Fashion designer and Piece of White founder Zeynep Tansug on Scandi design, working from home and the privileges of spending time with family during lockdown
At Home With Zeynep Tansug
What’s the story behind your home?
Last year we decided to move to London. We had to postpone due to Covid, but hopefully by the end of August we’ll move in. It’s a very typical London town house, in my favourite location in the heart of Notting Hill, with high ceilings and parquet floors. At the same time it’s walking distance from my kids’ schools, which was the biggest priority.
What was your inspiration when it came to decorating?
We brought our previous collection of furniture back from Vietnam, where we lived for 2 years. It was a very basic summer house dominated mainly with white and light grey shades. I really like Scandinavian interior style: that calm and light decoration. I also adore classic high ceilings and the spaciousness they create in a room. The design inspiration is a real combination of modern and classic.
Do you have any interior brands that you love and always go back to?
Kitchens and bathrooms are important for me – I believe they’re the key milestones of a house. I love Fired Earth for kitchen and bathroom designs, especially their tiles, and Devon & Devon for bathroom decoration. Anthropologie is my all-time favourite for glassware and furniture. Wallpapers also make a huge difference: I love the geometric designs of Cole & Son and Thibaut.
What’s your favourite room and why?
The kitchen, because we spend most of our time as a family there. Even if I don’t cook, I can spend the whole day in the kitchen area where I always have easy access to coffee and our huge dining table. That’s why we’ve chosen a house with a spacious kitchen, and an extension through the garden surrounded by glass windows and a glass roof. We transformed that space into a living room with a huge comfy sofa and a big dining table. It’s an amazing area, which is suffused with daylight the whole day.
Does your house in any way reflect your business?
I have a separate room, which is totally dedicated to the Piece of White [my fashion brand] showroom. It’s the first room just next to the entrance as you come in, so I can easily have meetings or appointments there. Especially after what we’ve faced during pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have a good space to work from at home.
What’s your best view?
Our kitchen is located in the middle of our garden, surrounded by big windows with scenes of trees and flowers. It’s easily the room with the best view.
What’s your signature dish – can you share the recipe with us?
Since having two children, my priority in the kitchen is to create practical recipes for quick solutions. I love to prepare healthy bowls, like acai bowls for breakfast or quinoa and salmon for lunch. Cooking definitely isn’t my favourite activity, but I love to prepare creative and good-looking meals for my children, family and friends.
Share your top five books with us if you were to start a book club – and why
My favourite reads are true stories, especially related to entrepreneurship. Shoe Dog and Rich Dad Poor Dad were the ones that impressed me. I also love to read books about parenting – I’d recommend Siblings Without Rivalry.
Share your must-see TV and movie list
My favourite TV series at the moment is Billions, and my all-time favourite is Friends.
Describe your office space?
It’s almost the entrance room of our house: with high ceilings, a big rectangular desk and a huge mirror on top of the fireplace. There’s a big table lamp, a vase with fresh flowers in the middle of the table, and scented candles. I love to see fresh flowers, so I try to get them daily. The desk is surrounded by racks hanging with the latest collection pieces from Piece of White.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
First I hear the voices of my kids calling me, and go directly to their room. Then I go downstairs and turn on the coffee machine.
And how do you love to spend your evenings?
Evenings are time for children, whether that involves going out for activities or relaxing at home. We pick them up from school, and spend time together as a family until they go to bed.
If you were to throw a party at home, what are the key ingredients to make it go with a swing?
My best friends, good music, various cocktails and delicious food.
What gadget could you not live without in your home?
My coffee machine.
Has lockdown made your reassess your work home life balance?
I used to think it was impossible for me to work from home, but now that I’m used to it I’ve found I’m a lot more productive and efficient. My and husband and I both work at home now, so it’s important to have a structured time plan. We start the day with an hour of exercise, then usually Zoom meetings until lunch. Then more Zoom meetings in the afternoon, and we’ll have dinner together and spend some time playing with the children. Prior to Covid, my husband had to travel every week so the best part of working from home, for me, has been spending more time together as a family with the children.
What makes a house a home?
Family and sharing memories. If a house makes you feel warm and inviting, then it becomes a home. I love hosting and sharing memories with friends and family, playing with my children and brunches or dinners sitting at the table for hours and enjoying being together. If I can do all of those things, that’s all I need to feel that a place is home.