When I read the preliminary agenda for the Veranda Designer’s Tour of Istanbul, I was intrigued that there would be an evening in the home of a local designer. I had dined in a private home in Cape Town, and it is one of the strongest memories from that city. What a wonderful way to peek inside the culture by experiencing a local home.
Before the trip, I was flipping through the August Architectural Digest issue of “Exotic Homes” and saw a gorgeous home of a designer on the Bosphorous in Istanbul. I double checked my itinerary with the magazine and indeed, our dinner was planned at the home of Serdar Gurgun. What fun! This quickly became one of the activities for the week that I looked the most forward to.
It didn’t disappoint!
Travel to dinner was by boat. We were taken by coach from our hotel to the Four Seasons Bosphorous where we boarded a private boat to the Asia side and then driven to Serdar’s home. Here I am with my Veranda Tour friends Maryati, Jackie, Dana, Joan, Georgia, Nancy, and Lydia. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto.
Four Seasons Bosphorous.
Dana welcomes us aboard! Photo courtesy Maryati Imanto.
Pulling away from the Four Seasons…Photo courtesy Maryati Imanto.
Our beautiful Sea Song Tour guides, Anka & Janset, inside the boat. Photo courtesy Maryati Imanto.
We were welcomed by a line-up of waiters in red jackets distributing wine…impressive. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto.
And strings on the stairs playing beautiful music…
Mr. Gulgun warmly welcomed us into his home – originally owned by a Pasha during the Ottoman Era. Gulgun has completely restored the mansion to its former glory and is an Ottoman art expert, interior designer, textile designer, and most recently has created porcelain designs for Herend.
Mr. Gulgun’s dining room featured a wonderful Suzani on the table and antique textiles on the walls.
The entrance parlor filled with guests.
One of the many wonderful guest bathrooms…
A private room attached to the master bedroom. Gorgeous inlaid mother of pearl Syrian Armoires and custom divans…
A vignette in the master bedroom.
There are so many places to look…wonderful old textiles, calligraphies, and artwork.
A view of the entry while everyone was dining upstairs. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto.
The top floor featured a charming retreat where Mr. Gulgun spends his quiet time. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto.
I just adore the textiles. Gorgeous.
The setting for dinner on the second floor was exquisite. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto.
Incredible view of the Bosphorous from the home. Photo courtesy of Maryati Imanto. Breathtaking.
I was struck with how peaceful it was on the grounds of Serdar Gulgun’s home. Istanbul is an extremely busy city, 17 million people! Bustle everywhere. Yet here, on the Asian side, was a slice of heaven where you hear the birds chirping and water flowing. Lovely.
Coincidentally, I picked up the Turkish In Style Magazine at the airport. Serdar Gulgun is featured in the magazine. Too bad I don’t know Turkish. I wonder what it says…
I hope this has wet your appetite. Another terrific Turkish home to come…