The word “Bohemian” originally comes from a French word that was used to describe a nomadic people traveling from Romania. These people were characteristically laid back, unconventional and very artistic, as evidenced in their clothing, lifestyle and disregard for societal approval. They were writers, artists, musicians and actors.
The term evolved to become a generalized adjective to describe “a person with artistic or intellectual tendencies, who lives and acts with no regard for conventional rules of behavior” (as defined in The American College Dictionary).
The funky and beautiful Bohemian style cycles in and out of vogue. You can see it in the 1940s hipsters, the 1950s Beat generation, the 1960s counterculture, and 1960s and 1970s hippies. These days you find expression of it in the annual Burning Man arts festival.
A Bohemian style home embodies the same characteristics of the original Bohemian gypsies. You’ll see very casual, laid back style with layers and layers of mixed patterns, artistically and beautifully displayed throughout a home in rugs, pillows, fabrics and art. The original Bohemians did not have much money, so they made due with what they had. Because they were creative and artistic, they were able to create funky, cohesive looks by repurposing items they could get easily and inexpensively.
A Bohemian home showcases a love of art, pattern, color, ease and beautiful aesthetics. Bohemian is about mixing styles and creating unexpected juxtapositions. Many items in the house are repurposed from garage and estate sales or flea markets and junk yards.
One example of Bohemian style is a living space that, in addition to a casual sofa, includes large throw pillows or beanbag chairs for floor seating. Beads or a loose piece of patterned fabric pinned to the ceiling divide the room.
In the bedroom, you might find mattresses placed directly on the floor. And the flea-market, shabby-chic style beds are layered in vibrantly colored bedding and pillows in several patterns. Often the room includes a headboard made from a tapestry or a flowing canopy. Window treatments are similarly multi-colored fabrics draped over curtain rods, often in layers of patterns. That combination tends to be the essence of the Bohemian style today.
Eclectic, bold rugs overlap on wood floors. Mismatched vintage furnishings are sprinkled throughout the entire home, yet balance, beauty and harmony still seem to prevail. The Bohemian way of grouping items together and creating a room looks effortless and artistic. But this is not a style that is easy to emulate. It’s easy to end up with a look that’s more sloppy, careless and junky.
Many people argue that you either have naturally flowing Bohemian blood or you don’t and you can’t force it. If you’re someone who likes to explore, experiment and reinvent things, this is certainly a fun style to play with for your interior design.
Tracy Kay Griffin is a member of Express Homebuyers Design Team. She was the Series Designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold,” a Guest Designer for HGTV’s ” My First Place” and the Lead Stager for Washington DC’s premier staging company, Red House Staging & Interiors.
If you want to sell your house, but your interior design style is more “house full of junk” than Boho-chic, Express Homebuyers can help. We buy houses in as-is condition, so you won’t need to clean up or redesign. Call us today at (877) 804-5252 for a no-obligation offer.