Last month Bluestone Construction won three 2019 STARS Awards, as selected by the North Carolina Home Builders Association, for a total renovation on a custom-built mountaintop residence in Fairview. Builders from all over the state compete for these prestigious awards, so the fact that Bluestone walked away with three of them—Best Whole House Remodel, Best Outdoor Living Space and Best Room Remodel—is a huge honor.
The owners of this gorgeous home, with sweeping views and a plethora of indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces, have traveled all over the world. They wanted a space that would be a stand-alone work of art, while also perfectly showcasing their personal collection of art. They also wanted a home full of personal touches that cater to their specific needs and lifestyle, such as an eclectic basement bar with the sexy vibe of a private social club, and a dog shower that’s the perfect height for their Great Dane.
The homeowners’ style could best be described as “Boho Chic,” with rooms and entertaining areas inspired by the clean lines and efficiency of Scandinavia, the energy and mystery of Asia, and the classy air of mid-century Manhattan prosperity.
What Is Boho Chic?
The term Bohemian first entered popular parlance in the 1800s, to describe people with unconventional lifestyles. Bohemians were wanderers and nomads, artists and entertainers, people who lived life on their own terms. Bohemians felt no allegiance to political or social expectations. Their lives were a pastiche of experience and philosophies, entirely self-selected and often flamboyant.
In turn, Boho Chic design displays no firm adherence to any one style. A room with modern architecture may have mid-Eastern fixtures and Victorian furniture. Or mid-century minimalist furnishings—all sleek metal and smooth leather— may cozy up with rustic elements, such as stone fireplaces, distressed leather, tables made of driftwood, a chunky knitted afghan.
But Boho Chic does have some key stylistic elements.
1. Boho is about liberal use of rich colors and textures…
Boho style is where you get to use all those delicious jewel tones that may seem flashy or distracting in other situations. It’s about breaking the rules, so layering patterns, colors and different materials is a big part of the look.
The owners of this award-winning home were very open to playing with texture and materials. Gorgeously unique touches include chevron-textured Italian accent tiles throughout the home; a 4-by-16 foot Val d’Orcia granite kitchen island with waterfall ends; small turquoise and Sienna accessories and shiny brass and steel fixtures, in an otherwise neutral-toned kitchen; velvet, velour and fur on sofas and loungers throughout; and in the basement bar, a stunning niche with translucent molded polycarbonate chairs that glisten and tantalize, even in a room full of engaging (but muted-palette) patterns.
2. But also, liberal use of natural materials and earth-tones.
To get the most from those deep colors and interesting textures, offset statement pieces with large-piece neutrals, such as neutral walls or furniture. Neutrals give our eyes a break. Sometimes in the eclectic whirl of patterns and textures, we need an earth-toned wall or sofa to rest our eyes on. It’s the visual equivalent of taking a deep, cleansing recalibrating breath.
Because Boho style broadcasts an adventurous spirit, and so much adventure happens in nature, Boho design also incorporates plenty of natural elements. Stone fireplaces, warm wooden floors, lots of interior plant life, big windows and open-air living spaces all play a role in the overall success of Bluestone’s award-winning Fairview home.
3. Boho is a stylistic mash-up, but with attention to detail.
Boho is about mixing and matching pretty much any and all the styles you love. (The key, of course, is in mixing and matching with an aesthetic eye!)
While the overall interior architecture of this Asheville Boho Chic home is modern, the furnishings, built-ins, and interiors runs the gamut, from rustic lodge style, to mid-century, to Danish, to Asian Imperial—sometimes even in a single piece.
In the master bath, small details, such as a barrel-vaulted ceiling and brushed white oak vanities, provide enough texture to keep the monochrome design interesting.
A basement entertaining space includes elements of modern design, such as a full-sized stainless steel bar, as well as elements of a Moorish lounge, with Eastern-patterned fabrics, sultry light fixtures, low ceilings and secret nooks. The overall vibe is cozy, eclectic and cohesive—equally inviting to belly-dancers and hookah smokers, as well as 1950s business types, out for a night of sophisticated cocktails.
In this home, there are bold accent walls and rooms full of deep colors, directly next to rooms created entirely of earth-tones—and yet, the effect not only works, it’s magical!
4. With Boho, you want furnishings and accessories of indeterminate age.
Boho style is about mixing upscale new pieces, valuable antiques, family heirlooms, and funky, shabby-chic vintage, all in one home—or room! Boho is comfortable, but it’s also about mystery and allure. If a guest isn’t sure exactly where a piece came from or even what era a piece came from, that piece suddenly takes on an added air of fascination.
5. Make the lighting ambient.
Boho lighting is layered and moody, or maybe warm and cozy, or maybe subtle or clean. But it’s never harsh and blaring. This means you’ll need carefully chosen fixtures that create all sorts of amazing shadow dances!
In the Fairview home, all the bathrooms feature LED backlit mirrors, for a meditative, understated experience—in addition to floating vanities, floor and shower walls of raw-finished Portuguese limestone, and countertops of polished Patagonia granite.
The den in this Asheville home is warm and energizing, with carefully placed lighting at different levels, reflecting off the wine-colored walls and casting a rosy glow throughout the room.
However, in the basement bar, the mood is entirely different. Track lighting is used in a teasing way, to generate sensual shadows.
6. Most importantly, Boho is about an overall effect that’s personal and inviting.
In our client’s award-winning home, every single item was chosen purposefully. Many of the fixtures were custom-designed and built just for the clients, either by Bluestone or other craftsmen. The art and accessories were picked up on their international travels. Parts of the design were inspired by luxury hotels they admire and frequent in New York and Croatia.
Perhaps more than any other style, Boho Chic allows your space to mirror your personality—your lifestyle, your past, and your future aspirations. In this space, the homeowners wanted something entirely unique, based on their own life experiences—a combination of comfort, luxury and sociability.
But their beautiful home is also highly functional and exactly suited to their needs.
To that end, there are two levels of outdoor space and an infinity pool that’s large enough for laps, but also perfect for lazing on a float and taking in the enormous view. There’s an open-air living room with a fireplace that feels cozy and familiar, but opens into a space large enough for hosting a party.
In the showers, water temperature can be adjusted by keypad or phone app. Floors are heated. Toilets are wall-hung. The master bath allows access to the outdoor shower through the interior shower.
Of course, all custom homes are built exactly to suit the people who will live in them. What we love about this home, and Boho Chic design in general, is that it advertises who those people are a bit more overtly than more classic design.