Monday, January 10, 2011


Why do we love certain houses, and why do they seem to love us? It is the warmth of our individual hearts reflected in our surroundings.  -  
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

What is your design style? Seems like an easy enough question, though I’ve always found it difficult to answer. You see, I am eclectic and not one to strictly adhere to any single style. I like bits and pieces of many different styles, and equally dislike bits of pieces of many different styles.
 What's a gal to do? Go around undefined? Mais non...
 While zipping around cyberspace recently I found an article on “Bohemian Chic.” 
Bohemia was originally a area of what is now present day Czechoslavakia. In Bohemia there was a group of itinerant nomadic people. This group, called gypsies locally (because they were originally-and erroneously-thought to be  from Egypt,) would move from place to place. They stayed for a short periods of time, camping on the outskirts of town and finding local work doing handyman sorts of things and entertaining the locals with song and dance.

The Bohemians lived a vagabond life, were said to have great wanderlust, and lived their lives free of the restraints and rules of conventional, settled townsfolk.  They were seen as people who lived by their wits and (scandalously) let their passions rule their lives. 

As time went on any group seen as “on the fringes of society,” or as the "counterculture," were termed Bohemian. 

After the French revolution the laboring classes, students, and artists, (who crowded into Paris) were identified as “the Bohemians of today.” Though not transient, they did challenge the conventions of the day. They had worked to overthrow the French monarchy and they continued to challenge mainstream culture. Without wealth they learned to survive-and eventually thrive-using their wits. It was said that for Bohemians “wits were the coin of the realm, and nothing was more highly prized than creative scavenging.”
 Now that sounds like a style I can relate to.

 At first I thought Bohemian chic would limit me to the oversized and brightly colored…the hippie look seen on ultra skinny stars like Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins.

But no, the attitude of Bohemian Chic is first and foremost individual.

 It is an expression of ones passions. There are no hard and fast rules.  It is highly personal-even idiosyncratic.  It is said that bohemian chic “represents the soul of the inhabitant. “  To that end, it is unconventional, original, and often uses the unexpected. 
Bed springs make a wreath and an upside down trash can becomes a lightshade...creative scavenging indeed...

Bohemian Chic is creative and artistic, a combination of old and new, uses the components of all different styles, and often incorporates found objects. 
While some may use lush textures (velvets and silk) and intricate patterns,
The photo below is of Coco Chanel's apartment
another person may use a neutral palette with splashes of spicy, hot colors here and there.

Some may like the spicy colors up front
It is a reflection of ones life, ones heritage and interests. For me, it is an expression of my unabashed love of all things French, of my gratitude to China for the gift of 4 children, my love of books, antique papers and reading…I could go on, but you get the idea.

According to one writer “Bohemian Chic smells like you, feels like you, it is an ambiance that reminds people of who you are and where you’ve been. It invites people to travel with you and share your passions….” Hmm...just like a gypsy...

Many thanks:


  1. Jackie, this is the second time I've read this post! So well written. BoHo is a style philosophy I long ago gave myself over too. It's not about price, or matching, it's about "feeling". If it feels good, go with it! Another great post by you! ConnieG-T

  2. My style has evolved so many times, but now that I live in my dream home, the pink shack, I can run wild with it...I would say it's 'Granny does the red light district'. I love the decrepit state of the dwelling, vintage paper and plaster walls, lace curtains and worn/faded furniture, taxidermy and oddities...or maybe just plain odd...but to me it's paradise, cracks and all, it's Bohemian that's a new one for ya...ha!


  3. As always, you are classy and brilliant beyond words! Much Love, Maggie

  4. Lovely photos! I have a problem choosing a decorating style because I like them all! It's my dream to decorate each room of the house in a different style. I know, I know, this is a decorating no-no, but at least I would never get bored. I don't think hubby will go for this though.

  5. Jackie,
    I have to say I hadn't heard of Bohemian Chic but I'm lovin it now. I have never really known what my style is. I just buy what I like.
    Hope you are staying warm up in Mass. Snow, snow, and more snow!

  6. Great post Jackie! I behind in my blogging since we've been gone! We got 3 more inches of snow last night, but I think you guys are getting even more than that!

  7. This is a great post...I'm so smitten with Bohemian Chic!

  8. I adore Bohemian style too, many thanks for the explanations!
    I adore the bed springs wreath!
    Smiles, Cyndi