Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things to do in Istanbul when it's 100 Degrees

Yesterday and today have been two of the hottest days in Istanbul for the last 30 years. There was even talk of closing offices today because it will be 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, the highs are usually in the upper 80s, so most homes don't need air conditioners and don't have them. So what to do when it's too hot to do anything?

Luckily for those of us who know only a little Turkish, there are many American movies playing in English in air conditioned theaters. So I've now seen Hoax and Oceans' 13. We've also been to some lovely cafes, including Leb-i Derya in Taksim (this photo is the view from their dining room).

But tomorrow will be a better day. The high is predicted to be 87. Hooray.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Faux Ceiling Beams

This image from last Fall's Zara Home catalog is still one of my favorites. I love their rustic take on modern furnishings. You can't see the ceiling here, but I imagine it to have rough timber beams against a white plaster. I think a big dose of natural wood can add a lot of warmth to a white space while preserving the minimalism.

Of course wood beams could be a great addition to the high ceilings in any modern living space. But they're expensive and hard to install. Luckily, my brother just sent me a great link to a site that sells faux wood beams. They look very real. Well, at least they look real from a distance. And when they're on the ceiling, how close are you going to get?

These beams are made from casts of real wood beams, so they have realistic tool marks and grain patterns. You can get beams starting at $170. Check out some design ideas here.

PS- this site has some annoying narration audio playing on the home page and main product pages, so turn your sound down.