Flower Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

Issue link: http://digital.flowermag.com/i/1127116

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Page 58 of 91

Y YEARS AGO, IF YOU'D TOLD A YOUNG FIONA Tilley that in 2019 she would be a former Wall Street banker married to a Turkish jeweler and running the company that sells his designs, she might not have believed you. What she would have believed is that she would be the caretaker of a fabulous garden. For all her years as a world-traveling, hard- charging investment banker, gardening is a love that has never left her. "My mother is an avid gardener and my father studied horticulture," she says. In fact, her last name is derived from "tiller of the soil," the result of an ancestor who migrated from England to Australia and established one of the country's first public gardens there. "Although I'm Australian, I've lived in the States for 33 years, so this is definitely home for me," says Tilley, who moved to New York with J.P. Morgan after practicing law. Her husband, jewelry designer Gurhan, came to America 10 years later, and their courtship is as serendipitous as any romantic comedy. "I met Gurhan in 1995, when I was still a banker," says Tilley. "I was on vacation with a girlfriend in a small coastal town in Turkey. Truthfully, I fell in love with Turkey before I fell in love with the jewelry before I fell in love with the jeweler," she laughs. She spent the entire day in Gurhan's store. "Something about his pieces really spoke to me," she says. She asked the clerk if she could meet the designer. "Can I look him up?" she asked. No was the answer. " 'He's a cranky old man, and he doesn't speak English,' the clerk said to me," remembers Tilley. But the pleasantly persistent redhead didn't give up. "A couple of weeks later I was in Istanbul, and I called on this supposed cranky old Behind the beautiful table, a row of trees creates a screen and masks the wall. RIGHT: The view north looks toward midtown and the Empire State Building. PREVIOUS SPREAD: Tilley (right) makes the most of her space, separating areas into dining, lounging, and barstools with a view. Clustered containers envelop spaces and make the different areas feel distinct. J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 | 57

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