Practicing unconventional lifestyle with no strings attached derives its roots from Bohemianism. Always revolving around artistic influences, Bohemianism has had many impacts around the world, from the Romani people first termed bohémiens in French to the 40s and 60s hippies of the West. And this impact has left a sizeable imprint in artistic styles, music, literature and décor.
Heena Jain, WoodenStreet’s interior designer and consultant, shares vibrant ideas to help you adopt the expressive freedom and wild matching of Bohemian décor.
1. There are no rules
Chalking back to history, one can find that the Bohemians, the Gypsies and the Hippies never really followed the lifestyle of their contemporaries. That’s why the concept of Bohemiana is all about sticking not to what others say, but to what you love, and how it makes you different. So, when you begin a decorating spree, get what you love first.
However, just like any other art form, bohemian décor also has some rule of thumb so that you don’t stray far away and end up with something far more eccentric than what you planned.
2. Colours of comfort
This is a department where you can go loud, subtle or an interesting combination of both. Think of your primary and secondary colours, two favourites that not only look good together but describe the kind of person you are. And when it comes to accents, go wild. Layer pastel colours for depth, or keep separate saturated tones to create an eye-catching pop that anchors everyone’s attention. Mix in textures of various forms, both prints and plains, or go for that used feeling through slightly-fading-yet-lively pieces.
Patterns from around the world, such as mud-cloths from Africa, complex geometric prints from Morocco and Middle-East or tropical colours of various beach-paradises, are great for staging individually or layering with subtle palettes. The choice, of course, is yours.
3. Freedom with furniture
Perhaps the greatest strength of Bohemiana is selection of eclectic, often contrasting, pieces that usually don’t go together. Take an average sofa set in any living room: a three-seater paired with two- or one-seaters. Now throw this rule away for good.
Pair a three-seater with a wingback chair, bring in two pouffes for extra-versatile seating. Why not bring prints and colours on each and every one of them? Florals, bird prints or geometric patterns, you’re good to go! Neutral three-seater English sofas with a poppy lounge chair, why not? Introduce a metallic coffee table, or get some distressed or antique pieces that dramatically alter your home.
4. What matters is materials (and where they go)
With colours and furniture underway, it is high time to add a character. And that comes through decoration. Colour always plays an important role, of course, but so do materials. All you have to do is mix and match.
You’ve got walls, floors, windows and doors as your canvas. Express your love through rugs, doilies or mats made from natural fibres, bring out an artistic vibe with vintage items and moody oil-on-canvas paintings, or choose regional clay or ceramic handicrafts to saturate your home with happiness. And finally, bind it all with plants and unorthodox lighting solutions (rustic, industrial chandeliers or metallic light fixtures).
Come what may, Bohemiana is a wild spirit and it won’t fade away, especially when it allows freedom of expression. And if you want to express your interiors on your own terms, Bohemian décor is totally meant for you.