My fossilized century-old home I fondly refer to as Golden Gate has wet feet. Apparently, no one knew how to address drainage in the 1920’s on a steep and rangy, oak-dotted hillside at the top of a runty island in the San Francisco Bay.
To say Golden Gate does not appear at her best these days is an understatement as she braves beaucoup repairs to her marshy, moldy, waterlogged footing. For now, the aged centenarian is decidedly indisposed and must adjourn from public view at least for a while.
Bohemian Great Room
But what better way to take a break from Golden Gate chaos than to focus on Bohemian beauty? Afterall, Bohemian Style is in vogue, and I think this home I’m walking you through with 14 images embodies the genre superbly.
During her travels to Guatemala, India, Peru, Spain and Italy, my client eventually landed in Sonoma County where she walked past a sunny, white stucco, hillside property every day envisioning herself living there.
In fall of 2018, I stepped inside the Mediterranean dwelling my client ultimately purchased. I was struck by the collection of foreign, divergent and unconventional objects including antiques, old rugs, contemporary furniture, provocative artwork, vibrant ceramics, spiritual sculptures, and a bounty of unexpected pillows, textiles and fabrics.
This mishmash of neutrals allied with dynamically deep shades of color invoked a mystical and exotic quality that didn’t merge well with milky-white walls. So, we selected a paint color to warm up the rooms then I brought in decorative painter, Shawn Roland, to glaze the painted walls that produced a radiant glow.
The previous window treatments had a narrow panel hanging from one side of four expansive arched windows in the great room. The drapery rod was installed several feet below the top of each arched window that divided the lanky windows into two sections.
The voluminous new window treatments were hung on small rods above the arched windows to raise the eye to the ceiling. This served to make the room look loftier and the window treatments appear grander and more elegant.
We moved the traditional sofa from the great room into the sunroom where it harmonized with an abstract painting attached above. Then we unrolled a vintage brown and orange Turkish Kilim rug on the floor over softly colored terra cotta tiles.
The narrow room was anchored at the far end with a richly embellished cabinet and lavish gold mirror that reflected light around a hand-carved Mexican Santos that my client purchased in Santa Fe.
The family room had a warm wood-paneled ceiling, but the chalky-white walls created a drab and prosaic feeling in the space. The antique blue chairs had saggy seat cushions and the television looked out of place in the corner.
Painting and glazing walls a warm apricot color with an extra layer of glaze on the cloverleaf window ornamentation forged a luminous backdrop for the now refreshed electric-blue chairs. The ornamental black and gray screen balanced the room with a built-in cabinet on the opposite side of the den.
We placed a contemporary silver console against a wall and topped it with the television backed with four European line drawings. An armless velvet navy chair and decorative wooden armchair sat on either side with woven baskets beneath for storage. The console reflected the pewter color of a Turkish tasseled ottoman that resided in front of the restuffed blue chairs with orange and pistachio-colored shaggy pillows.
Multi-patterned textiles with floral and geometric themes from different parts of the world mingled together in the master bedroom. A composition of neutral brown, black and beige tones combined with dusty apricot hues, sapphire blues and varying shades of terra cotta, bedecked the pillows and coverlet at the end of the bed.
With daylight illuminating her golden handmade four-foot-tall wooden figure encrusted with birds, glittery leaves and shiny pearlescent balls, this Indian Wedding Statue beckons guests to reflect upon the sacredness of beauty.
All I know about this painting is that according to ancient mythology, birds are spiritual messengers. This piece of mysterious artwork is painted by artist Denise Carletta and hung in the sunroom close to the Indian Wedding Statue. Both provocative pieces with mythical birds can be viewed from the entry giving those who enter a hint of what’s to come.
True Bohemian Style
I told my client her home was the closest I had come to witnessing an authentic Bohemian design style. She agreed with my description but added, “The style is diverse, unexpected and out of the box. It depicts beauty that doesn’t conform to any formula and yet is coherent to the soul. The rich, deep colors give a sense of depth and living through many life experiences.”
For the love of true Bohemian Style,