Sometimes I get approached about subjects which, at first glance, look straight forward and should be relatively easy to write about. Then I start to think about it all in more detail and I begin to wonder what I actually know about it. You see, I have a tendency to overthink things and question whether my knowledge is actual knowledge or merely my own interpretation of things without any real facts. I often work 'from the gut' and very much trust my instincts, but how can I say to somebody 'I know what I'm talking about, my instincts are usually right'? After all, we live in a world were studied knowledge is generally assumed to be more reliable and of higher value than instinct and waving a piece of paper with a grade still trumps years of observing and soaking up influences to build a personal knowledge bank. In a way, this is one of those cases.
When fabulous design and interiors makeover site Decorist approached me about a collaboration I was immediately up for it and happy to share my take on 'adding boho touches to your home'. I knew instinctively that - as far as interiors are concerned - this would be right up my alley as they say. I mean, since all the images here are of my own home, it would be silly to suggest something on stark minimalism or midcentury modern, right? And then I started (over)thinking. What do I really know about the history of bohemian interiors and where they stem from? What is my authority on the subject apart from growing up in a household full of treasures and influences from travels and having a little background knowledge about the early Parisian Bohemians, the gypsies, the artists and permanently skint? I haven't studied the subject in depth and can't pretend to be an expert.
So I have to speak from my personal view point, from instinct and the experience of living the way I do. I can speak as somebody who always felt that the freedom to live a creative life is far more important than any money I could make in a corporate environment even if I had ever been bothered enough to pursue something resembling a desk bound career. I can speak as somebody who feels like their soul is slowly dying when faced with the daily routine of seemingly useless office work. I can speak as somebody who collects (under the guise of props for my job) flea market and travel finds not necessarily for practical reasons, but for the way they feel and their beauty. And I can speak as somebody whose home had - after years of toying with various looks and some misguided fashion buys - finally evolved into a sanctuary that feels exactly right and personal. Interiors, after all, are a very personal matter. That doesn't mean that we can't take inspiration from others, but it means finding your own formula on how to use and incorporate those snippets of inspiration.
And it's these snippets of inspiration that Decorist and I agreed to share through these images and a "get the look" board they have created to match my home. How cool is that? Along with the images, here are a few of my own pointers about how to add boho touches to your home. Just a few ideas for you to pick and choose from and to work out what suits you, your instinct and your home.
- Pattern and colour. You might have noticed the distinct lack of the latter, but that's simply down to personal preference. I'm not comfortable with too much colour (I've tried, it didn't work) and prefer to work with patterns and textures.
- Travel treasures. Whether it's pottery from Portugal, baskets from France, shells from the seaside, get collecting and displaying.
- Nature and plants. A home without plants is lacking in life. They don't have to be huge if you don't have the space (I don't), but even a collection of small ones will transform your home.
- Natural materials. Wood, pottery, glass, wicker, all these work way better than plastic and glossy surfaces. Use these to store and display items. That's probably stating the obvious though.
- Mix eras and styles. A 1950s mirror can work really well combined with timeless linen as well as tribal patterns and plants. Just experiment and find what works for you.
- Layer, layer, layer. Be it fabrics, accessories, plants, displays... Layering is key for a look that is attractive and doesn't look prescribed but naturally evolved.
- Sit down, relax and have a cup of tea. After all, this is all about a relaxed look and feel and that does start with yourself.
If this inspires you then check out how to get the look by Decorist here! And! There's a discount code just for you to get $20 off a makeover! Just enter 'carole' when asked for the code. Enjoy!