I'm a bohemian. It’s official. I'm talking about the style test in Emily Henderson’s fabulous book STYLED. I've taken the test FIVE times in 4 days and each time I come out the same, even though I tried to
cheat tweak the quiz by changing my answers on some of
the questions! Okay, so I'm a 60s baby,
who in the 80s with long blond hair, (read highlights) and a deep suntan, worn
faded floral jeans, bracelets around the ankles, had a large bright patterned
rug up on the wall instead of a headboard, and burned incense until it gave me
a headache, but I thought I was all grown up now. It seems not.
Curiosity never killed anyone, so I delved a little deeper into Bohemianism and here’s what Wiki had to say:
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.
This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, even aristocratic or wealthy, bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème ("high bohemians").
Not sure where I fit in amongst the above, suffice to say that my husband would agree I am a little odd and unconventional and I’m quite okay with that. (Someone needs to swim upstream!)
The Pre-Raphaelites were the first bohemians, who were described in 1862 in the Westminster Review as ‘simply an artist or litterateur who consciously or unconsciously secedes from conventionality in life and in art’. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the most prominent bohemian of that day with his deviations from normal standards and unconventional way of life. Bohemian style was also given to a certain style of clothing, Jane Morris Rossetti’s muse wore unrestricted flowing dresses shunning corsets and hoops, she was quite the rebel and of course much later, The Bloomsbury set lived an outlandishly unconventional lifestyle, which perhaps accidentally spilled over into their furnishing style, painting walls and ceilings as if they were one huge canvas, making pottery, sewing needlepoint cushions. It was all to do with handmade, home made items, items with real integrity. It was more about how they created than who was coupling with who. It was a merging of like-minded souls who enjoyed creating beautiful art together.
I believe that our unique style is determined by so many things, who were are now, where we've been, who we meet along the way, our roots, family history and modern day influences and most importantly the people we live with now.
According to Emily we are all a mix of a few styles, and I totally agree. I think my style has changed over the years, no more rugs on the wall, but those elements like texture, hand crafted items, and pattern have stayed with me alongside with having so many different hobbies, which once mastered, I swiftly move on to the next one, ever so determined that this one will be the last one! And I have a real love for wood, it’s so tactile. My father could make just about anything out of wood and he would always point out what a certain piece of furniture or accessory was made from, so I guess I fostered an early appreciation for things made of wood or indeed anything that was hand crafted.
I’d like to think my style has become a little more sophisticated (she laughs!) still very eclectic and less hippy beach bum and I don’t want the quiz to pigeonhole me into one tiny box called bohemian, start wearing flowing kaftans or influence what I should be buying, so like Emily suggests in the book, I decided to name my own personal style, and in honour of the GBBO (because I like cake!) it would read like this: rich bohemian sponge layer cake with creamy rustic icing mixed with a few tablespoons of modern glam for added zing, and finally a scant sprinkling of traditional on the top!
But enough of cake, here are a few of my kind of bohemian interiors from my Pinterest board.
Have you read the book, taken the test? What kind of style do you gravitate towards?