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.
Dhurrie Occasional Chair
This hand-carved accent chair features velvet upholstery with a washed-out print inspired by Turkish rugs. We especially love the deep turquoise hue.
To buy: anthropologie.com, $498
Iznik Tile Candle Holder
Hyper-focused on Istanbul-made and inspired goods, Sahi’s Iznik tile candleholder has a symbolic horned shape and tree of life design.
To buy: sahi.com.tr, $19
Persian Pillow Cover
This 100 percent cotton velvet pillowcase, with a floral rug-inspired motif, will (cheaply) make your living room feel much more luxe.
To buy: potterybarn.com, $40
Decorative Copper Platter
Crafted in Istanbul, this solid metal tray can be used to serve Turkish tea and coffee, or as a decorative wall hanging.
To buy: amazon.com, $45
Tile-print Shower Curtain
The neutral tones of m.style’s shower curtain will go with virtually any bathroom, while the distinct, Turkish tile print will transport you to the streets of Istanbul.
To buy: bedbathandbeyond.com, $30
A mosaic of glittering blue tiles, this quatrefoil-shaped mirror is evocative of the Hagia Sophia and traditional, Ottoman architecture.
To buy: pier1.com, $229
Iznik Tile Decals
Colorful (and totally low-commitment) Iznik tile decals can be used as a kitchen or bathroom backsplash, or to transform a humdrum staircase into steps straight out of Istanbul.
To buy: amazon.com, $16
Turkish Coffee Set
Keep this beautiful Turkish coffee set, made in Turkey, on display in your kitchen or sitting room.
To buy: amazon.com, $193
Vintage Hammam Bowls
These copper hammam bowls from the 1970s are a great way to display soaps and bath products, though they can also be used as planters, fruit bowls, and serving dishes.
To buy: etsy.com, $37