Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boho Bits & Pieces

So when someone says I'm decorating in Bohemian Style, what exactly are they using in their space? It's all well and good to throw that statement out there, but what kinds of items are they using? Here is a link to an excellent synopsis by Ryan Saghian of Bungalow 1a that says in part:
Boho Chic is 1 part natural, 1 part shiny metal, 1 part French/Ornate, 1 part Moroccan/Ethnic adding in 1 stand-out lighting fixture and a loose/casual layering of accessories. 

We've already looked at the sofa in a previous post (see my archives) but what else defines Bohemian/Boho Style? Well let's start by taking a look at the bottom layer of the room:

Oriental carpet dream

A shade of red is always right

Mix up the carpet patterns

Animal prints are chic
Boucherouites are all the rage

Start with a floral

All of these rugs have a Boho vibe in common. They have pattern and color to start the layering process. The point is not to be shy with the rug! The rug is were you determine the room colors to use too.Then add another layer in  throw/floor pillows:

Beautiful embroidered floor cushion

Knitted poufs are cutting edge

Knit a throw pillow, goes fast cuz the needles are super sized

Cut up some Pendleton blankets to stencil

Mix up some florals, add crochet and pom pom trim

Awesome Indian prints or crazy quilted pillows

Moroccan still works in pastels and neutrals

Mix and match patterns

The whole reason the movement was called Bohemian was the participants scrounged/re-purposed objects in their homes for a non-conventional look. It was the original recycling and hand-me-down style of home decorating. Now add a natural element to the mix:

Leather chairs and plants

Animal prints, grasscloth wallpaper and sisal carpet 

Real fur for pillows and throws with more plants

Animal prints again with some sea coral

Some branches for texture….

Books are a natural object to add in

The ubiquitous sheep skin 

Take a really close look at all the pictures of the rooms I've used as examples. They have neutral walls, wallpaper, bricks and trim work as their backgrounds. Loads of pictures and mirrors are used around the rooms as an additional layer. Remember shiny metal? All these rooms have wonderful uses of shiny and metal. How about that great lighting focal point? Check out these: 

A lamp nest is definitely Bohemian 

Add a floral shade to any style lamp, with fringe of course

Velvet shades on glass lamps are perfect

Quirky trims and flowers

Add chandelier in any Boho room

I always use vintage or vintage looking lamps in my clients homes. I add custom shades to what my husband refers to as butt-ugly lamps to make them beautiful again. Never underestimate the usefulness of a great lamp shade store or their employees!

Now for some ornate/formal details: 

Pottery, screens, draperies & chandelier

Lucite, artwork, velvet

Coffee table books & glassware

Topiaries, glassware, silver, porcelain and embroidery

To start, I would gather as many pictures of Bohemian styled rooms to get an idea of how I would like my room pulled together. I use a collage board to present to my client to give them the feel of the room and you can do the same. Don't forget there is no right or wrong way for the Boho/Bohemian style. Just do it!  

Post a comment and share some ideas with me of rooms you have pulled together or if you need help getting started.

All pictures used are via Pinterest 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Sweep

Well, it's here again, the wonderfully warm days followed by chilly nights. In a word…Fall...Autumn…or no more summer! (OK, that's 3 words, but you get the idea!) The garden is giving up it's last efforts and we're feeling as if we need to start nesting.

Airedale at Work

So what's this to do with the current post? Well, I was looking out the window the other day, trying to anyway, the windows were filthy! So, I thought it may be an opportune time to bring up window cleaning. Not just any window cleaning…..GREEN window cleaning with just water.

Several, oh all right, about 15 years ago, I received a catalog in the mail for those clever organizing and storage products one just can't live without. So I ordered one of them. The sales lady on the order line (I know, on the telephone, right?) asked if I knew about the new Miracle Cloths. Of course, knowing I was about to get pitched a product, I said no thank you. The lady stopped me to tell me about these little gems. I bought them and have been hooked since!

Miracle Cloths source 

So now mircofiber cloths are all the rage and all of them will do the job, but I still prefer my colorful Miracles (no paid endorsement either!) So how to use them effectively?

Confused lady via Google

This is the best part! I'm a cheapskate of the biggest type. I don't keep rags around the house and I hate using paper towels for cleaning. Newspaper never seemed clean enough. I mean, who uses paper with black printing that comes off when you hold it in your hand? I also can't stand using window cleaner that is so caustic it has a whole label of just warnings. 

The cloths just use water. Wait, I'll say it again, THE CLOTHS JUST USE WATER! I'll wet one, wring it out and use it to wash the window. I then use the dry one to polish it up, even in full sunlight! I use the wax on, wax off method from The Karate Kid movie. (In case you've never seen the movie, one hand has the damp one, the other hand has the dry one, polish back and forth like a windmill.) Voila! Sparkly windows inside & out! Works great on mirrors too with no cleaners.

Now that's just too much work!

I use them with the greener disinfectant cleaners in areas that need sanitizing, throw them in the wash and they're good to go again. Of note, the fibers that make up these cloths are teeny, tiny spun polyester fibers woven together into fabric. You know what happens when polyester comes into contact with heat. Fizzz! Instant plastic, so keep them out of the dryer and air dry them. To be completely honest, a few have made it into the dryer on occasion,they still work, but they are not as absorbent. I keep a couple in the car which BTW work beautifully to clean it as well!

So there you have it, my green window cleaning secret using just water. Good for the environment, good for time management, a win-win if there ever was one! 

Sounds like a plan!

Let me know your Fall cleaning tips and we'll compare notes!

(All photos via Pinterest)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sofa Bohemian Style

Quite a few of my clients don't realize their Boho proclivities until we are working together and the ideas start to click. When I'm working on a living room project, the first thing they rightly worry about is the sofa. 
Doesn't Bohemian mean vintage (used) furniture? Can I get  a comfortable new sofa with the same feel? Does it always have to be velvet (high maintenance?)

Trust your instincts

The answers are not always, yes and no. Your sofa is the 
largest upholstered piece in a room and is a good place to start when decorating in any style. Use it as the jumping off point for color selection, adding more pattern and choosing the rug and accessories. Let's look at some examples that you could use to give the Boho feel:

Fabulous contemporary use of steel and velvet

Traditional velvet

OMG linen draped sofa

OTT patent leather traditional

Nice fabric choices for a Bohemian sofa

Each of these awesome upholstered pieces give the basic feel we are looking for and give us a range of Bohemian directions to pursue. Now don't get the panicked notion you have to chuck your existing serviceable piece, remember Boho style started with use-what-you-have or hand-me-downs. I love to reupholster or slipcover seat and back cushions with Bohemian feeling fabrics or just use throw pillows. Here is my own leather sofa last year:

Photo via author

My husband complained of a cold bum in the winter, so this was the solution! Love the look and when I'm tired of it, I'll just change the fabric to suit my mood. Here's another fab idea:

Jewel-toned Boho design

Simple denim sofa (maybe a bit worn) covered with cozy, fuzzy throws. Mis-matched throw pillows complete the casual well loved feeling of this informal Bohemian design. 

The point is that starting with the sofa either as a new purchase or re-purposing your existing piece is sometimes a good starting point for your Bohemian inspired living room. From there choosing paint colors, adding side chairs, tables, rugs and lighting should be a little easier to deal with.

Have any design questions regarding adding Boho design to your space? Make a comment and we'll get you started!

(Pix via Pinterest)