Book Review: The New Bohemians
Do you love cheerful rooms packed and layered with color, objects, pattern and texture? Are you a fan of a more bohemian eclectic style at home? LA-based blogger and designer Justina Blakeney debuts her first book, The New Bohemians, this week which spotlights 20 creatives living in the United States (mostly west and east coasters) who range from shop owners and entrepreneurs to urban farmers, parents, city dwellers, artists and bloggers. If you like to break decorating rules and welcome total creative freedom in how you dress up your space, this book will feel like a warm, validating hug. Justina even shares corners of her own home and rooms in her sister's house which are totally color-drenched and piled high with curious objects to explore - so much eye candy!
The New Bohemians reminded me that there really is no single way to decorate that is "right", which is important especially when you have both print and new media promoting only very specific looks - you can feel a little left out if your home doesn't fit what is considered on-trend. This book is perfect for all of the bohemian spirits out there - the rebels who want to mix their foo dogs with Etsy finds, mid century credenzas from craigslist topped with pottery from the 70s scoured at the thrift shop and globe collections displayed in the fireplace alongside vintage Suzani's used as wall or bed coverings. I found this book to be a completely authentic glimpse into the mind of Justina and what she loves the most and shares frequently online which is how I first discovered her a few short years ago. She shows homes in her book that in her signature Jungalow style and the homeowners, well, "They embrace free-spirited, no-rules lifestyles and apply that attitude to all areas of their existence, including their homes," which is the absolute message you get with the flip of every color-drenched page.
In addition to showing out-of-the-box spaces, Justina shares 12 DIY projects inspired by the objects found in some of the homes, so there are projects for you to try. I also like the Adopt An Idea pages (see above image) throughout the book that encourage readers to try the look at home and how.
This bedroom is in the home of Justina's sister and I just love it - so perfect for a little girl and loads of fun too.
This black cabinet above is MAGIC. I would definitely own that and make it work in my house. Definitely a rare and beautiful object of art. The lamp shade and the touch of greenery creates such nice balance too and I like the wall treatment too. This is a trend in Germany at the moment, people living particularly in the more creative cities like Berlin love to leave some walls in their old apartments very bare by tearing off the wallpaper and exposing the plaster and whatever was there before. My friend did this and found newspapers layered into the plaster from 1901. What a wonderful surprise!
I really like framed butterflies suspended from the wooden branch from the ceiling and that squishy leather sofa. The wooden star is a nice way to conceal the radiator too without blocking the heat.
When I see anything draped from the ceiling, I think of the 60s and 70s. I was born in the 70s and so I don't remember a lot about our home but I do remember my mother loving her macrame classes, plants, draping things from the ceiling, bold wallpaper, chinoiserie anything, Chinese black lacquer furniture (with Ming details), shag carpet and color, color, color! In many ways, Justina's book reminds me of my mom and the style of homes in the 70s and 80s. For instance, my mom would have totally rocked this pendant light shown in the photo below.
Oh and another bonus that I like about this book is that some of her tips from her Skillshare class on styling, Style Your Space Like a Pro, ended up in the book like how to style a bookshelf in 10 steps. So if you took the class, you can have all of her ideas in one place, with photos and of course, completely gorgeous and new content to inspire you. For me, this was such a big plus because so many times when I see people teach online I often wished they had books that contained all of their knowledge so I could refer back to it for years to come.
You may purchase your own copy of the book today right here and a big congrats on Justina for her book and thanks for including me in your book tour!
(images with permission from The New Bohemians)