Cover A rug and macrame mirror designed by Beril Khalaf, and vases from Room Diaries and Wohha complement the living room’s neutral palette perfectly

Designed by Istanbul-based architect Beril Khalaf, this cosy Turkish villa in Bodrum offers its owners total privacy on one of the most beautiful coastlines, with interiors as elegant as those of a luxury resort

Although the beach is a short drive from the front door, the temptation would be to just stay at home in this stunning abode. This 5,059 sq ft house in Bodrum, Turkey, was designed by Istanbul-based architect Beril Khalaf, and comes with a lawn and swimming pool, a deck for drinks, and views across the bay to the Aegean Sea beyond.

The house is located in the Yalikavak neighbourhood, which is on the tip of the Bodrum peninsula, in one of the more exclusive parts of the coastline. It initially featured four small bedrooms, but the team expanded the size of the property with a few different extensions to create six large suites.

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“Our plan was to restructure the interior of the house in terms of floor plans through the main extension,” says Khalaf, the namesake founder of Beril Khalaf Interiors. “There was also the original staff building, which is close to the property’s entrance, and which was extended to add more amenities and rooms.”

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As well as architecturally transforming the property, Khalaf also gave it an aesthetic overhaul. She opted for a simple style that would work in winter and summer as the owners, a family of four, wanted to visit the property throughout the year.

“The idea was to combine Scandinavian style with bohemian elements as well as make the house run completely on green energy, from solar panels to rainwater filtering systems independent of the traditional utility needs,” she says.

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Inside, the home is as stunning as you would expect. The lovely bedrooms feature full-length windows looking across the sea, while the tranquil bathrooms are cavernous. Downstairs is a light-filled kitchen and a spacious sitting and dining area. With the home’s enviable ocean views, the family will likely spend most of their time outside by the pool, watching the waves and the boats dotting the horizon.

The living room was a space that would be used constantly in the cooler months, but Khalaf wanted to ensure it was equally cosy during long and hot summers. “The living room was dark and had small windows that obscured the beauty of the location of the house,” says Khalaf. “One of the first things we did was make the windows bigger and open the ceiling to allow more sunlight in and make it a brighter room filled with natural light.”

The architect wanted to ensure that even on hot days, the sitting area reflected the beauty of nature, while keeping guests warm in winter. “A hidden fireplace keeps the living room entirely warm during the winter, and beside it is an abstract neon light I designed especially for this house to provide a warm ambience to the room. On the other side of the living room, a reading area was designed on a large terrazzo plate to face the sea. It’s very tranquil.”

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The kitchen was another vital space as the family would be spending long holidays in the house. Khalaf created two dining areas for this reason: an al fresco zone by the swimming pool for summer meals, and a snug dining area by the kitchen for cooler autumn and winter gatherings. 

“My approach to the kitchen was based on the clients’ needs as well as my vision for a very long-lasting design,” says Khalaf. “We focused on having the best tools we could find in a kitchen with brands that are top of the line, as well as enough cabinetry to meet and exceed storage needs. We made the kitchen open to the living room with a big bar area where the owners could have a quick bite and perhaps chat while someone is cooking in the kitchen. Also, from the kitchen you can see the sea, and a nice view of the nature surrounding the house and the pool.”

Meanwhile, the bedrooms reflect the needs of a young family with plenty of friends. The master bedroom boasts sweeping views across the bay, the children’s rooms feature playful wallpaper, and the three guest bedrooms each have a small minibar in their suites. All the rooms come with fitted closets, while the toddler’s room has the built-in amenities necessary for a child that age.

The grounds were also given due attention. “The property is located on a hill, so we designed the garden in layers, with each layer having a different purpose,” says Khalaf. “The top part has an outdoor gym, the level below it has a sand pool for the kids, and the lowest level has olive trees, fruit trees such as apple, pear and banana trees, and some vegetables planted too. In the middle of the garden is an infinity pool that is constructed with local marble varieties, and furnished with sunbeds. It connects to a terrace linked to the living room. There’s also a firepit for cold nights or toasting marshmallows.” 

Altogether, this stylish and comforting holiday home is indeed a place where many cherished memories will be made in the years to come.

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