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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Me? Liking The Bohemian Decor Lifestyle?



After I wrote that post the other day about bohemian decor, I have found myself googling all things bohemian. At first I couldn't figure out why I was doing this.

I had referenced Justina Blakeney's blog in that post, and I've been going back to it ever since. Trying to understand what suddenly is so appealing to me.

I don't quite understand why I am mesmerized by this style of design. I don't like too much clutter (though many would disagree with that). And I haven't thought too much about cultural influences when it comes to my own decorating style. 

Then I asked myself: What is my decorating style?


I don't think my decorating style has ever quite fit into any current genre: a bit cottage, yes. A bit country, yes. Not modern or contemporary. Not French Country, though I love the reds.

I never really liked the distressed look. To me it seems a bit strange to paint something and make it look pretty, then start to rough it up. A bit of a non-sequitur?

I know, everyone seems to like distressed furniture. I will quote Sonny of Dream Lane again: "I don't see it as just distressed," she has told me on the phone. "I see it as destroyed." I have to agree with her somewhat on that.

I guess I'm just a bit too pragmatic. The whole concept doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense. But I realize I'm probably in the vast minority on that.


I do adore house plants. All plants really. But many bloggers don't seem all that interested in indoor plants. Oh, there's the bulbs blooming you'll see around Christmastime. And the succulents and sedums that have people so riveted these days.

And of course the fiddle-leafed fig plant that gained such notoriety that everyone seemed to have to have one. Which is why I instantly didn't want one.


See this pretty piece of furniture at Justina Blakeney's home? It doesn't seem touched by distressing to me. Just a pretty coat of colorful paint. Simple. That I like. 

I do love vintage. But vintage as it's originally found. Or repurposed.

The photo on the right shows framed items in what appears to be their "found" state. That makes sense to me.


The white piece of furniture above does not appear to show signs of obvious distressing. 

I just never jumped on the band wagon of all these miraculous paints. Milk paint, chalk paint. To me, it is just expensive paint. And I'm too thrifty for that to appeal to me. 

Then when someone then distresses that coat of paint that was more expensive than a paint I would purchase, it seems a bit odd to me. If you're just going to scratch it back up or distress it, why not just buy cheap paint? 

But then, what do I know? 


This table style even appeals to me. A smorgasbord of bountiful fruits and veggies, all so colorful and nutritious. 

Yes, I did eschew the white/beige/gray look from the beginning. I have to have color. For myself, that is. 

So this I know. When I clicked onto some moderately bohemian lifestyle photos (not the kind that look like hippy throw up) this morning, I realized that I felt excited about this new-to-me decor style. I also realized I already had been using ideas from it for years. 

And might just want to incorporate a bit more. Maybe I'll even add pink!

It feels like it is from another time, brought back to delight my senses. Perhaps that is the appeal to me. It has lots of color. And layering. Which I've always leaned toward. And uses more cultural influence than I'm accustomed to.

There is a naturalness about it that brings a sense of serenity to me.

And so far I haven't seen the ubiquitous stainless steel appliances, thank goodness. I will be glad when that trend has trended.


This takes me back to childhood. When our grandmothers made plenty of bean and pea soups with veggies. So there is nostalgia and thriftiness thrown in.

I just have this feeling that you may be seeing a bit more boho here in the not so distant future. Nothing over the top. Just remnants of this style that appeals to me in various ways.

Stay tuned...


Cozy Little House
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27 comments:

  1. Laughing hysterically over "hippy throw up"....

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    1. I don't want people to think I'm going to start wearing fringe jackets. Although I was so impressed with people who owned them in the seventies! They were SO cool then. Anything fringe, beads, hippy love style.

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  2. I will stay tuned as this look draws me to it. I can't afford to start all over but this look cheers me up so much that maybe it would even fit with what I already have, touches here and there. Meanwhile I'll visit her and will be looking to see what you do with it, Brenda.

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    1. Dewena, this style is to me interesting because I don't think you'd have to throw aside a thing. Just layer over it or add to it. Found objects, like people are drawn to now, like seashells and rocks. Things that have meaning only to them. A scarf over a lampshade. Things like that. Everything would get covered up!

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  3. Hahaha I'm there with you about the stainless steel. Talk about a major burden trying to keep finger prints and water spots wipe off. I've always stuck with my trusty white. I would love a colored Smeg Frig though. I don't get the distressing either. When it's done intentionally it never comes off like its believable patina. My things have quite a bit of distressing and patina that has been acquired over the years. My friend has always had a very bohemian style. The way I always described it was it felt like going into a very eccentric Aunts house with all kinds of neat interesting things that others discarded. No need to distress her stuff! Then she remarried and after a lifetime of fantastic decor it's now more like Pottery Barn. She asked me one day why doesn't it feel homey in this house? I told her because she got rid of all the cool stuff. Now it's just like everyone else's. I have no idea what my style is.

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    1. I've often said that stainless steel reminds me of going to the morgue as a journalist. All the bodies are on stainless steel tables with white sheets over them, if my distant memory doesn't fail me. I read, I think maybe it was Maxwell of Apartment Therapy, say that anything that looks commercial will no longer be considered trendy. Hopefully that includes stainless steel appliances. I see stainless steel, and where everyone else seems to have stars in their eyes, I just see the morgue.

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  4. Ok...the first photo? Immediately reminded me of a quilt design.

    Distressed and Chippy Furniture: I'd kill myself painting or staining furniture when my kids were young, and then it would get chipped or 'distressed' from matchbox cars or other things, and my mom would comfort me by pointing out something from Country Living magazine, back in the day when it was a good magazine, and say that it was ok to have something a little banged up.
    HA! When I was a kid she'd have killed us if we banged up something of hers... now that she was a grandma it was all okay when my boys ruined my stuff:)


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    1. I know! I remember those days. You'd paint something and mourn the very first chip. Now that's what everyone wants. I want "natural" patina. Not faux patina.

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  5. Me again...Brenda that rug is similar to a quilt block called Grandmother's something or other, I think :)

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    1. Maybe that's why it appeals to me! Reminds me of quilt blocks.

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  6. I'm with you on the whole distressed thing. Let the piece wear naturally.

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  7. I totally agree with you about the distressed look, Brenda. I wonder if it's a generational thing. I remember when "shabby" equalled "poor" and it wasn't something you wanted to show off.

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    1. I remember that too. I groaned at the sight of the first chip of paint.

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  8. This is my fourth try to leave a message on my phone, so guess I will just say Merry Christmas :)
    do
    Laura

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  9. I did enjoy some of the bohemian samples you've shown. Lots of color messes with my nerves though,,, making me think I'd be a great color therapy candidate. I truly do best emotionally in a subdued enviroment..
    with that said, you are sooooooooooooooo dang funny and talking to you on the phone always brings me Joy.

    watch your emails , I'm sending you one,,,

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    1. I need to call you, Sonny. Been in my own world.

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  10. To me Bohemian is real earthy, eclectic and colorful. I love it all. I like distressed alot. I never re touch because I hate painting. Infact I just put an enormous cabinet on layaway and the gal asked me if I was going to repaint it. What? Hell no. Ivory chippy on the outside and green on the inside. I cannot wait to see what you have been up to. Have a wonderful and creative Christmas!

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    1. I'm just in the "staring at Pinterest stage" right now. I haven't come up with a plan yet.

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  11. When I downsized five years ago, I sold two pink wingback chairs. I have wanted them back more than once. I have been waiting to paint the inside of my new home. Pink seems right for the bedroom. I always wanted a pink kitchen. Although it may be the end of the stainless appliance trend, I have replaced the yellowed out white ones with stainless. I find they add a sparkle that the dead white ones did not. It may be the difference between the white sheet and the metal table. The bohemian style may be right on for my home since I want freshness and color added I have too much furniture here but do not want to part with it. I have a red pie chest and a baker's rack that were perfect for my large kitchen. I had a China cabinet that I sold also. Now I have moved my China to the pantry and the food to the cabinets. That works well because I do not have to think which cabinet to open to find utensils when I cook. Putting groceries away is easy because I do not have to move it twice. I just put it on the cabinet tops and lift it a short distance to the cabinets.

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    1. Pink is perfect for some rooms, especially bedrooms like mine that face the side of a mountain and are gloomy all day long. Also the pink is so soothing at bedtime. But I'd trade my lime green upholstered wing chair for anyone's pink upholstered wing chair..LOL! Big sheets make good temporary (10 years?) slipcovers………Mine are blue with big flower bouquets…… might not be boho,,,,but they work. I love color and need more more more…..but don't want to re-live the 60s and 70s all over again……. And I don't get the chippy look either……it's a fad that will pass, just as macrame and fringe and orange and avocado have passed…..thanksbe……..

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  12. I've been decorating with houseplants since the 70's...they never go out of style as far as I'm concerned! I also don't get the whole distressed look...unless it's natural, but each to his/her own. I'll be looking forward to more bohemian decor from you...I decorate with what I like, and with what looks good together. Merry Christmas Brenda! ;)

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  13. Thank you for the kind words about my home and style, Brenda! It's nice to meet you and see your beautiful blog! Your 'boho' post from the other day tickled me because the first image, with all the plants, is actually a studio that my sister designed--i think this boho thing just runs on our blood. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday. Warmly, with pompoms and fringes on everything, but no *distressed* furniture in sight... ~Justina :)

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  14. I have enjoyed your toe-in-the-water sampling of Boho. I think that has always been my style, although it has different accents from time to time. It will be interesting to see where you take it. I hate artificially distressed furniture. Things tend to get distressed naturally here in my little domain. I also found the Blakeney blog fascinating -- don't know how I missed it. Merry Christmas to you and the pupsters!

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  15. We seem to be thinking the same way on this!!

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  16. I am loving this style too Brenda..can't wait to see what you do!

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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