Personalizing Your Environment

Decorating Living Spaces Is As Easy As Pie Now. Thanks To Technology, Decorative Products Are Readily Accessible, And The New Generation Of Designers Have Developed A Democratic Platform For Strutting Their Stuff.

Putting a decorative touch on living and working spaces used to require professional help, a serious outlay of money and lots of time. Decoration and design were a self-contained entity. There is no doubt that in the hectic pace of life today owning design products they have selected according to their individual taste and style offers people an opportunity to express themselves.  Working people especially like to see beautiful objects in their homes and offices. We live surrounded by virtual networks in an age when information about the latest trends and developments is available everywhere at every moment. In this technology-driven age, individuals can easily arrange their own living space with readily accessible products at convenient prices. Pioneering applications and websites are creating a positive spin in Turkey and the world. E-Commerce in Turkey saw around 50% growth last year as close to 200 medium and large scale enterprises took their place in the field with the entry of several firms into the Turkish market. Not only did growth in the market create jobs, the personal shopping websites also gave new entrepreneurs and up-and-coming young designers a chance to strut their stuff. By exponentially expanding the market for design and decoration, this also drove demand by people with different lifestyles, generating a continuous cycle of supply and demand. A designer and consultant for several U.S. brands, Jason Graham lives and works in Turkey. Pointing out that everyone’s life style and tastes are different, Graham stresses the importance of decoration as a way for people to express themselves. At the same time, Graham adds, it is important that people select things they like when choosing products for their living space especially. According to Graham, everyone has the right to surround himself with beautiful things he enjoys looking at.

Naturally technology and the new enterprises it makes possible are not the only reason for the growing interest in decoration and special designer products of late. The recent positive developments in the Turkish economy are another factor. It is much easier now for people to get products that reflect their personalities in everything from the furniture they use in their homes and offices to small things like calendars, pencil holders, even coffee mugs. And the situation is similar in the world at large. According to a study done in 2011, people spent an average of 220 euros in 2010 shopping for their homes on the internet. This is 49% more than in 2009. And close to 25% of total spending during the year was on decoration.

Easy accessibility to design and decorative objects has also spawned a rapid growth in inspiring websites like One Kings Lane and Although the impact, direct or indirect, of these websites on e-Commerce is a matter of debate, they can be assumed to be a spinoff of the developments described earlier. Emre Kızıl is an entrepreneur who is aware of these developments both in the world and in Turkey. He says that e-Commerce websites can be used not only for shopping but also to get ideas, and he and Jason Graham are working together on a website that supports this notion. One of the key aims of the site is to popularize Turkey’s cultural icons and treasures by making use of them in designs. Graham’s outsider view comes out clearly in his reproduction of some of Turkey’s cultural symbols in his designs.

Perhaps this is just the beginning of the road, but e-Commerce has grown rapidly in the last few years and as long as people’s interest continues - and at the moment it looks like keeping on growing - it seems inevitable that more and more people will surround themselves with designer and decorative objects that express themselves better than ever before.

In this technology-driven age, individuals can easily arrange their own living space with readily accessible products at convenient prices.

Citing Turkish hospitality as the country’s number one attraction, Jason Graham has lived here for a long time, working for the European divisions of some U.S. firms. Graham, who points out that Alaçatı in particular has inspired him, has experienced some of his most productive periods in the small Aegean town.

Emre Kızıl sums up the advantages of personal shopping websites:
“Accessibility is very important for people. In big cities like Istanbul, you have to go to different places to find certain products and this is a lot of trouble for working people. And in Anatolia  access is practically non-existent.”