Around Central Asia in 80 patterns

If you’re anything like me, this horrid weather and the endless accompanying snow chat is making you long for a bit of sun, so I thought I’d do a throwback travel post and daydream about sunnier times!

For our honeymoon, the Goblin and I went on a Silk Road-inspired tour of Central Asia, and let me tell you, that place is design inspiration from morning till night. Every surface seems to be coated in vibrant blue and turquoise tiles, which contrast beautifully against the sandy brown of buildings and landscapes alike.


It’s no wonder the colours and shapes on the Silk Road inspired some of my latest collection…

Reasons suggested for the proliferation of blue in Central Asian architecture vary, but one I like is that it’s a cultural memory from pre-Islamic Central Asia, where Tengrism was the predominant religion. In Tengrism, the sky is worshipped as a god, so the colour blue is the most holy. This would explain why so many mosques and madrassahs in the region use blue rather than green, which is a more significant colour in Islam. Of course, the popularity of bright blue probably also has something to do with the regional proliferation of the ishkor plant which can be turned into a vibrant blue glaze of the same name…

As well as the gorgeous, historic blue tiling, more modern cities such as Ashgabat and Almaty also provided some inspiration. From Ashgabat’s gold and marble to Almaty’s Soviet gems, there was something for everyone (ok, mostly for me!).

So without further ado, let’s go around Central Asia in 80 patterns…

Khiva, Uzbekistan


Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Bukhara, Uzbekistan


Shakrisabz, Uzbekistan


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan


Almaty, Kazakhstan


-sigh- Until next time, Central Asia! I quite fancy the World Nomad Games in 2020…