Marcia, Marcia, Marcia — Bohemian, I am

Technically I am quite the mix. My mother was half Lebanese and a fourth each of Scotch and Irish; a fiery blend, for sure. My father was three-fourths Czech and one-fourth German. Like most of us, immigrants that we are, I’m a bit of a mutt.

I love claiming the Lebanese and enjoy the Czech (aka Bohemian). I looked it up once, the Czech part, that is. It seems your affluence determined your moniker back in the day. Wealthy … you were Czech. Poorer … you were Bohemian. It makes no difference at this point in my life; all five parts of me are rich in culture and that’s pretty cool.

Where am I going with this? Well, probably not where you think. I’m sorry to disappoint, but my text today won’t include a recipe for Kolache or Red Lentil Soup, Scotch Eggs, Irish Stew or Schnitzel. I think on this day in June I would like to leave food behind and move on to discuss interior design. Interior design … of the Bohemian variety … the variety that’s come to be known as Boho.

The longer I live the more I embrace the Boho side of myself. Vivid color, along with paisley and mandala prints feed the love. And it isn’t just a fabric, pillow, bedspread, rug thing … it’s a total wraparound, tarnished gold chandelier and brass candleholder thing. It’s a pillow-full look, held together by my memories of coming of age in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.

The Spruce says, “There’s something about bohemian design that instantly relaxes and lightens up a space. The style, inspired by unconventional lifestyles and travel, abounds with layered colors, eclectic patterns and playful textures. Often, this includes woven decor, vintage furnishings and vibrant houseplants. The goal? To create a carefree, eclectic space that ignites the senses.”

Hmm … sounds fancy! Well, I’m not fancy, I’m just me … and that’s what I’ve decided Bohemian is all about. I’m unconventional. I’ve traveled. I have colors and patterns and lots of vintage in my home. However, I’m sorely … and well, totally, lacking vibrant houseplants. I do have a few faux succulents though. I will have to check into that. Gotta Google “vibrant houseplants.”

Anyway, here is how it goes at Casa Schlegelmilch … Living room, dedicated to my time in Italy. Flea market finds marked Italy and Firenze include a brass goblet, a kinda large pottery vase in the shape of a trophy, a souvenir plate from Venice, another transfer ware plate from … wait for it … Italy, small tin globe and a hard bound travel guide to lots of funky places off the beaten path that is the Appian Way. There is a bright blue lamp in one corner, it has ducks painted on its base … I know not why. I’ve got a two-headed mirror I’m pretty proud of with a Roman look to it. It’s a York Goodwill find from quite a while back and it’s tarnished too!

Soon, I’m hoping the northeast corner of the room will be home to a pretty darn cool, only for looks, chandelier that was gilded gold before being stored in a barn … perfection!

My carefully curated Boho collection of “this and that” continues into the dining room, past the kitchen and into the family room. The “this and that” gives me great joy … and it’s calming. My “this and that” puts me at peace and provides grounding; much like going barefoot. There is a reason for each piece in my collection and here it is … each piece is there because I like it and feel connected to it!

At this point in my life, nearly 70 years of age, I’m relatively certain my relatives won’t be interested in absorbing this amazing assemblage of mom-cool. I’m a realist … sorting through my parents’ belongings was definitely a life lesson. My take away from it was … Don’t worry about what will become of the Hummel plates, or the stamp collection, the Fenton Easter baskets or the ukulele.  Just know the good china and stems of crystal begging to be set out for the holidays should be set out for the holidays. Heck, set it out every day! So, I am enjoying this and using that without a care in the world! I’m Boho and proud of it, a real mix of this and that, just like my background and just like my home.

P.S. And I promise an ethnic recipe in a column to come.



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