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Home how to: Bohemian on a budget

Four tips for curating a well-traveled home for cheap.

Creating a home rich in texture and color doesn’t mean you have to wait around for a Calypso sample sale or hope one of the chic Tibetan boutiques in your neighborhood has a sidewalk sale. “The key to a bohemian styled home is a layered and collected home that reflects your own personality,” says Justine Blakeney, author of the beautiful new coffee table book, “The New Bohemians.” “The heart of a bohemian home is creativity,” she says. With that in mind, we called her for some tips on how to create a boho home without going broke.

Give what you have new life
Blakeney says the easiest way to make your flea market find look like it was imported from Morocco is to paint it, and her big tip for going boho is to go bold. “People get scared to make a bold paint choice because they’re scared they’ll hate it. But if you hate it, you can just paint it a different color. It’s not a permanent thing,” she says. “I have a dresser I bought for $100 at this place called Junk in Brooklyn and I’ve painted it like, five, different colors.”

Shop second-hand
The couches and beds featured in “The New Bohemians” are all layered with beautiful, brightly patterned pillows. Blakeney says she scored most of hers on eBay. “Instead of paying $80 for a pillow from a New York boutique, I’ll pay $15 for one I find on eBay,” she says, adding that the best search terms to use are “kilim pillows” or “berber Moroccan pillows.”

Dress up an inexpensive couch
No one will know your couch is from Ikea if you drap a handira, Moroccan wedding blanket over it, Blakeney says. Once again, she hits up eBay to score an authentic one for a fraction of the cost.

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Accent with potted plants
Instead of spending a fortune on freshly cut flowers, Blakeney says to figure out what type of potted plants will thrive in your apartment. “I included a plantipedia in the back of the book to bust the green thumb/brown thumb myth,” she says. “You just need the information about what type of plants thrive in the environment you have at home, how often you should water it, and then just follow through.”

To her, a plant trailing down a tall bookshelf or a beautiful palm arching in the corner are a staple to bohemian living and provide a figurative and literal breath of fresh air. “Everything around us is computers and cars. Even at home we have all these machines, metal and cement. We need to balance out urban living with plants,” she says.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 
 
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