me hankering to click on Tulu's stockist locations.
But umm, can we just talk about that insane antique brass tabletop for a second? I want to buy it and sit on the floor surrounded by Turkish cushions and sip mint tea out of a delicate cup. Of course, in reality, it would become a repository for my son's collection of Lego. No biggie. Disorder = charm = life, right?

Here's a lovely selection of her more ethnic-inspired pillows. It's hard to tell from the photo, but I think those little circles are mirrored.

In case you haven't completely succumbed to her vision, here's Elizabeth's utterly charming company philosophy:

Tulu is cabbages, lotuses, tin cans, turquoise tiles, tulips, alvin ailey,
harold melvin, grandmother's curtains, dusty uzbeks on horses,
pasha's daughters in kandilli, mahatma spinning his khadi, mafouz...


I strongly recommend that should you be in the vicinity of Istanbul, you hop on this...

...and head here.
(All images via Tulu's website)

19 comments:

miss cavendish said...

Indeed those are tiny mirrors--when I worked for a Canadian designer she made a skirt that was completely embroidered in those little gems . . . Can't wait to visit this website!

Ana Maria Linhares Giesbrecht said...

For me it is almost impossible to resist to ethnic knick-knacks and I can imagine any of those pillows at my home. They have such a charming look… For sure I’ll visit her website since going to her store seems to be quite difficult at this time.
I just would like you to know that your blog have inspired me to create my own. I wanted to do it for quite a while but always thought I would have nothing thta matters to say. Reading yours was such a good experience that I felt that I could also share my experiences, that other people might like to read them. My focus is different than yours in many ways but I'm writing things that I would like to share with others. Thanks for the inspiration!

Laura [What I Like] said...

This absolutely killing me...I was in Istanbul a few years ago and I'm fairly sure I stayed within a block of her shop. If only I'd known! But then if I had I probably would have bankrupted myself, never a good thing to do on foreign soil.

Ouiser Boudreaux said...

I'm drooling over the Mable...the Yejiju... the blue orhan ... oh okay, all the bedding on her site. I hope she adds online sales at some point soon! I was in Istanbul just a few years ago so it'll likely be awhile before I get back.

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Darn, now I'll have a dry cleaning bill! Couldn't help drooling coffee down the front of me as I looked at that to die for bedroom!

Simply Mel said...

You quite possibly just showed me the most amazing bed I have seen in a very long time! I'm hooked and heading to Tulu now....

Susan said...

For me, Istanbul was more beautiful than Paris. Thanks for this post--I'll be going to her site to look.

Amber from Brisbane, Australia said...

Oh my giddy aunt! You continue to tap into my visons of heaven. Oh Kindred Spirit, you! Istanbul is fabulous. Tulu looks fabulous. It is all to fabulous! If you ever see a Turkish design magazine, grab it. The contemporary work there is so clever at melding textures, cultures, colours and moods. But then, I guess Istanbulis have been practicing the melting-pot thing for a few millenia now...truly beautiful stuff. Get thee to the Bosphorus ASAP. Istanbul is my favourite city (well, along with Venice) Thanks again. (Peas, Vivienne, Penguins, Strangers for dinner and now Istanbul. Too much!)

Mary said...

L O V E
thanks - I am working on a bit of this in the church

VictoriaArt said...

This is amazing, just a few days ago I read almost the same post at the
decor8 blog...it's like in fashion, suddenly there is a buzz about something.
I love her fabrics and colors, the fusion of cultures so to speak...
wish I could fly over there and see for myself.

Lisa said...

The antique brass tabletop took my breath away too. My mother-in-law has one the same size but it's hanging on her wall. I commented one time that it would make a great coffee table. She said it was a table top and that the base was in her attic. I COVET that piece. She got it decades ago overseas.

PS It's nice to hear that other people have Lego 'decorating' their homes. It's everywhere in mine and formed into some of the most amazing configuations.

Diane James Home said...

Thank you for sharing with us the world of Tulu and another reason to book a flight to Istanbul... Your blog is fabulous and your style fantastic! It's good to know that my antique Chinese lacquer chest/coffee table is not the only one adorned with the Lego Hotel and Green Grocer!

pve design said...

lovely!
pve

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I badly want to go to Istanbul and now her shop too!

Ashfield Hansen Design Inc. said...

Lisa-
Thank you this wonderful resource. Beautiful!

David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

Cathi said...

Wow...lovely lovely images....can't wait to check out her website...thanks for the recommendation!

katiedid said...

Bookmarked! Thanks. ;)

Nick said...

I've never met Elizabeth but email her regularly for work -- she is as lovely as her fabrics!

Buy Viagra said...

I also was surprised with that name because I didn't figure out what ""Tulu" means, now I know that's related to a textile company, by the way my dream is having a room like that with those colors and with an special decoration.

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