I recently finished reading a book called The New Bohemians- Cool and Collected Homes, by Justina Blakeney and I loved it! I think I may have a little of the Bohemian style in me.
First, what is a “Bohemian”? I looked it up in the dictionary and according to Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary (the one my Mom owns), a Bohemian is a person “leading an unconventional life” or “a person, usually of artistic or literary tastes, who lives in a more or less unconventional manner.” It is derived from the French word bohemien meaning gypsy. They were called this because the French believed these people were from Bohemia in Czechoslovakia. The term was transferred to artists who lived in an unconventional manner. There’s that word again. Aren’t we all living an unconventional life? Who defines what “unconventional” is?
Justina describes the new Bohemians as “seeking to erase the distinctions between work and play, and our (their) living spaces reflect that lack of boundaries”. She separates the book into six sections of Bohemians; Modern, Earthy, Folksy, Nomadic, Romantic, and the Maximal. I would say my home has a mix of earthy and maximal Bohemianism. (Is that a word?) She describes the homes of earthy Bohemians as “veritable greenhouses where plants take center stage.” Yep- that describes my house to a tee! And the maximal bohemian home has a whole lot of everything. That is how my husband and family describe it but with a “too much” thrown in.
The homes and pictures of them in this book are amazing and I’m pretty sure every home had some plants, if not many of them. These people have homes after my own heart! I love their use of houseplants and you can tell they aren’t casually placed in their homes for photo ops. They aren’t perfect houseplants but are perfect in the homeowner’s eyes, as they should be. They love them and live intimately with them in every room. They “arrange their furniture around them so they get more light”. (Doesn’t everyone?) And they have macrame hangers everywhere! I love it! I make new ones for my plants all the time!
I don’t know if my home qualifies as “Bohemian”, but it is eclectic and I love it! I definitely have the earthy part down, with the large amount of houseplants I’m surrounded by.
This book was amazing, with lots of ideas, which are highlighted at the end of each Bohemian’s home profile. The best thing, though, is the “plant-o-pedia” chapter. Most of the plants you see in the book are described in this chapter with care tips. Awesome! I give a two thumbs up to this houseplant-filled book!
Hi Lisa, this book sounds fantastic! I love to see others homes that aren’t always “perfect”, mine certainly isn’t. I would consider myself a little Bohemian, too. I follow Justina on Instagram and just love her photos. Funny how birds of a feather… you know we all tend to gravitate to similar things.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to macrame to make my own plant hangers, is it hard?
Just so you know, I thought everyone moved their furniture to accommodate optimal lighting for plants as well! I’ve recently moved most of mine outside on my deck for a little summer vaca and my house – kitchen for sure – looks totally naked. Do you move yours outside for summer?
Thanks for sharing the review of the book, I’ll be looking for it.
Thanks for the kind words, Jaime! I don’t think macrame is hard. It is just tying knots. I’m sure there are some good u tube videos out there. I learned when I was young from my Great Aunt.
I do not move my plants outside for the summer. One, I have too many to move and two, I don’t want them to pick up any bugs that will come back in to the house in the fall and infect my other plants.
Oh and I just clicked on your photos to get a closer look and I thought those were from the book, but their yours! Wow! Haha