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.
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)