The word ‘bohemian’ dates back to the 1800s when it was used to describe vagabonds or wanderers who lived an unconventional, usually artistic lifestyle and who didn’t agree with the social or political views of the time. Nowadays its meaning has changed significantly and opting for a bohemian home décor doesn’t mean you are a vagabond; on the contrary, it might show that you prefer a more colourful and relaxed home atmosphere. Which is great.
This style is inspired by the rich colours and textures seen in Indian, Moroccan, South African and South American homes and is the complete opposite of minimalism. It’s random, colourful and busy with crazy patterns and mismatched furniture. There’s not a bare spot in a bohemian room with spaces filled with ethnic paintings, pillows, futons, figurines and decorative keepsakes.
It’s a romantic way of living rather than ordered and controlled and, although the style can often be criticised for being chaotic and disorganised, it’s a great way to add a creative, artistic flair to your home. It’s easy to replicate and simply involves layering colours, fabrics and adding some funky art and lighting. Your furniture can be anything from exquisite glass to rough wooden furniture.
Here are a few ideas for revamping your own home and turning it into a bohemian paradise!
Broken mugs, chipped plates, spare bathroom tiles and cracked mirrors need not be relegated to the dustbin as with a bit of imagination and creativity you can easily turn the bits and pieces into something more artistic such as a mosaic table top, picture or mirror frame.
The most difficult part of this project is getting your hands dirty, but it’s also a lot of fun! Before you start smashing plates and gluing everything down it’s helpful to make a plan. For example, if you want to create a table top design which follows a certain colour scheme or shape it can be useful to sketch out the size and shape first on a piece of paper so you can plan where your china or mirror fragments will piece together like a puzzle.
The main thing to remember with this particular project is to prepare well and make sure you have all the safety equipment you need. You will require grout, tile adhesive, sandpaper, gloves, safety goggles, a sponge or an old rag and tile clippers. If you are planning a large scale project, you can also hire a bench tile saw and cut tiles in bulk!
Once you have broken up your china and mirror fragments with the tile clippers and a small hammer (don’t forget to wear your gloves and goggles) stick it onto the surface you want to customise. Then you need to clean the area of any dust and excess glue before mixing the grout and carefully applying it between the tiles. Once it’s dry you can clean the surface again and show off your handy masterpiece!
Fun fabrics and quirky accessories, such as home-made lanterns, can easily add personality to your home and are perfect for your hallway, living room or garden patio. With their sparkly lights they would be a great, festive addition to any party.
To make one you will need a circular wooden frame, which you can buy form any DIY or hardware store, a hot glue gun, a length of colourful material and either tea lights or a simple electric light bulb connected to a plug socket.
Then you need to cut eight holes into the circular frame and feed lengths of strong yarn or string through each hole. Gather the lengths of string together and knot tightly and hang from a ceiling fitting, shelf or your patio. Measure your material and check it’s long enough to reach around the circumference of the base. To add to the bohemian feel, make sure your material is colourful and add some glittering gems, beads or mirror fragments to reflect the light. Cut a few holes into the material to allow some of the light to shine through and cascade onto your walls or garden. Now you can begin to glue the material in place along the outer rim of the base and allow it to dry. If you want to use your lanterns indoors, feed through the light bulb, securing the wires to the threads of knotted yarn at the top. Alternatively, you can create a simple wire tea light holder form an old coat hanger, ensuring it is straight and safe to use.
An eclectic mixture of boho bunting is the perfect way to accessorize any space in your home in a personal way. All you need to create your funky flags are some ribbon or decorative trim to create the base plus trinkets, such as buttons, feathers, beads and sequins to add to each segment.
The shapes don’t necessarily need to be the typical triangular style and could be mixed sizes and shapes to emphasise the eclectic feel. You simply need to cut out each section, customise it to your taste and sew them onto the ribbon to create a banner. Your bunting is the perfect way to reinvigorate old keepsakes such as a favourite old shirt, rug, cushion cover or blanket. Bright fabrics with ethnic patterns from around the world are perfect for bunting – anything from ikat, Jacobean, Aztec, paisley or stripes will work.
A gorgeous gallery
Your home can also showcase your own gallery and the true bohemian way to do it is to ensure it’s an eclectic mixture of art work, family photos, beautiful scenery shots or funky phrases all framed in an eclectic range of styles, shapes and sizes.
You could also add an unusual clock or mirror as a striking centrepiece. Your selection could fill an entire wall and really map out your life, family and things that you love and inspire you. Such a fantastic wall of images will no doubt impress your family and friends and will prove to be a great conversation starter.
Rescue and recycle
A tired looking old dresser, wardrobe or household accessories, such as ladders and shelves, could easily be recycled into something new and vibrant.
If you know how to use a sander, you can sand the wooden panels of an old dressing table or dining table and chairs before repainting it in a bright hue or stencilling on an unusual design? You could even alternate the colours you use for your dining chairs and table to add an extra special eclectic, raimbbow-esque feel.
Old wooden ladders could be easily sanded down and repainted or varnished and used as an unusual book case in your library or spare room if attached securely to the wall.
You could also remove the inner panels of your wardrobe doors and replace them with funky fabric or sheer lace stapled to the inside of the door for a feminine and girly look.