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Adopt an Idea from ‘The New Bohemians’

The New Bohemians, Justina Blakeney

The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney, of The Jungalow, just went on sale today and I’m helping kick off her blogger book tour! The book features photos by Dabito of twenty homes divided into sub-styles like The Modern, Romantic, or Maximal Bohemian, with DIY projects at the end of each section. The images are gorgeous and fun to flip through, but you can also dive deeper to get an idea of who lives in each home and see how they embody bohemian style in various ways.

The New Bohemians, Justina Blakeney

I like to revisit my favorite interior design books over and over, because I get something different out of them each time. I could be looking for layouts, color combinations, or certain pieces of furniture, and with a specific search in mind, I often pick up on things I may have not have noticed the first (or fifth!) time around. That’s why I love the “Adopt an Idea” section at the end of each home tour in The New Bohemians; Justina highlights a few interesting ideas that you may have missed otherwise. Here are a few of my favorites…

The New Bohemians Book: Adopt an Idea

Paint it Black

Erica’s dressers are all glossy and black. If you have an old dresser that needs a little love, paint in black. Add brass hardware for shine and let it patina.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Erica Tanov & Steven Emerson, p. 217 (pictured above)

hr 644

Window Win

It can be tough to know how to decorate around a low window, so when in doubt, add plants! Plant an indoor garden on a low bench: The plants will get the light they need, but you’ll still benefit from the light, too.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Anne Parker & Alea Joy, p.77

hr 644

Shape Up

Paint a shape, for instance a blue rectangle, on the wall and hang a shelf painted to match. The result is an instant art installation where you can store and display your favorite objects.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Justina Blakeney & Jason Rosencrantz, p. 289

hr 644

Create a Wall

If you’re short on wall space, float your bed in the center of the room and use the headboard as an additional wall. Then use space behind the bed to maximize storage.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Marika Wagle, p. 49 (pictured below)

The New Bohemians Book: Adopt an Idea

There are three or four design tips for each featured home in the book, and of course plenty of other information shared throughout, so the above examples are just a fraction of what’s inside. The New Bohemians is available now, and you can check Justina’s book tour to see who else will be featuring more from the book each day.

Black and Blue

Ever borrow something from a friend, and then after seeing how good it looks on you, you wish you didn’t have to give it back? That’s kind of the situation here, except it’s my house that’s wearing the borrowed item. A rug, in this case. And a couple of pillows.

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

I’d been seeing Loloi popping up in the design world a lot lately, and when they reached out about a potential partnership, we decided that it would be fun to feature one of their rugs by styling it in my home. I chose one of my favorites (JO-10 in indigo/blue, from their new Journey collection) and it was on its way here.

Pink Tulips

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

Loloi has rugs in a huge variety of styles. I almost went with their Sahara rug, but I thought it would be fun to try out something with a more saturated color palette. The blue is so beautiful, isn’t it? I wasn’t sure how it would play against my sofa, but it’s working. Oh, yes it is.

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

Since everything was sent on loan to be photographed, it will be on its way back to Loloi soon and I’ll be sad to see it go. The floors are bare throughout most of the first floor right now and I’d forgotten how nice it is to have a soft, plush rug underfoot, let alone one so pretty. I find myself standing in the doorway, checking out the room the way you might put on something new and check yourself out in the mirror. Lookin’ good, room.

Loloi Pillows and Rug

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

The pillows by Loloi will be in stores soon, and I think that at the very least I’m going to need to get one of those multicolored pillows for keeps. The rugs are available now though, in retailers across the nation and online through sites like Wayfair and Rugs Direct.

Teal Sofa, Black Walls, Blue Loloi Rug | Making it Lovely

So fun to see the room dressed a bit differently, and rugs always have the power to really change a room. What do you think? Are you liking the black and blue together in the room as much as I am?

Your Thoughts on Original vs. Mass-Produced Art?

I’ve talked a little about the vintage painting over my fireplace before. I like it, but it’s not my favorite. It doesn’t ‘speak to me’ or remind me of my time in Venice (seeing as I’ve never been). If anything, it reminds me of the painting that hung above my grandparents’ sofa. They had probably bought it in the late 60s or early 70s, and it was mass-produced to look like it was hand-painted. It was a cityscape, of Venice or maybe some vaguely Italian city, and it plugged in so the lights in the buildings’ windows lit up. It was pretty tacky, but also pretty fantastic.

I know that association doesn’t say much for my painting. I went for it because I liked the look well enough though, and I wanted a painting over the fireplace as opposed to a print or a mirror. It was the right size, color, and price, and I liked the way it was framed. I wouldn’t hesitate to sell it if the day comes that I find something else to replace it, but I’m not in a hurry.

Vintage Painting of Venice

I was walking through the art selection in a big store recently and I started thinking about how people approach art for their homes — more specifically, paintings, not prints. I do have some original art that I’ve slowly collected over the years, but paintings are expensive. I’m not saying they aren’t worth it (because artists should value their time and expertise and charge accordingly), but the fact is that they are typically pretty pricey and therefore often out of reach, especially for larger works.

Big box stores make art more affordable, but there is sometimes a snobbish stigma attached and I’m curious about it. Is it that you’re spending your money at a catalog or chain store rather than supporting an independent artist through a direct purchase? Is it that you may have the same art hanging in your home as many other people? Stores and sites like Z Gallerie, Ballard Designs,, One Kings Lane, Target, Crate & Barrel, Home Decorators Collection, and Pottery Barn all carry paintings printed on canvas that are mass-produced but aim to look like hand-painted originals. Some can be pretty generic, but there are plenty of interesting options out there too. How do you feel about them? Tacky or tasteful, or does it vary case by case?

It’s easy to advise people to eschew faux-original paintings and only buy the real thing (whether vintage or new), but that’s often easier said than done. So if you’re not a fan of mass-produced art, what do you choose? Will you save up until you can afford a one-of-a-kind (directly from the artist, through a gallery, or through sites like Etsy, Chairish, or Serena & Lily)? Paint something yourself? Search for a well-priced find at the flea market or a student art show? Maybe you tend to choose something else (like a mirror), go without entirely, or you make a distinction between canvas prints offered by independent artists vs. those from big box stores? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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