Turkish delights with a warm glow
Add Middle Eastern mystery to your home with some Tealight lamps
When Kannika Yamsirikul visited Istanbul seven years ago, she fell in love with the country's stunning traditional lamps that combine ancient motifs with colourful stained glass, mosaic and brass and bring a romantic ambience to the home.
The handcrafted Islamic brass lamps she brought back with her received so many compliments that soon Kannika was contacting her Turkish friend about the possibilities of importing a range of lighting for the Thai market. In 2004, she opened Tealight Collection at Suan Lum Night Bazaar and when the night market closed, relocated to Charoen Krung Road before moving to her current store at the Crystal Design Centre last year.
Entering Tealight is a little like walking into Aladdin's cave. On show is a wide range of lighting - all of it imported from Turkey - for both indoors and outdoors. There are floor lamps, wall lamps, table lamps as well as hanging and pendant lights with brass structures. Kannika even has a selection of Aladdin's oil lamps though sadly these come without the genie inside.
"All the lamps are made of high quality brass so there won't be any problems with oxidation. The designs are a mix of Arabic, Asian and European motifs. You can have a colourful mosaic lamp for decoration, go for an elaborate chandelier or opt for smart design with an adjustable elevation lamp," she says. "We also have an interior design consultant to help our clients."
The lighting is categorised into three collections. The romantic Byzantine collection features the coloured glass and glass mosaic lamps originally used with tea light candles, but now converted to electricity. The elegant Ottoman collection showcases classic motifs used during the Ottoman empire, while the functional Pera collection offers a selection of elevation lamps.
"We can form chandeliers from the coloured glass lamps and mosaics according to customers' orders," Kannika says. "The Ottoman collection reflects thousands years of culture adopted and is strongly influenced by Middle Eastern and Persian culture.
"One of the most vibrant areas of Istanbul is Beyoglu, which used to be called Pera. The social and intellectual life style, architecture and the decoration styles in this part of the city was very much influenced by the western countries.
The shop also has door handles and pulls, doorknobs, lanterns, ceramic pot mat, ceramic tiles and traverline stone tiles.
"We have both commercial and hand-painted ceramic tiles. The motifs are a mix of Arabic, Chinese, Indian and European. You can see a dragon, cloud and peacock with a tulip and carnation. The distinctive feature of Turkish ceramic tiles is the clear colour - white is clear white not dull, red is vivid," says Kannika.
The latest addition to the shop is a collection of copper cookware, also imported from Turkey. With lead-free glaze and heat-resistant, these sets are ideal for a full range of tasks, from quick sauteeing to slow stewing and oven roasting.
LIGHT IT UP
Tealight Collection is on the second floor of Crystal Design Centre, phase 2, on Ekkamai-Ram Indra Road. It's open daily (except Monday) from noon to 7pm. Call (02) 102 2430, (089) 826 5545 or visit www.TealightCollection.com.