|There are perhaps a half a
dozen names by which similar styles are known. I, being both Hungarian
and an artist...feel that I am a true Bohemian.
'Bohemian Elegance' .... just
the sound of the words invokes images of wild enchanted gypsies
in their vardos traveling the back roads of eastern Europe... the
sights and sounds of the bawdy and passionate Paris in the late
1800's with Monét, Cezanne and Nadar... of deposed Russian
Counts and impoverished French Royalty.
For years when asked to describe
my method of interior enhancement I would reply "Imagine a
slightly trashed 300 year old villa in Provence!"
'Bohemian Elegance' by definition
implies age and beauty. The elements MUST be old, vintage, antique
or a work of art. Those of us who have always lived a Bohemian lifestyle
know that color is an intricate and vital aspect of the style. Vibrant
and unique objects are set against an often monochromatic, soft
neutral, or ravaged canvas. Often the juxtaposition of seemingly
incompatible elements and objects are the crowning jewels of the
room and are a hallmark of the style.
Holly Golightly was an absolutely
'Elegant Bohemian' !
The trendy Shabby Chic style
may have found its seeds of inspiration in the Bohemian lifestyle.
Some of the elements of Shabby Chic are quite similar to 'Bohemian
Elegance'. In my book I will attempt to define the elements and
boundaries of 'Bohemian Elegance' with its random beauty and indolent
chaos, which, by definition, is without fixed boundaries and whose
elements are constantly changing.
'Bohemian Elegance' is not
a style that is suited to the tastes of the general public. Eccentrics,
Artists, Writers, Actors... yes, the 'different' people are the
ones who could, would and do live Bohemian. It is romantic and passionate,
emotional and thought provoking. We love to color outside the lines.
As a decor, 'Bohemian Elegance'
rooms speak to their owners. It is not simply a 'place to hang one's
hat'. It is the 'one of a kind-ness' that is in part, the
very catalyst that is responsible for the emotional response elicited
from a person upon entering a 'Bohemian Elegance' room. In most
instances you can repeat the 'emotional aspects' of a room but not
the exact objects. Most objects used in the 'Bohemian Elegance'
style are one of a kind, the last of their kind or
the object has changed greatly since its creation so it is now
I am often asked the difference
between Shabby Chic and 'Bohemian Elegance'. The dressing of a casual
chair is a fine example:
Shabby Chic will take a large
comfortable chair whose basic character is for the most part unimportant
to the end flavor of the room, since you won't see it. You would
then cover it with a white or rose print pouffy slipcover. Most
of the time this is a designers' ready made, repeatable item.
In the 'Bohemian Elegance'
method, the character of the chair becomes greatly important. The
lines, the style, the type of upholstery and even the wear all come
An old leather club chair
whose leather is wornperhaps even tornwould be a choice
find. To camoflage the damage one could use an old silk or velvet
quilt, add a vibrant piano shawl, and drape them across the chair,
rather than encapsulating the chair as with a slip cover. This allows
the greatness of the chair to be part of the overall visual imagery
of the room. Both the quilt and the shawl, like the chair, may be
in less than fine condition, but this is unimportant. The artistry
and craftsmanship that went into these objects is not diminished
simply because they've been used a little harshly.
Most often the people whose
souls resonate to the 'Bohemian Elegance' method of environmental
enhancement feel they too have been used a little harshly by life
and are showing a little wear themselves. And like their possesions
they too still have a great deal to offer the world. In observing
the choice and nature of their professions and considering their
emotional and intellectual temperaments I find that these clients
are more likely to develop an emotional bond with their 'Stuff'.