Traditional yali exteriors are painted a rust-red, known as 'Ottoman rose.'
An article in this month's World of Interiors about a recent John Stefanidis project, the total reconstruction of an historically accurate yali, has finally given me a glimpse inside. Taking his inspiration from traditional 17th and 18th century Ottoman design, Stefanidis created an authentic interior and it does not disappoint.
Guests are received in a double reception room with seating along the windows to take advantage of the water views.
In keeping with the style of traditional yali interiors, reception rooms and the dining room are located on the ground floor.
The dining room overlooks the Bosphorus.
Bedrooms and a private sitting room are located on the upper level off a central sofa,or hall.
A double staircase with a banister designed in the historical vernacular leads to the sofa; the staircase landing.
A traditional-style window seat in the family sitting room.
The master bedroom.
Ceilings throughout the house were created by a team of local craftsmen entirely of wood and elaborately painted as they would have been in an original yali.
Detail of the library's painted wood ceiling.
The entrance to a powder room is disguised by the painted panels.
For a look inside the walls of Topkapi Palace during the rule of the Sultans pick up Katie Hickman's novel The Aviary Gate. Alternating between present day Istanbul and 16th century Constantinople this is enjoyable historical fiction.