When you're adding global or ethnic touches to your decor, as many are wont to do, it's always nice if the pieces have an air of authenticity. Antique pieces often have a lot of personality, but new pieces can also bring great style to a space. Noted interior designer Sara Bengur recently debuted her newest products, which are inspired by her Turkish background and upbringing, as well as her extensive travels.
Sara has been in business nearly 20 years; her eponymous firm is located in New York. After hearing her name and seeing some of her work in publications for years, I finally had a chance to meet her at the gift show last month and she couldn't have been lovelier.
A lot of times when you ask designers what prompted them to create their own product line, the answer is that they couldn't find something they were looking for to use in their projects. "I often design custom pieces for my clients that have been inspired by either my Turkish roots or the location of the house I am working on at the time," she says. After increasing demand that she create her own line of products, she finally has.
Sara has spent a great deal of time studying and immersing herself in Ottoman designs. "The patterns have an organic quality and I love the idea of giving a new life to them in a different scale, form, and texture." Most of the products are made in Turkey, though the stoneware comes from nearby Malta. The collection features plenty of color because Sara believes rooms don't have to be neutral to be serene and cozy and she tries to encourage clients to follow suit.
Check out more of the new products:
Sara's favorite products are the peshtamals, more commonly known as hammam towels. "I call it my favorite travel accessory. You can use it as a shawl, scarf, towel, pareo, or blanket on the beach!" The peshtamals are woven by an all-women's cooperative in Southern Turkey.
My personal favorites are the covered bonbon dishes—love the scalloped edges—and the kilim runners shown at the top. A larger area rug incorporating the runners' designs is coming soon. Sara and I both share the opinion that the details and the layering of accessories are crucial to making a home more personal.
"My passion has always been to create the unexpected in interiors, something nobody has seen before. My hope is that through this line, people feel they own something unique and made just for them," Sara says.
images via sara bengur
Hope everyone is staying warm and lifting with their knees when they shovel, it's crazy out there lately. I drove down to New York last Friday to attend NYNOW, formerly NYIGF, the gift show at the Javits Center. In two and a half days—and 2700+ pictures later—I walked every single aisle of the show and saw some great products.
Mostly, I was really excited to be back in New York and to see a lot of the vendors I haven't seen in a while, since I missed the last three shows (not sure how that time flew so quickly). It was great to catch up with people and this was my first time experiencing the show since they changed the format and rebranded. I think it worked out well to have all the home companies under one roof, though as I walked the show, I realized there were several brands that I didn't see. I'm hoping they'll be there in August.
At any rate, I'm looking forward to sharing the things that I saw over the next weeks and months. In addition to new and interesting products, the booths themselves are often styled creatively. Here are just a few fun things I noticed:
This weekend You & Yours Fine Vintage store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn celebrates its grand opening. Owner Allegra Muzzillo grew up around antiques, learning to scout and training her eye at the side of her dealer/collector mother. She's most drawn to mid-century pieces, which you'll notice by her inventory featuring furniture, decorative accessories, and tabletop predominantly from the 1950s-1970s. Allegra started out selling at the Brooklyn Flea in 2011, which she continues to maintain (booth B30), but will now expand with her brick-and-mortar shop.
Her favorite personal scores have been vintage Nambê bowls and platters and a pair of decrepit (now happily rehabbed) Saarinen Armless Executive chairs she found on the street in front of an old grammar school.
"I see mid-century pieces as truly timeless and I think they can mix with absolutely anything. The furniture is so simple and clean looking, but built to last, and for tabletop, it's the pieces' cheekiness, sense of fun, and use of color that I love." Allegra says.
So it's no surprise that at her shop you'll find a Pucci-esque tray, a sculptural geometric candelabra, or 1920s/30s mini planter shaped like an elephant, mixed in among mirrors, lighting, and mid-century furniture.
As a freelance journalist who built her career writing and editing at shelter magazines (we worked together at Real Simple), Allegra has made You & Yours editor-friendly. The shop also caters to designers and stylists who will enjoy a 15% industry discount. But her completely affordable pieces will make everyone—especially small-space dwellers—happy.
Art and furniture are available for in-store pickup only at this time and the website features a small selection, so be sure to stop in and see what other treasures Allegra has uncovered:
You & Yours Fine Vintage
240 Kent Avenue, unit #9
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 1p-7p and by appointment
images via you & yours fine vintage
As you know, I love when everyday items are beautiful. I'm a huge stationery fan and I take handwritten notes, thank you notes, party invitations, and holiday cards* very seriously. I also take the stamps very seriously, always bothering the USPS workers to see the Love stamps—which often have some of the more pretty or interesting designs—and whatever other new styles they might have in. I'm almost out of the Vintage Seed Packet stamps I purchased a few months ago, and I noticed they're still available, but I'll probably pick up something new heading into the holidays.
However, something as small as a stamp can be inspiration for your home. I've been enjoying the floral burst of color, so it was nice timing that I learned that Ben's Garden had some new découpage trays with imagery very close to that of the stamps. Ben Busko started his business in 1992 at age eight, and has since been featured on Martha Stewart. A selection of holiday designs are now available on the site as well, though I'm partial to the Dahlia pattern (above).
*If you've started thinking about your holiday cards (I know, it feels too early), check out Minted, my go-to for our cards each year. I choose a design and use the yearline style to give our friends and family a snapshot of our year without boring them with a lengthy letter. Their new designs are on sale, and you can buy now and fill in the photos and details later, which is what I do. Click here for a referral discount of $25 off your first purchase of $50 or more!
(If you end up ordering, I get a discount for the future, as part of the general referral process - which means you can do it, too. But I always refer people via word of mouth to Minted, regardless of discount. )
top image my own, tray images via ben's garden
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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