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For The Love Of Furniture

When I was asked to write about this “sacred” topic for this issue, I thought “this must mean that I am a certified lunatic when it comes to loving furniture”. Then, I hesitated for a moment; “collecting furniture” is a materialistic concept, which led me to question the subject of my passion. Eventually, I set off on a quest to find what furniture and interior design materials mean to me.

The most common question I’ve received for years is how this all began. In the past, I would try to weave an elaborate answer which made things even more complicated. Then, I got tired of the struggle and found a generic answer to give “Honestly, I don’t know when I started it. I’ve always been like this.” Collecting furniture used to be a hobby of mine at first, but it soon evolved into a passion, which paved the way for stores and the website, and here I am. In short, I don’t remember neither the first thing I bought nor how old I was at the time. The second question usually is where I gather them from. I have an answer for that too - my trips. Since we haven’t been able to travel in the past year, this answer needs to be updated but I continue to collect items online so I can safely say that my passion knows no bounds! When I meet someone who knows what they are talking about, a third question follows: “What do you collect? Which are the periods that interest you the most?” Answering this question is also an endeavour for me. I can buy any item that catches my eye and start a new collection right then and there. Accepting and communicating this has always been excruciating, and since I’m not the kind to easily concentrate on anything, the items I bought have never truly morphed into a “collection.” When I fall in love with an object and buy it, it’s usually about what I’m influenced by at that time; what I read, what I see and the places I’ve been to. I go to Portugal and fall for the ceramics. It’s wine bottles in Argentina, mirrors in Spain, lamps in Italy, wooden furniture in England, electronics in Germany, sculptures in France, robots in Japan, and bamboo in Bali - the list goes on and on.

Love doesn’t have an exact definition, framework, or margin for me. There’s a poem by Turgut Uyar, which I love, sung by Sezen Aksu: “My love can change, so can my reality... No matter what you say, I know something secret.” This wonderful poem ends with a warning, “Please do not disrupt my balance.” I don’t think love is indispensable and I generally believe that it has an expiration date. I recently read somewhere that, “There is no unfinished love, if it ended that’s how long it was.” I really liked that statement, and it essentially defines my relationship with furniture.

However, don’t be tricked by my self-confidence; like all kinds of love, it becomes more valuable as it’s about to end. There was this broken lamp, for instance, which I found in Argentina. I bought it, carried it all the way home, cleaned it, repaired it, displayed it, used it, and enjoyed it. For me, this isn’t much different from a relationship. Then, I shared it in a picture on my website thinking I was ready to let it go. Believe me when I say that people can see the tiniest object in a picture and when they ask me about that lamp, I mumble that it’s not for sale. It has become some sort of a joke among my friends. It was even more bizarre when I had a store... It’s easy to respond to people online because there’s no eye connection, no tone of voice. You can even ignore someone’s reply. But it used to be different when we were face to face. The customer has come all the way to my store, asking about an item, and it’s not for sale. Then asks about another item, and I say it’s not for sale either. In one corner of the shop, I close myself off.

My love for furniture is actually an extension of my love for traveling. I can best express myself through objects; I know why I buy even the tiniest of items, because it certainly has kindled something in me. Sometimes I have seen it in a film, in a house, in a book, at an exhibition, in a painting, or in a dream, and if I liked it, we eventually find each other. I have similar stories with many of my items. By the end of this article, I’ve come to contradict myself, but isn’t love all about that?


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