Inside a Designer’s Vibrant Rental Revamp in Istanbul

pThe living room is anchored

When the interior curator and founder of Labrand World, Serhat Tuncay, discovered his rental apartment in Istanbul’s Rumeli Hisar—famous for its historic Ottoman fortress, and a peaceful residential escape from the buzzing dynamism of the city—he was immediately smitten. Despite the flat’s tired interiors, original features like parquet floors and lofty ceilings remained and the picturesque views of the Bosphorus from its terrace and private garden were a joyful bonus. “I felt the energy of the place as soon as I walked in…I approach everything spiritually and I knew this place could be something amazing,” Serhat explains.

His elegant wood-clad building, which was rebuilt in the 1980s, is architecturally protected by the City Hall, so the terms of Serhat’s lease meant he couldn’t make any structural upgrades to his second-floor flat. But with his landlord’s approval, he could give the place a cosmetic refresh.

Since moving in over a year ago, Serhat has brought the space to life. The open-plan living and dining room is the center of the home, with an adjoining office and separate kitchen. He also put his touch on the bedroom with ensuite and a combination guestroom–dressing room.

Opting for a soothing gray-and-white palette for the backdrop throughout, he shocks this tranquil aesthetic equilibrium with bold color, pattern, and textures. One wall of the living room is painted in an eye-catching abstract design—an experimental collaboration between Serhat and artist Ömer Öney—which transforms the space. The mural, framed by contemporary white modular Autoban bookcases on either side, helps delineate the living and dining area. This avant-garde decor approach continues with ambient trickery in the study, where the inky blue Missoni wallpaper alters the mood from day to night.



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