In the recent years Boho style became one of the most frequently used terms when talking about fashion or interior design. What this style actually is, from where it came from and who was shaping it through the last centuries (yes, its origins are much older than you might expect) – find it out by diving into this article I prepared for you. Sit down comfortable and join me on our journey to discover what Boho style has really in common with Bohemian Rhapsody, a remarkable song created by Freddy & co from Queen.
Boho style - first things first
As I mentioned, for Boho style origins we need to search several centuries back – specifically Bohèmien, the term that described Romani or ‘Gypsy’ population of France originated from northern India and that around 1000 years ago arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe. For such a nomadic gypsies we have to search their roots (as it is believed) in the Balkan area of Eastern Europe, in a region called Bohemia. I think that you know where we’re all coming!
Artists and creatives during the time of the French Revolution were forced to live in poverty, focusing on creating their art and hoping to finally sell it. Obviously for most of them the effective marketing techniques were really unknown and only few were able to get popular and gain own patrons to sponsor them. As a result they started using and wearing an old clothes and surround themselves with the interior elements to which they gifted the second life. All such creations were associated with counterculture filled with the artistic expression, freedom and nature. Everything of what we’re talking right now was happening at the end of 18th century.
To reach our next short stop we need to move up to the 19th century, when intellectualists who identified themselves with Romantic art of that era primarily shaped the French Bohemians. Primarily connected to Paris and its legendary district of Montmartre artists started to shape their movement incorporating oriental-inspired & colourful materials, even mixing them with medieval elements. In one of the future articles for sure we will dive specifically into the interior designs of the most famous restaurants and cafés of that amazing era.
Ok, but what next? Everything speed up and turned into the another level at 20th century, following even more eccentric, unusual lifestyle that was based on a love for the arts, the pursuit of pleasure, sexual freedom and travel. Such an exciting, free of boundaries & colourful lives followed such a famous artists like Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso or Francis Bacon. Also at that time interior design started to be heavily influenced by such a lifestyle – which makes it specifically interesting for us, authors of that blog, and we hope as well you!
When it all makes sense
With 60s and 70s Bohemian movement, later Boho style, received its further boost thanks to flower children, hippies. Now we are talking in full range of colours, as below pictures are reflecting that. Like Bohemians, Hippie movement stood against conventional lifestyles, rejecting everything from mainstream values. Here all aesthetic originated and terms like ‘Boho’ and ‘Boho Chic’ the style features a variety of natural materials, earthy shades and hippie-inspired patterns, have originated.
But don’t be too attached to the last sentence above, as all those boring sounding ingredients were filled with the rainbow of vibrant tones and unconventional combinations. Everything that was provocative had a big chances to find its place in set designs or different interiors. Many of creators that were active during mentioned decades, even though inspired by a nature were bringing their creations to the another level by taking psychedelics or steroids. Actually I’m really convinced one of our soon released articles will be focusing on psychedelic or trippy style in design.
Lets come back to 60s, 70s and 80s – with an artists such like Jimi Hendrix the Bohemian style soaked into the pop culture even stronger. His iconic sound drew on a combination of genres including blues, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll. His taste for fashion, art and interior design was as well a mixture of many assorted inspirations, contradicting materials and objects.
Many amazing parties, full of legal & illegal substances, were held in his apartment in Mayfair, London (btw it is now open to public). This apartment at 23 Brook Street was found by his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, in an advert in the google, at that time called newspaper. Shortly when purchasing the apartment Jimi started decorating it and since the beginning calling it ‘his first home of his own’.
Even though Jimi was not living in this apartment too long, he put a lot of efforts to bring the right furniture and accessories to make it meaningful for himself. In the rooms, punched with vivid colours, Jimi filled the all floors and even walls with his favourite Persian rugs on which strangely stuffed dog look-a-like animal (nicknamed ‘Dogbear’) was finding his place too. Mixing styles and vivid colours, reusing some old furniture, he left an amazing example of design created by artist from the end of 60s – chapeau bas Jimi!
Ok, so what about Bohemian Rhapsody?
Thanks for the reminder! For sure I can talk and bring further examples related to the interior design history, nevertheless I don’t want to wait anytime longer to get to our lead example and actually lead singer! First of all the cover of this article comes from Freddy birthday party from 1985 which became an infamous video for the single ‘Living on my own’. You can see everything for what we best know Freddy, total freedom reflected in music and fashion, all of the surroundings full of mixed styles connected with beautiful white flowers.
The 300 invited guests joined in mandatory black and white drag together with a coterie of colourful entertainers, singers and crossdressers. All resulted with firstly banned footage of that notorious night at Mrs. Henderson and shortly after the death of Freddy and remix of the song by No More Brothers reached the top of the charts. This video clip, in my opinion, describes best Freddy close connection to Bohemian style of living. But what about ‘Rhapsody’?
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – it was named in such way, because it depicts the life of a ‘bohemian’, whose original meaning is ‘artist’ while ‘Rhapsody’ is a fantasy or a vision. Freddie Mercury in this song foresees his life in a symbolic way at the same reflecting what Bohemian movement was all about. Similarly to Jimi Hendrix mentioned earlier, especially this song uses random assortment of music genres, like ballad or hard rock, which works all together brilliantly.
From Freddy artistic expression, which resulted in music legacy, you can also find the same principles of what shaped Bohemian & Boho style since its beginnings, decades and centuries before. The freedom and lack of boundaries seen around by such an artists we were able to see a real way how they felt and saw the world around us. By mixing multiple styles with a full freedom, mixing full of calmness plants with vibrant colours which were reflecting their personalities, they were able to create their own safe space for developing their creativity beyond the common boundaries. Such an amazing perspectives can’t be omitted and therefore it’s our duty to keep discovering them and becoming inspired to shape such an colourful reality around us.
How to fulfil such a duty? Find out below!
What stands for Boho Style today?
It’s really inspiring to dive into the history of lifestyles, music & design, but how to connect such an amazing, creative and colourful legacy of Bohemians to our own interiors? Even when you are not another Freddy, Jimi or Pablo, thanks to some simple tricks you can immediately bring similar vibes into your space. The only thing left will be to turn ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the background and let yourself drift into the another full of nature & freedom universe. Ok, in this case fasten your seat belts and lets turn the modernised Boho Style into the glory that it had in the past!
1. First of all turn on some good 70s music
To set your mood and mind into the right universe it’s best to listen music which reminds wild 60s & 70s (you remember – Jimi, Freddy, …). Vinyls are dirty cheap to buy at any nearby flea markets and sound generated by them can’t be copied by any other digital forms and speakers of your notebook.
Ps. Our recommendation for vinyl players: Check it out!
2. Close your eyes and fill the space with plants
Palms, monsteras, cactuses or colourful freshly cut flowers – you name it, we recommend all. Those will not only bring more comfy vibe, but also provide fresh and more humid air into your space.
Ps. As you all requested it – soon we’ll test the most durable plants for your space.
3. Open your eyes and bring accent, vibrant colour into your interior
Play with shapes to create your own patterns – no rules are applicable in this aspect, there is no such a thing as ‘too much’.
Ps. Soon we will investigate best colours to match your home jungles!
4. Get your own ‘Dogbear’ like Jimi
Everything will match into this Style, handmade pieces of art, your last weekend flea market finds or travel souvenirs from your recent trip to Morocco. Don’t forget to finish everything up with throws & pillows.
Ps. Selection of unconventional interior decoration ideas will come soon!
Journey that never ends
What makes us going when thinking about interiors and its design origins is discovering the new ways how to interpret surprising examples that at least partly could be transferred into your spaces. It is a bit terrifying that recent decade turned Boho style into a really unified and almost boring style that lost somewhere in between its real identity. When thinking about its origins, shaped by one of the most freest minds of our time, we have to also set free our imagination and push our comfort zone to unknown.
Maybe such unknown territories will allow you to explore another levels of relaxing spaces just around you – we certainly wish this for you and us!
Oh, it’s great to see you here at the end of this article! In case you might not particularly got hooked by Boho Style, you can check our other articles about various interior styles below (those will be coming & growing within the next weeks).