Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Arrivals - Rugs!

Fuat and his brother...the suppliers from Van
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Rug dealers are a special breed. However, so are those of us buying them!  With each trip to Turkey I repeat ...I will not buy rugs, I will not buy rugs, I will not buy rugs. I am in control! Luckily for you, this trip was a perfect example of my lack of control for these beautiful creatures. I am a sucker for the crafts I fear will disappear as time goes by – the camel bag, the baby cradle cover, etc. 

Check out the newest rugs in the collection below. It's just a small sampling of what I brought back so you'll have to check the shop to see them all. I fell in love with the new colors, the mix of techniques, and the asymmetry of the designs. Such great workmanship!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Taste of….Pul Biber

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During my trip to Turkey in February, I tried quite a bit of pul biber, a smoky, crushed red pepper similar to red pepper flakes you find here in the states but it's slightly damp with a subtle fruit flavor. Pul biber is made from the aleppo pepper and is regularly seen on tables at Turkish restaurants, either in a shaker or a small tin bowl. As with most things, you'll have to taste the various kinds to see which one you like best. In the U.S., pul biber can be found at your local Mediterranean market. I brought some home and have been adding it to just about everything. The flavors instantly transport me to Turkey.

I also brought back these wonderful tinned copper condiment dishes. They are perfect for holding spices, dips or sauces. The crescent moon on the lid is functional, but I think it adds another element of beauty to the design. You can find them here. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amp Up a Neutral Home with Boho Style

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Sometimes adding color and patterns to a neutral home can be intimidating. What if bright colors clash with your existing interiors or the mishmash of patterns don't work together? The best way to learn is through experimentation. Try different things and if you love it, then it works. Simple as that! But if you need a little bit more guidance for adding a touch of boho to your otherwise neutral home, here are some tips that might be helpful.

Layer vibrant colors with a more neutral color, but play around with patterns. In the image above, we've completely changed the look of this couch by covering it with a hot pink Moroccan pom pom blanket. Then we softened and cozied up the space with a bunch of pillows in varying shades of blue. The patterns are all different, but the blue holds it all together.

Colorful throws make a sitting area seem more inviting while adding life to your space. We took one of our zinc baskets and flipped it upside down for a makeshift table to hold the Yoruba Ceremonial Crown. Mixing finishes and adding detailed, tactile pieces like the beaded crown adds subtle interest while the blue indigo throw draws your eye in and adds a nice pop of color to an otherwise neutral space.

Start small and work in objects that are neutral but interesting. This architectural stone from India is a perfect accent for a stack of books. Against a soft gray wall, the altar adds warmth and dimension to a flat space.

Don't be afraid of mixing finishes and different textures. These traditional off-white arm chairs make a perfect backdrop for any pillow. To stay with a more traditional look, we chose a pair of our velvety ikat pillows from Uzbekistan. A sheepskin rug will keep your toes warm and we echoed the brown from the rug with a similar-colored throw.

Be adventurous in your decorating and keep trying new things. Share your style with us on Facebook or leave a comment and link to your blog to show us what you've done!

P.S. We added a hidden link to all of the products featured just for our blog readers. You can see it here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Empowering Women Through Business

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Celebrating gender equality and women's empowerment on International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900s but it wasn't designated as an international holiday by the United Nations until 1975. Today, thousands of IWD events are held all over the world every year on March 8. As International Women's Day approaches, I've been reflecting on how the women I've met during my travels have impacted my life and my business. Without their strength, ingenuity and creativity, I wouldn't be able to live my dream. 

I have my parents to thank for my view point on life. Growing up internationally and having lived in a family that embraces the culture, arts and crafts from each country we lived influences much of what I do. My entire life I was surrounded by eclectic, global people, food and objects. That was a gift and it gave me an innate head start. I have been introduced to the nuances of collecting and buying for my business by so many people that to give one name of who has influenced me most would be impossible.

Over the years, however, I've partnered with a wonderfully diverse group of women throughout my travels. But in many countries, it is a matter of culture that women do not work out front. Make no mistake, they are present and integral to the art, craftsmanship and detail work that you see represented by what I've brought back, but they are often in the background.