Updated: Oct 5
Somebody asked me, "What influenced your boho style?"
I think my design esthetic changed to a more relaxed, global style when I closed my brick and mortar store, and travelled abroad with my husband.
Being an Art Major who studied Art History, I just absorbed my senses in all of the regional textiles, architecture and cultures I found myself in. The world opened up for me.
I haven't ventured very far south of America, but did have the opportunity to spend time in Mexico and St. Croix. Both regions express their art and textiles with bursts of color. I fell in love with this Talavera plate from Mexico, we could barely fit it in the overhead compartment on the way home, but it was meant to be! I love the artisanship of this design and explosion of colors. It is colorful, but neutral at the same time. I think the textiles in these regions stood out to me. Textiles are such a reflection of different cultures.
Opportunities have allowed us to travel in Europe. I have family in Norway, so Norway has been visited most frequently. Hand knitted mittens, sweaters, intricate wood carving and rosemaling (folk art painting) are very common cultural art traditions in Norway. My cousin is an absolute artisan, she can create the most beautiful sweaters, mittens and slippers all with ease. She keeps a basket of these beautiful slippers for guests by the door! See my lucky slipper score!
The Scandinavians love the outdoors and they even dine outside year round, they just provide a seat warmer, (sheepskin) and a blanket for their customers, portable heaters are on standby .
Many Scandinavian interiors reflect the concept of "hygge" (hoo-gah) it is not just a word, but a concept or state of mind. "Hygge is about cosiness and surrounding yourself with the things that make life good, like friendship, laughter and security, as well as more concrete things like warmth, light, seasonal food and drink." Hygge is creating a peaceful, serene space that is clutter free.
It makes sense when you see the simplicity of Scandinavian Design. Our hotel room (below center) in Norway was a prime example of "hygge" or Scan Design; simple, uncomplicated but inviting. When I returned to the states, I was inspired to find a similar coffee table and end tables we had in our hotel space. (right below) While planning our beach place, I was looking for something not to heavy and that would make a small space feel more open, the lucite did the job, the simplicity spoke to me.
Italy was very interesting. It is a very small country but the regions are all so different. In Milan we saw rows of high end boutiques, a huge outdoor markets. There was so much activity in Milan, the cultural arts got lost to me, except the sculptures by Botero that popped up every now and then, and of course, the architecture.
Venice is just a delight. A very artisan vibe everywhere. We were lucky enough to tour the Murano glass making facility. The process is so much fun to watch! The glass works range from lighting to stand alone art. I was fascinated by the Picasso influenced heads, but we fell in love with a beautiful hand blown seashell sculpture, fits perfect on our coffee table. Somehow the Talavera plate from Mexico works with the glass blown shell sculpture from Venice.
At least it works for me, because they represent life experiences I will never forget.
In London, there is a long standing history and tradition seen everywhere from the Royal Palace to the Tower of London. And yes, you can speak the language, but you are also surrounded by so many cultures! Delicious curry in the air, textiles and wares from many countries displayed in the marketplaces. I observed cultural influences in interior design while visting restaurants and lodgings. Our boutique hotel, the Knightsbridge Hotel, London, (below) was such an inspiration! It motivated me to design with more color, and to realize how mixing patterns can create a vibrant home setting. The rooms are so fun, bold and inviting! The modern use of ikat prints and kilim textiles brought so much excitement to each space.
As I look around my home today, I see the influence of my travels in my home decor selections and even in my textile designs. (below) When decorating my home, I enjoy collecting things little by little, to create an interesting space that reflects my family and our experiences. When incorporating something from my travels, I choose pieces that have a story behind it, or it have a cultural representation.
Center, left to right; Randi K. Prism Pillow Covers, Mykonos Pillow Covers, So Cal Pillow Covers
I am a product of my surroundings. I love seeing different cultural arts and disciplines come together to create a global feel in my home decor, which some categorize as "Boho" style.
What inspires your home decor? Traditional, lodge, farmhouse, modern? Whatever your inspiration is, it will always represent you and your family. And coming home to your favorite inspirations, makes it home.
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PS. Don't be afraid of color!