We Found the Bohemian Look You're Trying to Master
An Alfresco Affair
Jen, known as FleaMarketFab, sees her home as a gallery of favorite things, the vast majority of which came from thrift stores, antiques fairs, Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist, and even neighbors' trash piles. On her wraparound porch you'll find a wooden chair frame she purchased for $2.50, a carved screen from a local flea market for $20, and shell hangings that are vintage finds from flea markets. The settee was a frame-only purchase for $25, which she decorated with upholstery cording and an off-the rack cushion.
Jen installed casters on the grain cabinet before bringing it into her house. She rolled it around the main level until it found its home between the fireplace and flowy curtains. Textiles energize her living room -- this collection began with a Pinterest post several years ago of an all-white space with Moroccan rugs.
White Is Right
Most of the walls in Jen’s home are painted the same shade of white. In the dining room, though, she flipped the scheme, dressing two walls in a bold floral paper and coating the floor in a glossy version of her favorite white.
A midcentury daybed (an awesome Craigslist score) nestles perfectly into a window bump-out in the dining room. It creates an inviting spot for more of Jen’s Moroccan textiles and, of course, her miniature pinscher, Ernesto.
High to Low
Formerly a florist shop’s workstation, the patina-rich furniture piece became the breakfast table after Jen cut nearly a foot off the legs. Pink spray paint gives vintage Russell Woodard metal chairs a sassy new look that pairs well with the door beads and vases.
Art + Cart
A vintage brass bar cart pairs with a modern art canvas created by a local high school student. A fan of making your own art, Jen says to play some music and let yourself be free. It's an inexpensive way to break the mold and with dramatic outcome.
Peel and Stick
The Nursery -- outfitted for Jen’s toddler grandson -- has walls dressed in removable wallpaper tiles (what a neat idea). Jen’s collection of paint-by-number animal art also pops up throughout the room.
Floating ledges hold books beside a midcentury Eames chair. After considering having it reupholstered, she found the white leather worked perfectly once she started the decorating process in the nursery.
A full-size bed in the nursery hosts a smattering of pillows. The central one, with birds on it, Jen created from a chenille robe she found at Goodwill. It had stains on it, so she salvaged the good parts to create something new.
Shallow IKEA cabinets line one nursery wall. They didn’t come with knobs, so Jen found these two-tone wooden knobs with bells. She knew the baby would love playing with them and installed them herself.
One of her all-time favorite projects, Jen made the light fixture over her office sewing table by pairing an IKEA chandelier and a galvanized metal tub. Running the chandelier wiring through a drilled hole in the metal, she rewired it to make the cord a lot longer. An architectural piece of perfectly patinaed copper -- part of a local church steeple -- hangs on the wall behind.
The brackets supporting Jen’s vanity table were the porch railings on an old local home being demolished. She eventually plans on using an old door on top, but until she finds one, a piece of tempered glass helps display her collection of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry.
One Person’s Trash
Jen scored a paint-splattered drop cloth at a garage sale. Originally planning to reupholstering a piece of furniture with it, she instead added grommets and tied it with rope to create her master bedroom's window treatment.
When Jen saw the framed horse rug at Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, she had to have it. She finds the piece impactful, and says it makes a statement all by itself. She admits that it's so ugly, it's great!
Jen and her husband, Raymond, were picking up a Craigslist purchase when he fell for these large presidential portraits. He insisted they have them and the owner told the couple the pair had hung in the auditorium of a now-demolished school in Cleveland. The school didn’t drill into the stone walls, so both pieces were glued to the plaster. Big chunks of plaster are still attached to the backs of these frames.
The master bed’s headboard is an old barn door -- and another find that only Jen could see the beauty in. She says the piece was filthy and loaded with pink paint. After a good cleaning and sanding, it became the standout Jen had imagined. A Moroccan wedding blanket shines on Jen’s master bed with its creamy wool, white fringe, and gold sequins.
Take a Seat
A handcrafted folding table created by a local man for his farmers market booth now hosts warm-weather meals on Jen’s porch, anchored by a 13-foot-long kilim rug. All her rugs are antique and found at garage sales and flea markets. Jen outfits her porch with the same type of rugs she uses inside. She recommends thin, flat weaves that dry quickly and are easy to sweep.
Tie One On
To create the tassel curtains on her porch, Jen crafted tassels from yarn in three neutral colors. To assemble, she hung 6-foot-long dowels from a clothing rack so she could work without a ladder. She started by tying 20 pieces of twine to the same length, evenly spaced on the rod. She then tied on the tassels, randomly picking the color and adding different lengths of twine and tassels to create layers. After the tassels were attached, she added pink and cranberry yarn accents above the tassels and around the top of each length of twine. She installed the tassel curtain by tying each dowel to screw eyes on the porch overhang.
Being a self-proclaimed junker, Jen insists nothing matches. Her mostly white and glass table settings she uses when hosting friends and family are all mixed and matched from Goodwill. It’s cheap enough that she can afford to resell it or donate it back.
A DIY shed made by Jen and Raymond, a concrete contractor, shows off their resourcefulness. He found the walls in the dumpster at a job site. A neighbor installed a new shed door, and Jen garbage-picked the old one. The ceiling rafters are from a friend's deck -- they were replacing it and gave the couple all the wood. After spraying the inside with white paint, they created a bar with a concrete counter and wrapped it with old shutters and doors cut to size.
String lights, DIY pendants, and handmade torches bring romantic ambiance to a garden gathering. Jen wanted a Bohemian-theme area where you could sit in the garden, play some music, and have some drinks and relax. Her front yard seating area does just that.
Jen created a pair of outdoor pendants from hardware cloth, zip ties, and light kits. “I had no clue how many ties and how much time it was going to take,” she says of the project. The longer light has 5,000 ties; the smaller one has about 1,000.
Jen tied tapers to bamboo garden supports using colored contractor string to illuminate her garden beds. Because the candles were from Goodwill, the entire project cost $15.
Jennifer Harrison is a nonstop project machine -- adopting, remaking, and posting flea, thrift, and curb gems that she alone sees the potential in. See more of her work here.