Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Furnish Me Bohemian

Well, it's been a while! The contractors working on the shop are about 3 weeks behind, but still are loads of details that need addressing. Into a normal pattern soon, I hope. 
In the meanwhile, let's look at furniture styles for that Bohemian vibe.

Great mix of decades

When we are looking to furnish a room for a particular feel, it's best to understand the era or decade that you want to emulate. In the case of Bohemian, the era started in the late 1840's with the Pre-Raphaelite painters who were influenced by romanticism, medieval culture and the natural world. They used bright color and sharp focus techniques to counteract muddy darkness, which they despised. This era ran right into the Art Nouveau movement starting in the 1890's in which inspiration was gathered from natural forms, structures, flowers, plants and curved lines. You can easily see that in the examples below:

Curvy lines of Art Nouveau

Sexy brass ware on the doors

Lovely color and swags under the apron

Flowers and curvy lines

The ultimate in Art Nouveau design

Loads of reproductions were manufactured over the years, look in thrift and consignment stores for pieces that mimic the design. 
Just to add confusion to the mix, the Arts and Craft movement was spreading across England at the same time, you know, William Morris and his contemporaries. Even though it's a more severe look, it still has a place in a Bohemian inspired room. 

Arts and Craft inspired room

Are you getting the point that you could use just about any vintage or older style furnishings in Boho/Bohemian decorating? You're catching on......

The Art Nouveau and Arts and Craft movements roughly left at the same time Art Deco was ushered in after WWI and into the 1930's, think Chrysler and Empire State Buildings and industrial manufacturing: 

My own French Deco china hutch

Skyscraper inspired chair

Hercule Poirot would be comfy here

Gorgeous color, almost SW in design

Clean lines in this tall foyer piece

Stacked building inspired desk or dressing table

See the difference? Clean lines, industrial feeling, think Nora and Nick Charles of the Thin Man series. Martinis and chi-chi parties, socialites, movie stars and a new monied era, until it came crashing down in the 20's! Again, loads of reproductions if not under-valued pieces out there, keep your eyes open. Any of these pieces would be a wonderful focal point to a Boho inspired decor.

Well, that's just a quick overview of styles from the Bohemian decades and we're not even addressing Middle Eastern influences, Scandinavian pieces, Latin American possibilities and the thrift movement of the 1960's hippie culture, that's another article!

As always, any picture not attributed is from the beloved Pinterest. Drop me a note and let me know what furniture you have in your Boho inspired room, I'd love to hear from you.