In my teens I desperately wanted to be Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. I wanted to wear leather with lace and shawls with long fringes and have mad hair. I also coveted the free-as-a-bird gypsy attitude she embodied — she was my bohemian dream.
Defining “bohemian” (boho) as an interior style is really attempting to label something that can’t be labeled, so dependent is it on the individual. It has elements of Shabby Chic and eclecticism, mixed with an artistic and theatrical flamboyance that has nothing to do with trends. Boho is witty, whimsical and highly reflective of the mind and lifestyle of the person who embraces it. In its way it is an antistyle, but at its heart is a love of art, color, contrasts, creativity, travel, adventure, the past and, above all, freedom from convention.
The bedroom is our most personal space — it’s where we let our hair down and our imagination loose. So if the real bohemian you is just dying to flaunt itself, the bedroom is a great place to start.
Before you start, clear your mind of what’s in vogue. Bohos are not restricted by other people’s opinions. There are no trends in boho decor — forget midcentury modern, French provincial and all the design labels. Bohos are pickers and choosers who follow their own tastes. Boho is a state of mind rather than a look — have you got the boho in you? If so, here are 10 steps to bring it out in your bedroom.
1. Learn about the lifestyles of famous bohemians. Immerse yourself in the bohemian mind-set by reading about the history of bohemianism and the creative people who have lived a bohemian life. Decide if you have their sense of adventure. Hang portraits of your most admired and inspiring bohemians in your bedroom.
5 famous bohemians I admire:
- Artist Frida Kahlo
- Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood
- Poet Leonard Cohen
- Dancer Isadora Duncan
- Artist Margaret Olley
2. Enrich your bedroom with art. A blank wall is anathema to a boho — walls are simply there to hold art. Many of us tend to put our best artworks in the public parts of our homes. Also give them a spot in your bedroom, where you can appreciate them in a personal and reflective space.
Bohemianism has always been associated with artists, musicians, writers and designers, and if you are reading this ideabook, you probably have artistic leanings. Why not start work on a bedroom mural or collage that tells the story of your life as it unfolds? This fabulous mural was created by Montreal artist Carlito Dalceggio.
Gypsy in Your Soul: 10 Steps to a Bohemian Bedroom