Tips of the Trade: How to Blend Bohemian and Modern Style
You pick a lane and you stay in it, right? Your style is bohemian, it’s modern, it rings classic, it channels country house or Hollywood Regency. Not so! says Victoria Smith, the creative force behind design blog SF Girl By Bay. Smith sources interior inspiration and advice that melds the seemingly incongruous – bohemian touches juxtaposed with accents that feel modern, fresh and now. “My style is constantly evolving with age,” she explains. “I went from trying Mid Century Modern to minimalist to loving a mismatched, bohemian modern collection of new and old.”
When we considered the often-intimidating topic of how to mix disparate styles, we knew Smith could be our spirit guide. “Don’t be afraid to try new pairings. Eclectic is in, and all over Europe, they’ve been doing design like this effortlessly for centuries,” she says. “It’s all about what you love. When you bring pieces together that have sentimental value or simply make you happy when you see them, it generally works out well.” Read her tips for achieving that elusive balance of modern and bohemian.
1. Start With a Blank Slate
First, think about the canvas. Pale gray or white walls, or a comfy slipcovered white sofa are ideal spaces on which to start building a textured space.
2. Look Patterns in the Eye, And Mismatch
Pair mismatched pillows in a complementary color palette, but don’t be afraid to layer patterns and make the look more interesting. While a contemporary palette feels modern, mixing patterns gives off a much more bohemian vibe.
3. Strip Back to Bare
If you’ve got great hardwood floors, consider leaving them bare. To add warmth and definition to the room, consider a beautiful antique rug, like a Moroccan boucherouite or Beni Ourain.
4. Light Up Something Eclectic
Lighting is always vital, and adding an interesting collection of vintage lamps looks so chic. Consider brass pendants or chandeliers and funky, fun table lamps or wall sconces. I love the mix!
5. Make Moments Feel Loose
Create pretty vignettes in your rooms of collections you love. It could be a collection of your favorite cream colored ceramics and pottery, or an assortment of vintage sketches and artwork leaning against a wall. Both can feel rather effortless, unstyled, and a bit more bohemian.
6. Encourage Coffee Table Talk
I love a pretty coffee table paired with unexpected finds. I have a classic white Mid Century Modern Saarinen coffee table where I display a very bohemian collection, including a shallow black ceramic bowl filled with crystals, interesting matches, incense, knick knacks and a few candles. To add a modern contrast: I have it next to a streamlined stack of my favorite coffee table design books.
7. Say Hello to Succulents
Or fresh flowers! Adding them around the house not only breathes life into a space, but also gives you an opportunity to add patterns and color. One of my favorite tricks is planting succulents in unexpected containers and vintage pottery.