Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson • Review
A little while ago I spotted an event at the Anthropologie store in Bath that I just couldn't not go to! One of my favourite authors Emily Henson was promoting her new book Bohemian Modern and the store was hosting a macramé workshop to celebrate.
Emily is a critically acclaimed stylist and interiors author whose first book, Modern Rustic, completely encapsulated my dream interior style. I love that Emily's own personal style appears to come across in the book in amongst all the beautiful photography.
Understated, elegant and rustic. Every room looks actually lived in. Real homes, from real people all with a common bohemian theme tying them together. The book shows how different people take elements of the 1970's trends and use them in contemporary and creative settings. I've never thought of myself as a fan of 70's interiors but when I run my fingers over the glossy pages I am drawn to the principle of displaying collections, mixing patterns and textures and bringing nature into the home.
It was a pleasure to spend time with the other enthusiastic people who had booked a place on the workshop. To connect with some new faces and meet a fellow Instagram fan who joins in with the same galleries. We chatted with Emily about the process behind the book, how she finds the houses she features and it makes your eyes pop open when you start to understand the mountain of work that goes into writing a book.
I was intrigued as to whether anyone she approached ever said no and how you cope with coordinating international locations. We spent the next hour discussing the lovely people she visited and how the rooms are photographed. I always wondered how staged homes that are featured are, whether they are "styled" and then get put back to normal after a photo shoot. But it was refreshing to know that the odd chair here and there may get moved and placed but generally, it's the authenticity you want to capture and share.
Bohemian Modern is a perfect compliment to Emily's first book. It felt more full of colour and I loved how it included rooms from family houses as well as aspirational grown up interiors! There's a feeling of whimsy to this book, a playfulness amongst the pops of colour and pattern.
You see how collections grow over time. I have a vision for each room in our house but it can't be rushed. You can't produce that curated interior style overnight. Each piece has a story and finds a place. There's a line in the book where Emily says "Your home is not a showroom and styling should be fun, simply another way to display your favourite things artfully." I love this sentiment, that a home is an opportunity to create vignettes, showcasing your precious things, that can be moved and changed over time. It gives you the opportunity to use all the spaces in your home, to look for those less obvious places that, in Emily's words, "are crying out for a little collection of small treasures, curated and styled by you".
Bohemian Modern is a real escape into the homes of those whose creativity reaches every corner. How their individual personalities hit you from the second you walk through the door. It's tempting with busy lives to buy the perfect room, to pick your style out of a catalogue, but this books shows the complete joy in taking time to build up your collections, to make your interior style as individual as you are. The homes feel so happy, each of the rooms have their own stories to tell, back gardens which have hosted parties and quiet Sundays, kitchen tables for feasting on and sofas to collapse on.
The book also shows you Emily's home. She shares the story of her beloved armchair where she nursed her children, her street finds and how they have curated their "home for now" in the most frugal fashion. Her honesty in the way she describes how she feels about how house is heartwarming. As a sentimental hoarder I was amazed to read she sold or gave away almost all their belongings when they moved back from Los Angeles three years ago. That sense of freedom then the journey of starting again.
I was so pleased to be able to buy Emily's book and meet her in person. We all follow our favourites for inspiration and her blog Life Unstyled is just that. Inspiration by the dreamy blog post load! You can buy a copy of both Emily's book through her website here.
You can find out about upcoming events at Anthropologie by signing up to their lovely email updates.