Ionia Guest House

Luxury accommodation in the Aegean countryside

A sofa at last

The courtyard here is our living room: we have three rooms and a kitchen, but the place to sit, relax, and eat is usually outside. (At least while the good weather lasts!) We got a lot of use out of our plastic camping chairs, but eventually we wanted something more comfortable. So we decided to build a sedir: a kind of low, long, wooden Turkish sofa.  We put our ideas into Sketchup and then bought some wood.


The original plan in Sketchup.

Construction took a few days and lots of cups of tea. Jason worked very hard and luckily my mum was around to help. I was responsible for photography but that means you can’t see how much I was helping too.  🙂


Jason testing the strength of the wooden beams. No middle support yet.


The second part of the “L” taking shape.


Working into the night: Jason was determined to finish it before dawn. Luckily we have tolerant neighbours.


That is me with the important job of putting some weight on the corner.


Woodwork finished at last.

After a late night finishing the construction, we sanded everything down and used our new compressed-air spray gun to stain the sofa. I bought some blue and white fabric, and found a local tailor who specializes in cotton-filled cushions and duvets. He put together some very nice fat stuffed cushions within a few days.


Spray gun time. Jason says everyone should own an air compressor. I am not sure whether I agree with him.




Cushions arrived. It is as comfy as it looks.

The whole thing cost us 200 lira for timber and screws, 30 lira for a tin of wood stain, 75 lira for fabric, and 500 lira for the tailor to make the cushions. That’s a total of 805 lira or £226. Not bad! (Jason wants me to add that these calculations assume he works for free.)

We also felt bad that our dog Zeytin was still living in a cardboard box as winter approaches. So we knocked together a little dog house for her. She is again pleased with her new accommodation.


Another house! For me?!

Finally, you are never very far from animal-related drama in a small village in Turkey. The other day we came home to find four beautiful puppies had been abandoned on the road near our house. We had to do something for them: I think the pictures show how impossible it would have been to leave them out in the street. It was a long night of feeding them milk and cleaning up their pee and cuddling them.


So much cuteness in one box.

Unfortunately we just couldn’t keep them because we already have five cats and a dog. So we made some phone calls to animal charities in the area, and luckily we found there’s an excellent dog shelter in Aydın run by the local council. They assured us that all four puppies would have no problem finding a new  home, so that made us feel a bit better about the sad moment of having to part with them.


OK, where are we going? Is there food there?



  1. All starting to look very comfortable. They have similar low outdoor settees in Pakistan – they are lovely to look at and so comfortable 🙂

    • Cheers, Lorraine. I think there is something great about the design. If it was good enough for the Ottoman sultans, it’s good enough for us. 😉

  2. We think that the two of you should be considered for the equivalent of a great Gold medal from the Turkish equivalent of the RSPCA,
    Keep up the good work.
    Don’t get too complacent though, because time is romping along and we’ll be invading you!!!

    • Thanks, both of you. You are too kind. We just did what anyone would have done.

      And invade away! We are ready. 🙂

  3. Awesome work. I wish I had an air compressor. I would compress air with abandon.

    This morning it was 3 degrees when we left the house. Very jealous you guys are still able to sit comfortably outside. It does get cold there at some point, doesn’t it?

    • Thanks, Sean.

      I will try to sell people on the virtues of air compressors in a future post. 🙂 But the basic idea is you buy one big electric (or petrol) motor attached to a tank, and it compresses air for you, and all of your actual tools can be smaller and lighter and cheaper because they don’t need electric motors in them; they run off the air hose. My favourite tool is, of course, the nail gun, but the spray paint gun is cool, and we need to test out our new mortar spray gun to plaster/render walls.

      I wanted to get one of those F1 torque wrenches so I can change the car tyres incredibly quickly, but it’s hard to see a compelling case for that. Did get a pressure gauge / tyre inflation thing though.

      I don’t mean to imply we’re sitting around outside 24 hours a day, this late in October. Right now (11:30pm) it is only 14 degrees outside, for example. But it was nice out there during the day. I think we’re going to get some properly cold days in December and January — will keep you posted.

  4. Not everyone should have an air compressor. Haven’t you seen No Country For Old Men?

    • A very good point.

      By the way: what’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss, friendo?

    • Stuart 'Captive Bolt Pistol' Rossiter

      29 October, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Good call sir. +1 internet points (though, technically, I’d suggest that it was the thing on the end of the compressor that was cranially problematic).

      P.S. Sofa is OK I suppose if that’s what you want to waste your air compressor on… (OBLIGATORY JOKE CONFIRMATION CAPS-ON PARENTHETICAL NOTE.) For next time, remember to make it flat-pack and only assembleable with a painfully small allen key.

  5. I love the dog house with geraniums (pelargoniums when I’m feeling pedantic)!

    I find it difficult working out how to account for my time when making something for me/Nic/a gift etc. Because, yes, it takes time and I could work it out based on a putative charge out rate if I was still in private practice but also, it’s what I have chosen to do for my leisure time, it’s fun and what else would I have been doing with that time, so how do I account for that aspect of it? And also, the smugness for knowing I made this/. Smugness has high value.

    You know what you need now? A large low table.

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