escapefromsofa has designed a soulful home for a family who wanted to escape the chaos of city life

The 1980s structure in Turkey needed a complete refresh to meet the needs of the owners

In the neighbourhood of Göktürk, in Istanbul, Turkey, this house – a typical Kemer country structure built in the late 1980s – needed a complete refresh to fit the needs of the homeowners: a lawyer and a restaurant owner with a child. The team from escapefromsofa – a design studio co-founded in 2009 by Mahmut A. Kefeli, Kerem Erçin and and İrem Başer  – tackled the challenge, starting by resolving the need for water insulation since the house (and surrounding neighbourhood) is located on a wetland. Once this first step was done, the designers had to figure out how to respond to the initial spatial, structural and functional issues in order to improve the quality of daily life for the family of three residing there. 

“Before we started the makeover, the home was colourless and monotone,” remembers the escapefromsofa team. “The wife has a calm and minimal style, but we convinced her to use bold colours through some pieces. The detail that completely changed the shell of the house while giving it a new soul was the wall paint.”

The spaces are organised on three levels across a total area of 300 square metres. One of the main objectives was to ease the daily flow of the inhabitants and allow them to host large groups of friends, which they do frequently. 

The fireplace wall that defines the entrance hall and welcomes anyone entering the home was preserved. The marble that covers the floor immediately creates an elegant atmosphere upon entrance, while a black partition combined with a red console by Atelier 1976 – with an artwork by Hasan Pehlevan above it – leads the way to the living room. 

Occupying the heart of the home, this space comprises two sitting areas and a working area. One side is furnished with a white sofa by Atelier 1976, a side table by Koçgiri furniture with an Öztaş lamp, a Madderugs carpet and an artwork by Ali Alışır. In the centre, dark blue armchairs, white sofas and a coffee table – also by Atelier 1976 – invite anyone to sit comfortably in a stylish atmosphere. On the other side, escapefromsofa designed the desk and chair for the work area, which is adorned by an Haluk Akakçe artwork. On that same floor, the winter garden is a haven of peace. 

With a big focus on entertaining, the home features another living room in the basement, which is decorated with an artwork by Ali Atmaca that combines with a wooden shelf, dresser, coffee table and wall panel designed by escapefromsofa. 

Separated from the rest of the home for more tranquillity, the main bedroom and the playroom occupy the upper level. Lamps by Öztaş and Lightwork Design provide the perfect illumination in every nook. “We usually like to use a combination of different and natural materials,” say the designers. “For this project, we opted for wood, marble, steel and leather.”

By considering design as a way to tell stories, the escapefromsofa team has found a way to introduce visual surprises into different corners of this space and express a sense of chicness throughout. The blue and red accents in several of the furniture pieces and artworks add playfulness to this lively project. “Every home has its own soul,” the team says. “In this one, besides creating a spacious, comfortable and elegant cocoon, we wanted to design a living space that would respond to our clients’ desire to spend time with their loved ones.” 

Photography by Ibrahim Özbunar

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