August 25, 2014



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Bohemian Chic is a non-conformist, free-spirited expression of an individuals personal style. It loathes 'obvious consumption' and interiors created to impress.

  Bohemian Chic interiors were epitomized in the art-filled Parisian home of Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas
The uber-wealthy lezzie duo hosted renegade artists and writers at their salons, all of whom shared a passion for intellect, creativity and Alice's weed brownies. Meanwhile, Paris' nouveau riche flashed about town dining on caviar and champagne - ad nauseam....

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Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein in their drawing room surrounded by cubist, fauvist and expressionist artworks. 

Sixty years later, the rebelious daughter of French Count, Alain de la Falais, and 'muse' of Yves Saint Laurent, Loulou de la Falaise, hosted the  jet-set  in her cluttered, un-decorated Paris apartment - which was more focused on great conversations and comfort than pretense.
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Loulou Falaise mix-matched apartment in Paris

Fast forward forty-five years to Iris Apfel snatching the front pages from formulaic designers with her bohemian non-conformist style, expressing blatant disregard for 'blending in.'  
Instead, choosing to surround herself with eccentric pieces she's collected - not ones to impress the arrivistes. 
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Apfel's eclectic hodgepodge apartment in NYC

This aesthetic has always been considered 'eccentric,' and still is to the bourgeois, but the jokes on the detractor, not the occupant...

2 1 st.   C E N T U R Y   B O H E M I A N

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(Source: Isabella de Borchgrave)
In this multi-colored, mis-matched space, there's no over-tweaked 'scheme' only ethnic textiles and bright accents which make this room feel alive. The plain white walls allow the color more freedom.

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(Source: Valhalla Blog)
A few hours at the Flea Market and Boom!
This place is crazy good, it feels clean and soft, like you wanna just fall into bed or curl up with a book.

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(Source: Homeadore)
This persons art and books bring them comfort.
All of their treasures obfuscate the fact that the room in a dump, but the fun colors and eclectic art pieces make it feel rich.

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(Source: Belgian designer, Lionel Jadot)
Instead of the pretentious "Alpine ski-lodge schtick" these guys decided to make the place cozy and user-friendly. The clever mish-mosh of furniture and accessories creates a welcoming look without usurping the view.

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(Source: Lagattasultetto)
Got an old bathroom and no money? No worries mate!
Slap a bold color up, arrange all your granny's old pictures on the walls and you'll knock it out of the park. 
Lesson: Don't spend money on something that's not worth it!

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(Source: John Robshaw)
Mr. Boheme himself, Robshaw surrounds himself with art and textiles from his global travels creating the look of a well-lived life, not a schmancy-pants decorated look.

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(Source: Designrulz)
This suburban kitchen expresses the occupants tastes with a myriad of baubles and mid-century modern - all displayed with restraint.
A little more stuff and it'll be filed under clutter.

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(Source: Pinterest)
Get some colorful pillows, coupla funky old rugs and colorful lanterns and soon you'll be actin' a foo, smokin' some killa, drinkin' some milla...

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(Source: Marjorie Kouras)
The cozy feeling is from the 'collected' pieces - all of which create a personalized feeling.

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(Source: Muriel Brandolini)
'Asymmetrical' and 'catty-corner' are all bad words within the interior designers vernacular - but not in the Bohemian one. 
I love the lighter feel, using articulated upholstery with luxurious fabrics is old-fashioned, but elegant.

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(Source: William Frawley)
A beautiful example of "self-expression." 
The warm, masculine feeling of time-worn furniture used with collections of art and accessories feels orderly because it's carefully placed, creating calm - not chaos.

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(Source: Adelene Keeler Smith)
A free spirit pervades this room; the goofy, out-of-place elegance of the chandelier and upholstered bed juxtaposed with the milk-crate tables and vintage dresses hanging on the walls. 
This screams "it's the stuff I like, so fuck off!"

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(Source: Brazilian designer, Fabrizio Rollo)
Some people are pack-rats and others are incurable collectors; try being the latter, not the former. 
Although this room has a touch of 'Sanford & Sons' it's very much an expression of the designer/occupants love of furniture and decorations. 

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(Source: Brazilian designer, Fabrizio Rollo)
By culling through his possessions and using all blue items in one room it creates a less random feel, and still an un-decorated look. 

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(Source: Marie Claire Maison)
Funky wall painting and kooky yard-sale-finds are all coordinated with one happy palette in this fun retro-mix. 

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(Source: Fabienne Collombel)
What if you're renting a house for the season somewhere and the patio is hideous?
Haul your ass to the local Pier-1 and spend a few hundred dollars and you'll love using your zhuzhed up patio.
Lesson: Stay away from 'themes' and 'cutesy' (e.g.: all items with matching fish designs, or pastels - which looks feminine)  

L E A N E R   C L E A N E R   B O H E M I A N

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(Source: Marie Claire Maison)
Bohemian chic doesn't need to be cluttered with mementos, it's just not about adhering to the taste for ostentation. 
This insane porch has the view-of-all-views and yet they have chosen a few comfy things instead of Ralph Lauren'ing it to death. 

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(Source: Marie Claire Maison)
Table for five, no chairs matching please.
A small European cottage with no budget knocks it out of the park with color, courage and self-esteem! 

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(Source: The Stock Blog)
I'm loving this quasi-edited urban space with art and books's so personal, you 'get' who lives here, not who their decorator is...

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(Source: Hill)
Bohemian isn't a 'period' or a specific aesthetic...
Here, Swedish chairs, an Irish console, an Arts and Crafts table and a bunch of other items from many periods are mixed into a stylish ensemble. Nothing over-coordinated or twee.   

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(Source: Tony Espuch)
Cement floors are totally reactionary to all the schmaltzy tiles and marbles being used these days. Throw in an unfinished tub and some great sculpture, and whaddya have? Bo-chic!

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(Source: Elle Decor)
A personal collection of furniture and accessories is brought together in this casually edited room. Nothing is precious, just cool.

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(Source: Federicode Vera)
How can $3,000 worth of stuff look so amazing?

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(Source: Maryra)
Kick around the flea markets in your area (links at bottom of page), find some fab-funky-finds and bring them home and use them sparingly! 

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(Source: Martyn Lawrence-Bullard)
The home of one of Americas hottest interior designers. 
His own home reflects his desire to live with an eclectic mish-mosh of things that he's found on his junkets, cozy and inviting.

F A U X - H E M I A N   R O O M S

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This, believe it or not, is a contemporary space... 
It looks like Whistlers Mother should be sitting in there...
Wayyy too pretentious in its desire to look Bohemian. 

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Cute is never a good look, unless of course, your doing a nursery.
This just looks dumb, a small corner of an all-American porch with everything faux-Morrocan... feh!

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I've never thought about something looking pretentious and  spooky, but this looks like a setting for an Anne Rice novel. 

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Poor thing, was aiming for "The Sheik of Araby" and ended up with Disney's Aladdin...

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I got a migraine just trying to figure out how to make fun of this hot mess...

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A perfect example of Faux-hemian
The art, vintage furniture and accessories are all expensive collectors pieces. Therefore, their attempt to look 'bohemian' is a bust as you just can't pull that off when everything's expensive; some things needs to be humble to lower the tone and create atmosphere, they've created 'art-mosphere.'   

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Who thought this was a good idea??
It's just wayyy too cute; hopefully no straight dude lives here....

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Clearly, the drug problems aren't over in Mexico...
Eso es un lio caliente loco!

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Is this a ho-house in Lima Peru?
Everything's too color coordinated, too new and too store-bought looking... 

Click on these pink links to flea-markets in the USA, France and England














This blog-post is about the Bohemian aesthetic, and my next blog-post will be about the Minimalist aesthetic. 
Both are revolts against ostentation.

You Can Do It, I'm Here to Help!

August 5, 2014


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(Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi)
Having just returned from Umbria with friends, I noticed so many patterns I love, especially stripes! The Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi is the oldest Gothic church in all of Italy, with its cornerstone laid in 1228. The courtyard of the basilica has random-width paver stones laid in alternating colors - which looks quite modern - even if it is over 800 years old.... 

Personally, I'm inclined to choose geometric and lineal patterns over organic ones. I've always loved stripes, concentric squares and windowpane plaids, there's a 'clean' crispness about stripes.

T R A N S I T I O N A L  S P A C E S

(Source: Kathryn Ireland)
This brightly colored Moroccan carpet makes this space feel earthy and cozy as the colors are bold and warm. The other textiles are tribal as well, and it all works so well within a bright white envelope...perfection!

(Source: Schuppacher-White)
A bold black-and-white carpet makes this boring room feel modern and fresh. The striped pillows are the perfect accent to the carpet.

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(Source: English Country Living)
Have an old wreck of a house and want to make it snappy and happy?  Try a runner up the stairs like this, and finito, you got happy and snappy, baby!
(Do not run the stripes side-ways across the steps, it's confusing when descending the stairs and will cause people to fall)

(Source: Nicky Haslam, London)
This bold juxtaposition of black and white is inspired by the work of groundbreaking American designer,Dorothy Draper in the 1930's

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(Source: Vastu, DC)
Look what a new carpet can do for your snorrrring house!
Don't worry about refinishing the floors, carpet them with some crazy-ass stripes and you are rockin' it!

(Source: Elle Decor)
Traditional and contemporary furnishings are made successful by using a striped rug as a segway between the two styles.

C O N T E M P O R A R Y  S P A C E S

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(Source: Stockholm Design)
The striped carpet under the table and chairs makes this room feel less cavernous whilst adding softness and interest to the hard-looking architecture. 

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(Source: Photobucket)
In cold climates wall-to-wall is always a great option. 
This  ah-mah-fackin-gawd  pink carpet softens the rooms hard edges and makes it feel larger. Running the stripes the length of the room draws your eye outward.

(Source: Unknown)
This bitchen kitchen uses a striped runner for practical reasons as well as a design element! The runner catches the spills and bits and doesn't create visual clutter. It's also soft underfoot which is good for the back and legs! 

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(Source: Elle Decor)
Because all of the upholstery is covered in solid fabrics, that fantabulous carpet brings the pattern - which serves as an art-piece in this space. Be careful however as too much pattern on a floor makes a room shrink.

(Source: Misczynski Design)
This sophisticated room used rustic and natural elements in conjunction with the clean-lined Jean-Michael Frank upholstery. The hand-made carpet is the perfect, barely patterned component for this space. 
I LOVE this room!

(Source: Jacques Grange)
The white slab-marble wainscoting with striped tile floors = BOOM-drop-the-microphone!

(Source: Jacques Grange)
Concentric squares in black and white marble...Magnifique!

T R A D I T I O N A L  S P A C E S

(Source: Keller Donovan)
Stripes sometimes imply a nautical feeling depending on the color scheme. Here, a crisp blue and bright white rug feels very Nantucket'y.

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(Source: Unknown)
Stripes can hide the wear-and-tear kids subject carpets to.
Also, stripes aren't a juvenile pattern - so, as the kid grows up, the carpet won't look like it's leftover from his nursery.


(Source: Unknown)
This casual weekend home created stripes with the floorboards stained intermittently using walnut and whitewashed stain. 
Cheap and chic, gotta love that!

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(Source: Coastal Living)
This woven cotton rug implies casualness with the simple pattern - a floral or bold-patterned rug would change the feeling entirely, creating some nasty visual clutter. 

(Source: Elle Decor)
This modern mash-up shows that someone with true style lives there! The juxtaposition of the furniture and paintings with the casual 'found objects' are complimented by the surprise use of a casual cotton striped rug

(Source: Country Living)
This cheerful, breakfast room has vinyl-woven cafe chairs and a galvanized-top table resting on a polypropylene woven outdoor carpet - Yup, 100% kidproof!


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(Source: Elle Decor)
How cheery without being cute-sy!
They've let the carpet do the heavy lifting, design-wise. It's inexpensively done with furnishings from affordable retail stores.

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(Source: Citadine's London)
This sexy loft bedroom is tight on space and needs the wall-to-wall for acoustic purposes. The stripes elongate the room and add pattern to a room that can't afford too much visual clutter.

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(Source: Traditional Home)
Tired of the old Stark Carpet look (twee garlands and floral's) in bedrooms? Use a simple striped carpet, dial back the patterns and don't use too many accessories and you'll have an updated traditional bedroom!

(Source: Domino)
I love this bedroom for one reason...
it looks so un-decorated!  Call me crazy, but I love rooms that are not over tweaked or too matchy-poo.

(Source: Coastal Living)
LOVE this bunk-room!
Think of a weekend house with all the cousins piled in there together laughing themselves to sleep. 
The simple striped cotton runner can be washed at home when the cotton candy and caramel corn gets puked-up on it!

(Source: Unknown)
The bedroom has very basic furnishings and simple textiles. The wool rug adds some snap, referring to an awning stripe in Nice or Capri.

O U T D O O R  S P A C E S

(Designer: Carlos Miele)
This groovy loggia defines eclectic!
The rug is perfect for adding color and tying everything together!

(Source: AD)
This rock-a-billy Appalachian-style porch is totally serene with no pretense. The striped polypropylene rug gives the space a cool feeling while not being a "decorative" textile.
Doesn't everyone want this porch??

My own pool deck in Florida.
I couldn't decide what surface to install over the tacky concrete patio around my pool...stone, brick, tile, etc.. So, I decided that I wanted something more contemporary (and inexpensive!). 
The espresso and white stripes are painted right over the cement, so forget the $25K coral stone job...

You can do it, I'm here to help!


THE DECORATING STAPLE THAT'S ALWAYS IN STYLE SISAL!! (Source: Phoebe Howard)    Since sisal's introduction to the interi...