Turkish Delight

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When Turkish interior designer Zeynep Fadillioglu is not renovating clients’ homes, headquarters for companies such as Levi’s or running the two clubs and restaurants the couple own in Istanbul, the couple retreat to the three-storey stone and wood house they share with their 23-year-old daughter Silim, and Zeynep’s mother and father. It is like entering a museum dedicated to hundreds of years of beauty from cultures all over the world. The entire ground floor of the 750sq m house is divided into four richly coloured living spaces, each filled with objects handed down through the family or collected by Zeynep from antiques shops, bazaars and markets around the world. On the walls hang an ancient Belgian tapestry, rich oils by Orientalist paintings like Theodore Frere and Hoca Ali Riza, delicate Islamic calligraphy and an enormous 17th-century fuchsia silk and silver banner restored by the Berlin Museum. Each of the eight bedrooms and bathrooms of the house are warm, dark and rich, often painted with murals or scattered with textured fabrics. A love of textiles is in her blood: both her and Metin’s families were in the fabric trade. And her childhood home – a handsome wooden Venetian Ottoman home on the banks of the Bosphorus – was full of beautiful materials. When they bought the house, Zeynep says, “people thought we were mad, because both houses were a ruin and the only water supply was a central water tower.” Now it’s one of the best neighbourhoods to live in, with embassies all around. And a house that most socialites would agree, is among the most beautiful in Turkey. Writer lisa-g@freeuk.com

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