Whether you’re a certified globe trotter or travel vicariously through your Insta feed, there’s no denying the allure of the haute bohemian look. Meticulously collected, but oh-so effortless and full of joie de vivre, the style has a new legion of fans (thanks in no small part to Miguel Flores-Vianna’s daydream-inducing design tome Haute Bohemians). For those as obsessed with the rich and layered look as we are, we’re breaking down how to curate just the right mix of classicism and sophisticated whimsy to propel your space to beau monde status.
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Introduce Pattern Play
When you consider that the haute bohemian has a dog-eared passport and a closet full of plucked-from-the-market textiles, you know it’s pretty guaranteed that the haute bohemian space be flush with global pattern. To get the look, mix bold suzanis, funky Ikats, and intricate kilims with abandon (while setting your inner critic to silent). If things look like they could use a good, come-together moment, try dialing back your palette to a single-color family or introducing a neutralizing pattern, like the almighty stripe.
Curate a Collection
From seashells collected along South African shores to crumbly oil paintings pulled from South of France fleas, no bohemian pad is complete without an array of cherished travel tokens. To give them maximum impact, group your souvenirs in themed collections. Shells loaded into a brass bowl, paintings galleried on a wall, or even just coffee table books piled onto a table or floor are the equivalent of the bon vivant’s siren song.
Drape a Table
Blowing kisses at old world tradition, but possessing an undeniably downtown-chic vibe is the casually draped or skirted table. Whether your table is a circle or a square (or any shape in between), tossing a piece of fabric over it will lend it a major sense of vivacity. Use any textile in your closet, including a quilt, for a look that says, I was too busy exploring the world to be bothered with this, or opt for a professionally tailored skirt if your style is more reigned-in.
Go Bold with Color
Given that bohemianism doesn’t fall hand-in-hand with restraint, there’s no reason to hold back when it comes to splashing your space with color. For furniture, reupholster in colorful textiles (or do the uber-crafty drape mentioned above) to give it a boost. When selecting colors for your walls, pull inspiration from exotic locales, pegging anything from a rich, Capri-evoking turquoise to a bright banana yellow for the job. Not only will vibrant walls instantly brighten a room, but they’ll also unify your room’s more disparate elements.
Display Art with Abandon
With its ability to inspire, art has long been integral to the bohemian lifestyle. To channel the look, skip anything newly minted and instead opt for one-of-a-kind paintings and drawings (or even better, something you penned yourself). To display, lean your art directly against a wall (it’ll majorly up the rakish factor), or consider hanging several small pieces to curate a scene-stealing vignette. Also, baskets, tiles, and plates are all fair game!
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Lead photo by Jean-Francois Jaussaud/ courtesy of Carolina Irving