Interior Design
Furnishing historic house in Safranbolu
I am to finish the restoration project of 2 historic wooden residential buildings both from the beginning of 20th century in Safranbolu (Turkey). These buildings will be used as luxury boutique hotel. The problem is not the architecture and restoration but furnishing. Actually, furniture is not used in Ottoman houses but unavoidable in our present life like dining, American bar, lobby, etc.
What should be the styling of the furniture?
Ibrahim Canbulat
Furnishing historic house in Safranbolu
Dear Ibrahim,

Furniture (as it is know in Europe) was introduced to the Ottoman Empire in late eighteenth century and was in wide use among the urban upper and middle-class population by the late nineteenth century. This was especially the case for the large mansions (konak). A compromise can perhaps be made by using some end of the century styles in furnishing this house as opposed to putting in an American bar or the like. I am not sure of the size and stature of the houses that you are restoring, but, I think it may work to have such furniture in a house in Safranbolu, which is a good size town. You can have solid wood furniture with art nouveau style moldings, for example, and obtain a cozy interior with lace and velvet curtains. While I'm not a fan, I suggest looking at the furnishings of some of the humbler harem rooms in the Dolmabahce Palace. See, for example, images 60 throught 100 on the Dolmabahce Palace site on ArchNet.

Ozgur Basak Alkan


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