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Modern Turkish 

welcome party

This Turkish couple based in the US wanted to host their wedding weekend in Istanbul, but for political reasons they felt strongly that it was very important to show their international guests the modern face of Turkey.  

For their welcome party at the Four Seasons Bosphorus hotel, they asked us to design a party set-up that hinted at the historical Ottoman past while showing the colour, happiness and fun-loving spirit of all truly patriotic Turks today.

Seen here is a view of the terrace where they would be receiving their guests.

My visual included a solution for making a feature out of the ugly industrial-size umbrellas on the terrace.

To keep costs down, I used the hotel's garden furniture but accessorised with colourful silk 'ikat' Turkish cushions and exquisite hand-painted Turkish ceramics.  I was worried the decor would look too stereotypically Ottoman so I kept the decor feeling modern and timeless with simple coconut rugs and mirrored coffee tables.

Our custom modern take on Anatolian 'sini' coffee tables, accompanied by modern copper lanterns set the perfect tone for this welcome party.

A detail of one of our gorgeous Turkish ceramic bowls filled with our flower and fruit arrangements: we used the traditional flowers and fruit of Turkey including carnations, peaches, pomegranates and of course, tulips.

I used the ugly hotel umbrellas as focal points, decorating the inside of the umbrellas with more of the traditional 'ikat' fabric and building custom bars around the base.  Hanging mosque-style candle-holders completed the magical effect.

Food stations dressed as Turkish tents were positioned around the space so guests could help themselves to traditional Turkish delicacies and treats throughout the night.

Another detail of the exquisite flower arrangements.

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