Through what kind of a design process do you tackle your projects?
Could you please elaborate with regards to this residential project?
During the design phase, some homeowners prefer to be included in
the process, while some of them leave you in charge of the entire process.
In this project, we prepared our first design after having learned
the outline of the comfort area that the homeowners aspired after,
and they loved it. Then we continued the detailing process of the
project without making any changes to the initial outline. The house
is inhabited by two people, one of whom is interested in sports while
the other takes interest in yoga. Therefore we designed private and
quiet areas for them. Besides, they have a colorful personality, they
love using accessories and colors. As for the other homeowner, they
really like music, cinema and reading, which is why we created private
areas for them as well.
Could you please give some general information about the house?
Spreading over three stories, the house with a 300-sqm of usage
area has living space and guest room situated on the ground floor.
We combined the originally small kitchen with the guest room on
the ground floor, providing the house with a practical and spacious
character. So how do you implement the space layout? Do you orient the user?
For me, creating a space is not about using simple or complex materials.
When I am assigned a new project, I first try to connect with it. I cannot
accept projects with which I fail to establish a connection. The psychological
aspect is important in our profession. When you’re building a house,
you need to be able to figure out which language does the person in front
of you speak, as well as the storms and longings at their hearts. Because
what we call home is a person’s castle. An architect exercising influence
over someone with their favorite colors and styles really goes against my
And how does the process develop?
Once the demands are specified, all the presentations are prepared, and
their 3D visuals are approved, the operation begins. This can be considered
as a surgeon getting ready for their surgery. You can only ever tell if the infrastructure
is good once you complete every task. Therefore my starting
point is the infrastructure, everything you do on top of it is like make-up.
If you were to describe your style, how would you do it?
I cannot categorize my style as classical, modern or provincial although I
feel honored to hear from people who love my style because they notice
the details on which you work and labor. Those details are important for
them. My sine qua non in projects is by all means harmony and proportion.
In spaces implemented by Bou Design, you can’t come across a
single detail that is disproportional, disharmonious or one that could adversely
disrupt the balance of individuals. Colorful, fun, solemn, modern
– all kinds of spaces have flawless details. Generally, all the spaces that I
create continue to be relevant for years to come.
Do you have any recollection of a user mentioning something similar?
I have recently got a call from a client whom I love dearly and they told
me that despite we built their house 10 years ago, it still appeals to
contemporary trends and that those who visited their house for the first
time thought that it was recently decorated, all of which made my client
really happy. I thought to myself that I eventually fulfilled the key criteria
for which I made a great effort in the first place.
The spaces that we implement have an overall feeling of calm, in that
you don’t feel amazed the moment you step into the space. It captures
you over time and you start enjoying all the details. Its night and day
are different. Even its summer and winter are different. With the use of
little accessories, the space can suddenly do a one-eighty. I guess that’s
why I am deemed a bit budget-friendly. And there is also something
that never changes: I had been supervising the construction site 19 yearsago, as I do now. I had zero days absent from work, which still applies
to today. Even I get surprised at myself at times but it feels good to be
in construction sites.
Which materials do you opt for in your projects?
Each design has its own materials palette. Although I usually try to use
natural materials, fabrics and coatings. Instead of make-believing, I try
to capture the sensation of reality.
Which marbles do you usually opt for?
It varies depending on trends and periods. As you already know, it is not
possible to use the same marble over and over again. We had substantially
used Crema Marfil and Bursa Beige 15 years ago. In recent years,
there has been a rise in gray and white marbles. Accessibility has also
increased greatly. In the early 2000s, we had to go to the outskirts of
Verona so as to find an interesting marble. But today, large companies
help you choose any color you want in showrooms that are almost like
Thank you for all the information that you have shared with us.
About Şebnem Buhara
Architect Şebnem Buhara started her professional career in her field
when she was a student in Mimar Sinan University Department of
Architecture, after having started to work in the same department.
Continuing her studies over the years, Buhara launched her own
office with the name BOU Design in 2000. She is still carrying out
housing, residence, office and hotel projects and implementations
under her own brand.
The furnitures that she designed for both her architectural projects
and for the Bou Art&Design store, of which she was a partner, can
be tackled as a reflection of Architect Şebnem Buhara’s unique architectural
discipline on design. Combining her high-quality crafts
approach with both different types of magic lying under the details
and a stance paying homage to timelessness, while incorporating
her product line with “lounge” product collections such as sofas,
armchairs, coffee tables, tables and lighting elements in the scope
of her roadmap, Architect Şebnem Buhara attained a place among
leading and prolific designers thanks to her experience-rich perspective
in decoration and architecture. Considering design as a
transmuted form of architecture and searching for detail, meaning,
story and beauty in both fields, Buhara’s studies are regarded as
“furnitures that can be used throughout generations”. We can say
that the new season collection designed by Buhara also features
a contemporary blend of Art Deco and Neo Luxury, as well as a
relationship between handicrafts and modern industry.
Project Title/Type: Tarabya House
Project Location: Tarabya
Project Area: 350 sqm
Project Year: 2018
Architectural Project: Bou Design
Implementation Project: Bou Design
Natural Stone Supplier: Stoneline
Furnishings Supplier: Poliform, Mozaik, Bou Art&Design
Lighting Supplier: Bou Art&Design
AN INTERVIEW WITH ARCHITECT ŞEBNEM BUHARA ON “TARABYA HOUSE”, ONE OF HER LATEST PROJECTS
Through what kind of a design process do you tackle your projects?