Rules are made to be broken and lessons to be forgotten. What I've learned from this amazing city is that there is one way to stand out from a population of almost 20 million - just be authentic, be creative, be unique.
Rusty romantic, reinterpretations of Magritte hats, modern metal or the colorful mosaic hanging lamps - Istanbul offers them all. And most importantly, offers the places to buy them!
Just as we consider symmetrical faces to be beautiful the same judgment we apply to architecture and interior design.
The use of patterns is traceable back to the Ottoman art. The sultans loved using recurring patterns and were not afraid to show it! Topkapi palace is the best example of using rich and heavy tiles for decorating interiors and outside walls.
Istanbul can hardly come up to mind as a romantic getaway for a weekend. However this city sizzles romance and most importantly offers sights that can rival the Tour Eiffel anytime.
From the buildings of Balat neighbourhood, the shiny mosaic lamps hanging in small shops, the spices in bazaars to the graphics on the walls this city's vibe is all about the mix of colour.
You'll find them at every corner: in the middle of Istiklal street, gathering in packs on narrow streets, sleeping on top of cars, in shop windows, inside pubs, in the gardens of Sultanahmet. People love them, feed them and they make even special pet houses to keep them warm in the cold season.