Like all printed matter, coffee table books are taking a hit in this digital age. The competition is fierce as inspiration for travel, food and interior décor is now just a click away, and free for internet users. However, books can live happily alongside digital devices. I like a stack of books on the coffee table or beside the bed at the ready to pique my curiosity, satisfy my wanderlust and challenge my decorating spirit. Turning pages is relaxing and a feast for the eyes.
I am fortunate to receive many beautiful books on design and decoration so that I can pass along their objectives and show you what’s on the horizon. For those who love to travel or dream about faraway places and cultures, Global Bohemian: How to Satisfy Your Wanderlust at Home by Fifi O’Neill, CICO Books is a treasure. The pages are filled with real homes, rooms and vignettes that embody the Bohemian lifestyle. It’s an individual style that is pulled together layer by layer over time, as you discover your nomadic ideals. The rooms are wildly different and the author praises their “patina of life.”
In Bohemian décor nothing matches. Furniture pieces are each special, often time worn and having a story to tell. Items from different countries and cultures might seem at odds with each other but if they share a colour or a specific building material such as wood or metal, the overall picture will be truly unique and personal.
The language of fabrics is most exciting. The feature homes show how to layer the look, from rustic burlap to smooth velvet, luxurious silk, nubby wool, worn leather and animal prints. Mix tribal prints, batik, geometrics, Navajo tapestries, recycled vintage rugs and patchwork quilts and bring the world together under your roof.
Courtney Webster lives in a 1,300 square foot loft with high ceilings and big bright windows. Webster wanted to define the open space without anything feeling closed off. She and her husband both share an artistic temperament and enjoy filling their home with layers of comfort. Tactile textiles abound. Every seat has a welcoming pillow or throw. The neutral palette on the walls and ceiling complements the wood floors. Then pink and blue accents warm the room; “she loves how many shades of each there are.” In order to separate the bedroom, they put up a partial wall and papered it in a graphic shibori pattern. The geometric blue pattern links to the blue window frames. A sisal carpet and two wall sconces help to define the dining room area. Table accessories show off the couple’s Boho spirit. Carved candle holders, wood chargers, some pretty crockery and a touch of gold reflects an eclectic attitude.
If you only do up one room in Bohemian splendor, the bedroom is the place to start. This private room is yours to layer with as much colour and pattern as you wish. Sharlene Kayne is an artist with a love for all things made by hand. Exotic reds, blues and gold surround the bed and layer the floor. A bright Moroccan boucherouite rug is hand loomed from vintage clothing and fabric scraps by local villagers. Kayne struggles with liking opposites. Colours and neutrals, antiques and modern pieces, organic and polished all have their appeal. Bohemian style gives permission to integrate all things, there are no rules. Freedom in decorating.