Tired of buying your furniture in giant warehouses an hour's drive away and struggling with assembly instructions once home, only to see the same table on the same rug in your friends' houses? Well, don a neckerchief and white blouse, pour a glass of plain old red table wine, put on some Billie Holiday, and prepare to reject "the dull conformity of mass taste and manners."
But first, read the opening chapter of interior designer and author Elizabeth Wilhide's Bohemian Style, "Artists in Residence." It's a succinct, erudite history of bohemianism as seen through the lives and often communal homes of 19th- and 20th-century artists such as William Morris, Augustus John, and Dora Carrington. The walls, floors, ceilings, light fixtures, fireplaces, and everything else in these artists' domiciles--country cottages, studios, even gypsy caravans--not only kept body and iconoclastic soul together, but also became surfaces to paint, tile, sculpt, drape, and draw. So--no money for canvas this month? Paint the landscape on the kitchen wall, then. Anything, except the status quo, goes here.
The remainder of the book is devoted to the how of bohemian style: how to paint (including how to make your own paint), applique, mosaic, tile, collage, dye and drape textiles, even turn found objects into art and light fixtures. The emphasis here is on the quick and easy--how to dash off a wall treatment in an afternoon, say. That said, it should be clear that type A personalities may very well find the decorating ideas in this book frustrating, even a shade slapdash. They're not bohemians.
A book delineating how to decorate in a style that is by its nature personal and idiosyncratic may seem a contradiction in terms, and in many ways it is, but the how here really consists of seed ideas, ruminations on how bohemians would do it, and tips for making your own visions come to life successfully. Note that there are no step-by-step instructions here; beginners will have to go elsewhere for those. Or make up their own.
With its colorful, full-page photos of historic and modern rooms that exemplify the bohemian aesthetic and its intelligently written text, this is a book that can change the way you think about home décor and even how you live in your home. --Stefanie Durbin [via]