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Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green colors the office at Justina Blakeney’s LA home. The chair wears a Blakeney fabric.Photo: Jenna Peffley

4 Boho Homes That Remind Us How Timeless the Style Can Be

From Justina Blakeney’s family home to Troye Sivan’s pop-star pad, we’re taking notes from these personality-filled places

Boho home decor can feel hard to pull off, but it often looks best when you take the pressure off and just lean into what feels most personally compelling. After all the style prioritizes worn, comfortable interiors that speak more to the life of the individual dweller than to any particular rule book. And if there’s anyone whose home truly exemplifies the joys of boho design, it’s AD100 designer and Jungalow founder Justina Blakeney.

“For me, what is at the heart of the ‘boho design’ style is freedom,” Blakeney says via email. “That’s what is so appealing about it. It’s about the freedom to express oneself, about the freedom to be spontaneous, to invite the energies and stories from travel and nature into the home.” She adds: “It’s about embracing one’s wild side. But, perhaps most of all, it’s kind of like treating the home as an ongoing art project—it’s creative, deeply personal, and ever evolving.” 

Words to live—and decorate—by, it seems. Below, we’re sharing four inspiring homes from the pages of AD that feature boho home decor. 

Justina Blakeney’s Los Angeles Abode

Rattan-and-chrome chairs surround a 1980s Italian travertine dining table in the home of Justina Blakeney.

Photo: Jenna Peffley

An unapologetically self-identifying maximalist, Justina Blakeney founded trendsetting design blog Jungalow back in 2009 to bring her personal vision of beauty into the world and help others tap into their creativity by better expressing themselves inside their homes. Since then, she’s continued to build the Jungalow empire, launching its namesake design brand in 2014 and cultivating a passionately engaged digital community that follows her every move. While the pandemic slowed the world down, Blakeney was busier than ever, publishing her third book, Jungalow: Decorate Wild, and expanding the Opalhouse designed with Jungalow collection for Target. On top of all that, she and her husband, Jason Rosencrantz, and their now nine-year-old daughter, Ida, were also creating a new home.

The multihyphenate entrepreneur vividly recalls the first apartment she lived on her own at the age of 28, a botanical-print-filled space in LA that she moved into after spending seven years in Italy. “That was the first time I had a place all to myself,” she recalls. “Although it was somewhat short-lived because I moved in with my then boyfriend—now husband—about a year later, I really was able to express myself in a way that I felt like I had never had the freedom to do before that. It was really just about me.”

While growing up in Berkeley, California, Blakeney lived in a modern house built by the architect Benson Ford. “I was five when we moved in, and seeing a Black architect at that time made me realize we can do anything,” she remembers. That home was an eclectic mix of antique furniture bought at auctions, cultural artifacts from her family’s travels, and a massive collection of Pan-African art. Paintings with scenes from Jewish folklore were hung next to depictions of Ethiopian royalty, she notes. “It was a living interpretation of the different mix that my household was made up of.”

As much as she and Rosencrantz loved their starter house, a 1,000-square-foot 1926 bungalow located in Frogtown, the family of three started craving more space. Their new place in Altadena is a Spanish-style abode built in the early ’30s with traditional Mediterranean details and midcentury-modern flair. The 2,700-square-foot property is a slice of paradise that checks all of the boxes for Blakeney: There’s an internal courtyard, a pool with an incredible view, and mature fruit trees amid the surrounding foliage. Most of all, she appreciates how the spacious house supports an indoor-outdoor lifestyle while also feeling intimate. “It has a coziness to it that I really love,” she notes, “and a circularity about the flow of the energy because of the way it surrounds the courtyard.” —Sydney Gore

Model Jessica Hart’s Colorful Home

A vintage glass gate opens off one end of the kitchen, which is painted a Farrow & Ball yellow. Vintage Spanish ceiling lights; Wolf range.

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Mota designed the bespoke tiles that surround the living-room fireplace. Vintage Jansen daybed; custom painted floor by Javier Sánchez.

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Often friends make the best collaborators. So for Australian model and Luma Beauty founder Jessica Hart and seasoned interiors editor, stylist, and designer Carlos Mota, a decorating partnership was a long time coming. “I’ve just always really admired Carlos’s taste and love for all things colorful and amazing,” says Hart.

The pair rolled with the same social circles for years in New York City and even traveled to India. But it wasn’t until Hart geared up for a cross-country move that their stars aligned for a project together. When Mota caught wind that she was giving up her glamorous Gramercy Park apartment (AD, September 2017) for a Spanish-style house in the Hollywood Hills, he immediately offered up his services. “I said, ‘When you move to LA, I would love to help,’ ” Mota recalls.

Things quickly fell into place. Hart decamped from New York to create a home with now fiancé James Kirkham, a creative entrepreneur and former race car driver, and his young daughter Wren, who lives with the couple part-time. She and Mota set up meetings to discuss the vision for the layered, bohemian home. The pair pored over sample fabrics. Custom tiles were put into production. —Carly Olson

One Couple’s Eccentric London Pad

Patrick Mele designed this London home as a celebration of pattern and color—featuring shades of raspberry, chocolate, teal, orange, and plum.

Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna

London’s Cheyne Walk presents a sedate streetscape that bears no witness, save some blue English Heritage plaques embedded in various façades, to its daredevil history. To the redbrick Georgian and Queen Anne houses and apartment buildings that line this Thames-side street in Chelsea, all manner of creative iconoclasts since the third quarter of the 19th century have gravitated. Querulous painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler bunked here, as did dandified tastemaker Christopher Gibbs, actor Laurence Olivier, and a few of the Rolling Stones, plus Marianne Faithfull.

“All of Chelsea is a fairy tale for me,” says Patrick Mele, a young decorator who is based in New York City but looks straight out of the Cheyne Walk playbook, with a tousled mop of dark hair foaming above an angular face that’s pure Egon Schiele. “My best friend growing up was English, so I have always been drawn to that Anglo sensibility. And I used to come here a decade ago, when I worked for Ralph Lauren, to work on the stores.” So, when Sara Tayeb-Khalifa and her husband, Hussein Khalifa, high-fived Mele’s zesty decoration of a bedroom in their Manhattan apartment, they offered to send him back across the pond to revamp the Cheyne Walk flat they had owned since the early 1990s.

“I had done it room by room by room, but nothing matched—plus, I no longer wanted safe,” explains the elegant Tayeb-Khalifa, a former Phillips executive who is partnering with sustainable-fashion designer Jussara Lee on collections of T-shirts and cushions. “I wanted to make it happy: happy colors, happy home.” To that end, her discussions with Mele were peppered with references to Auntie Mame, Miss Havisham, and the ceilings of old French bistros, stained “a color that reminds you of cigarettes, wine, bad alcohol, and more cigarettes,” Tayeb-Khalifa says with a laugh. —Mitchell Owens

Troye Sivan’s Melbourne Hideout

A breakfast nook is enveloped by the garden. Artwork by Sydney Ball.

Photo: Anson Smart; Styling: Joseph Gardner

In the main living area, a Maker&Son sofa is joined by a custom wood cocktail table and a Glas Italia side table on a vintage Moroccan Taznakht carpet. Artworks by Simon Degroot (left) and Karen Black (above).

Photo: Anson Smart; Styling: Joseph Gardner

When asked what someone unfamiliar with his biography might surmise simply by walking through his Melbourne home, Troye Sivan remains sanguine: “I’d hope they’d think that I’m an unpretentious guy, maybe a bit eccentric, someone who loves art and design, someone devoted to his family—and definitely the fact that I’m gay,” says the wildly popular 25-year-old Australian singer-songwriter and actor.

Indeed, if that hypothetical visitor happened to be a persnickety design snob, they’d surely not fail to register the array of treasures by the likes of Percival Lafer, Ettore Sottsass, Tobia Scarpa, and Marios Bellini and Botta; the cabinetry details inspired by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé; and the bespoke, Memphis-flavored appointments of the bath and powder rooms. On a deeper level, however, it would also be crystal clear that this is the home of someone with the cultivation and confidence to recognize that great design is as much about suitability and nuance as it is about important objects and artworks.

“Troye is an incredibly savvy collaborator. In our earliest conversations, he talked about materiality, how he wanted to feel in his house, about the scent and the sound and the light. It was so much more than just a few pretty things he found on Pinterest,” recalls designer David Flack of local firm Flack Studio, Sivan’s partner in the sensitive, sophisticated reimagining of the singer’s Victorian-era home. 

The house in question is a genuine architectural gem. Erected in 1869 as a handball court, the building was converted into a brick factory in 1950 and then subsequently transformed into a residence in 1970 by renowned Australian architect John Mockridge, a fixture of the local art-and-design scene. The conversion is said to be the first adaptive reuse project of its kind in the city. “You can picture Mockridge and his friends sitting around drinking whiskey and talking about art. I wanted to preserve that bohemian spirit and honor the original architecture while creating something that feels like me,” Sivan says. —Mayer Rus