6 Design Books to Read Now if You Love the Boho Aesthetic

6 Design Books to Read Now if You Love the Boho Aesthetic

Nicole Haddad
Apr 17, 2018
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

From globally chic interiors that fill our Instagram feeds to flourishing lifestyle, travel and culture blogs, the free-flowing Bohemian style of living leads to some of the most intriguing spaces and design ideas around the world. The irresistible pull towards an unconventional life is manifested in our homes, where the pretension of perfect gives way to living with what you love. These six books explore individuality with a large dose of exploration—from plant paradises to an adobe sanctuary at the foothills of the Andes once frequented by Jorge Luis Borges—and prove that going boho is far from a fad, it's a way of life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Hardie Grant)

The Maverick Soul by Miv Watts and Hugh Stewart (Hardie Grant)

There are the rebels we love—people that leave in an indelible mark on those around them and disregard rules, constraints or fear in search of living their truth. These are the people interior decorator and stylist Miv Watts and photographer Hugh Stewart focus on in their mesmerizingly beautiful book. From antiquarian book dealer Simon Finch's eccentric and idiosyncratic Arts & Crafts' home, "Voewood" in England, to the late sixties counter-culture artist Martin Sharp's art-filled abode in Australia, the living spaces of these fearless, intuitive artists, stylists, writers and more, reflect a life of standing at the edge.

Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores-Vianna (Vendome Press)

If there was ever a book that was a window into the lives of creatives around the world, this is it. Miguel Flores-Vianna, a former editor-turned-photographer captures the intimate, authentic layers of these erudite, bohemians' lives. From the romance of artist Alessandro Twombly's farmhouse in the hills of Italy to illustrator Pierre Le-Tan's set-like Paris apartment, Flores-Vianna captures glimpses into the haute sense of style and layering of cultures these artists, editors, designers, collectors and more, employ. This isn't a book about decorating, it is a book about people with a sense of curiosity, adventure and poetry in life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Abrams)

The New Bohemians: Cool & Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney with photographs by Dabito (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Justina Blakeney, of cult-followed design and lifestyle, Jungalow, is boho goals personified. In the main part of her design candy store of a book, the designer, artist and author highlights the travel-rooted lifestyles of the bohemians of today. This new crowd of creatives in search of an artful life embrace the dilution of lines between spaces: homes serve as offices, galleries, music studios and more—boundaries be gone. The interiors of free-spirited, travel-logged romantics with a penchant for business, a carefree nature, and a cultivated eye, form the essence of this book. The 20 spaces they inhabit are broken down into six different fun-filled themes. From The Nomadic Bohemian, to the Folksy Bohemian and The Maximal Bohemian—these pages are layered with inspiration.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Rizzoli)

Casa Bohemia: The Spanish-Style House by Linda Leigh Paul (Rizzoli)

This is the kind of book that makes you want to pop open that bottle of malbec and fantasize about how to decorate your non-existent hacienda in Mexico. The author, known for a slew of design books focusing on everything from coastal to desert retreats, knows exactly how to take someone through a visual journey of escape. Exquisite textiles, incredible woodwork and colorful tiles layer the vibrant locations featured within these pages, which range from Santa Barbara, California to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

(Image credit: Courtesy of teNeues)

How We Live by Marcia Prentice (teNeues)

What happens when a photographer with a massive curiosity about how people live suffers from a big dose of wanderlust? A fascinating, soulful compendium of interiors and design perspectives from around the world is what. Forget contrived and perfect, these homes and spaces reflect a spirit of harmony, an emotional connection with space, time and culture. From an artisan architect's home in Beirut, Lebanon, to a sculptor's home in Guadalajara, Mexico—the locations are unexpected and eye-opening. It just goes to showcase that how we live isn't always just about a certain design aesthetic and culture, but also about personal curiosity, environment, a sense of innate style and a willingness to explore.

Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants by Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graff (Callwey Verlag)

You don't have to be a plant whisperer to live a plant-lush lifestyle! At least that's what Igor Josifovic of the Happy Interior Blog and Judith de Graaff of Joelix demonstrate in this seriously green book inspired by their joint blog, Urban Jungle Bloggers. From an Instagram generation full of documented succulent addicts displaying their plants in hip vessels, to a more recognized need to reconnect with nature, plants have become another highly individualized décor tool. Which is why the authors didn't just showcase interiors. They also tapped their community of bloggers to share their plant styling ideas, DIY projects and Boho-influenced green vignettes. The five inspirational homes, or "urban jungles" featured include a Dutch couples' 50-plant-laden home and a botanical garden-level cool plant studio in Istanbul.

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