Sunday, January 3, 2016

Middle East Design Finds

Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to some Middle Eastern and European countries and experience some once in a lifetime experiences. Two experiences I would like to share with you and how it fit into my design life.

The first experience was in Cairo, Egypt at the Khan el-Khalili. The Khan el-Khalili is mainly occupied by Egyptian merchants selling souvenirs, antiques, jewelry and spices.
In addition to shops, there are several coffeehouses, restaurants, and street food vendors distributed throughout the market. The Khan is a beautiful assault on your senses-the smells of exotic spices and beautiful things to see at every turn. What caught my friends and my eye was these beautiful punched metal lights. Metal fashioned into hanging pendant lights that had tiny holes punch in a beautiful design over the entire exterior. Once illuminated, it radiates a beautiful glow. We haggled for a while with the shop owner and finally got the price down to something we were comfortable with. I can't wait to hang my new light in my house and remember my fabulous trip!

The second fun experience was in Istanbul, Turkey at the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is massive market, covering acres of space. Jewelry, souvenirs, linens, spices, Turkish delight, rugs, antiques and knockoff bags galore. You could spend days in that place! I came to Istanbul hoping that I would return home with a rug. So, we walked into many rug shops. The culture of hospitality in Turkey is that the shop owner will offer you a hot apple tea or Turkish coffee and ask you to sit awhile while they pull down rug after rug from these tall stacks lining the walls. They will spread the rugs out on the floor for you too see the entire pattern and compare colors. Boy, are were there some beautiful rugs!  But unfortunately, I couldn't bring them all home. After viewing hundreds of rugs, I finally found "the one." It brings me such delight when I see it in my living room every day.

Travel is so fun! And bringing home something that you can practically use in your home every day is a great reminder of your exciting experiences. Have you purchased any fun items for your home during your travels? I'd love to hear! Email me at  

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