BOHEMIAN VIBES ON A BUDGET
Right now I am so smitten with this particular season... how it's still winter, but now the days are longer. It happened so suddenly. Dusk is back! There's that very particular blueish light of dusk that disappears in the winter. And now it's back. But! I'm going to take a break from talking about seasonal spirit reflections to talk about HOME. Particularly, my home and your home. And how to make it funky, boho and comfy without breaking the bank.
Space is one of the most sacred things in my world. SPACE MATTERS. If I had to have a bumper sticker (I'm not super into bumper sticker, FYI), it would say that. My own space is small, but incredibly cozy and warm and comfortable. I'm a space snob. If I go to someone's house and it isn't comfortable, then I probably won't want to go there again. Comfort comes in many forms -- light, furniture, energetics, spatial layout, colors, textures, cleanliness, etc. I get it that we all have different preferences, but I think most of us want to have a space that accommodates people. We want people to be comfortable in our space, because we want people in our life.
Also, if you read this blog, there's a good chance you're drawn to the Modern Bohemian lifestyle. Just like me! With that in mind, I'm going to go over a few ways to easily spruce up your space a bit in order to make it more beautiful, more boho, and cozy to the max.
- First of all, let's hit up the thrift stores. Make a beeline for the textile racks. Check the sheets and curtains and blankets, the tablecloths, and any random bins of fabric. and SCARVES. look for scarves. Every thrift store is different, so these will all be sorted differently. But if you know exactly what you are looking for, you can find it quickly, search the goods, and get out in record time. The sections mentioned here are textile goldmines. Often hidden in the sheets and blankets or drapes will be old tapestries or cool cuts of fabric; old lace table cloths work nicely as well. If you like the material and the print on something, get it. It can always be altered if needed. What we are looking for here is nice fabric. In the scarves, keep your eye out especially for Indian Saris or other long beautiful pieces. These are perfect for boho decor.
- If you are a true thrifter, poke around the store for any other items that might add to your ambiance. Small shelves, wall hangings, and baskets are some of the main things I like to check for. If you aren't a true thrifter, get the hell out of there.
- Lamps. You need lamps. Overhead light is the #1 vibe killer of all time. If you didn't know that, I'm telling you so that you can make some major changes. Lamps light your space from the corners, and illuminate gently but fully. Lamps can change your life, and they will make people feel infinitely more comfortable at your home. I love to collect lamps at the thrift store, where they often appear in droves.
- Next, spread the word. Tell your bffs and other loved ones that you are looking for beautiful fabric and scarves. Or rugs. Or blankets. Some people in your circle might be better thrifters than you, or they might be getting rid of something that you want to have. Telling people what you're looking for is a sure way to manifest it 10 times quicker. I, for one, am an avid thrifter, and so many of my friends will tell me to keep my eye out for certain items. I usually find the items within three months.
- Okay! Now that we've covered gathering your treasures, let's talk about practical application. With any scarves and fabric you've found, be creative. You can lay things over your bed as a bed cover, you can hang things as curtains. You can hang fabric from the ceiling to create texture and warmth, and if you're feeling really ambitious, you can even design your own canopy bed. Here is what I've done with some fabric:
That's my bed. On my bed is a beloved quilt that I got at the Alameda Flea Market for $35. If you live in the Bay Area and haven't been to the Alameda Flea, it's time to go. Bring water and snacks. Wow. The square pillow in the middle of my bed is a thick, textured throw pillow case that I got at one of my favorite resale shops in Portland, OR (The Village Merchants. Go!). It was about $1.50. Because I got two of them for $3. The two scarves hanging above my bed over the window are both from my grandmother. I actually just tacked them up when I first moved in because I needed to cover the windows, but I ended up loving them and there they've stayed. As you can see, I love to mix patterns. I'm also a stickler for nice material. Cottons, silks, linens, and leathers all speak to me. And wool. I love wool. These materials not only feel better, they withstand the test of time and have a better vibration. (Yes, I said it. And they do.) The lamps on either side of my bed are both vintage. The one on the left was given to me by a friend in Portland, and the one on the right I bought at a now-defunct treasure shop called Mom's Junk (or Junque?) in SE Portland many, many years ago.
This is my closet door and the entrance to my bathroom. I recently painted my closet door with chalkboard paint because I am a VISUAL LEARNER. As much as I want to have a day-planner, I just don't vibe with them. They get lost in my car and I can't remember what's on each day. I need to see my lists big and bold, and that's what works best for me. (You can get a can of chalkboard paint for around $12 at your local hardware store). Over my bathroom door, I hung an Indian Sari that I thrifted a few years ago for probably around $1. I love how it kind of hides the bathroom energy a bit from the main room, and it matches the paint in the bathroom. Plus with the lights behind it, it's straight up pretty. And soft. I love pretty and soft. White Christmas lights are an easy, satisfying, no-brainer vibe-lifter.
Finally, this is a corner of my shop that is billowing with India Silk Saris, again. These were sent to me from a friend in New York, who scored them when a designer in her studio building left them in a free pile. Swoon! My friend Karoline tacked them up with one million pushpins and made this amazing silk cloud corner. No matter what's in my store, this is always the FIRST thing people comment on.
All this being said, it's time for you to get creative. These are just a few examples of what I've done, and I've seen other people get way more creative than this. You can really turn your space into a palace with just a few yards of the right materials.
So! To recap, here's what I think you should do:
- Keep your eye out for glorious materials -- silks, tapestries, linens, lace. Collect them always.
- Keep your eye out, also, for cushy textiles, like sheepskins, rugs, and blankets. These will always make guests (and you) more comfortable.
- Get more lamps. Turn off those overheads!
- Get some tacks and a hammer and hang that shit! Sometimes it will look wacky and you'll have to redo it. Don't give up. Keep going. Search the internet for inspiration.
- Imagine your home houses a queen (it does: you). Decorate accordingly.
- Finally, when your home is a little more decadent and bohemian, invite your friends over for cuddle puddles. Always serve tea.
All the love,