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La Boheme: Creating a Life by Design

Jo Brittles

Owner + Curator, La Boheme

House of the Wishing Trees


Photos: Daphne Heath


Boho Style

I have always been drawn to bohemian styling, personally and within my home. The freedom of it all, the wanderlust! The way color, pattern, texture and layers of whimsy are playfully interspersed by the vintage, the worn, the loved and re-loved. Its comfort, its inextricable warmth. Creating an eclectic, authentic, bohemian space, where every object and piece holds history, memories and its very own story, just FEELS like home. I embrace color. And I am truly never ever without it.

Sanctuary Essentials

I really believe a personal sanctuary should be built on the premise of how you would like that space to lead you to FEEL. “Sanctuary” can mean and be so many different things for each of us. If you surround yourself with things you love, it really will radiate that back to you. For me, personally? The essential element in any space is greenery. Plants! They bring such a beautiful sense of light and life to every single space. And they truly make my heart so very happy. In every space in our home, we are surrounded by the earth.

Design Rules

When it comes to design and your home and spaces, I really don’t believe there are any rules. Only, perhaps, to exist and reside with what you love. If you can do that, you will create a haven for your soul. And quite frankly, that’s the point! Design is so incredibly personal. We’re all so different, the total sum of our backgrounds, environments and experiences—so to that end, I like to see the differences, the nuances, the oddities and idiosyncrasies of personal design and style. My design rule? Be unafraid! Don’t ever let anyone else tell you what to live with, or how to live with it!

Make your space come more alive

  1. Color and plants. Every time!

  2. Nothing breathes life into a space like plants do.

  3. Choose plants that appeal to you, that make you happy. And all those light-filled pockets of your home? Fill them with greenery! They truly transform the energy of a room immediately.

Essentials for nurturing creativity

I am a seeker of the beautiful. I am always inspired by beautiful things. Textiles, trinkets, poetry, prose, artwork, plants, destinations. I find at the age I’m at now, it’s far easier to be inspired by life, as well as beautiful objects and “things.” I have always been a creative soul. My mother used to laugh and say that “whimsy, wanderlust and a whole lot of bulldozer” collided when I was born. Ha! I love to use items in ways that are a little unorthodox or unexpected. That point of difference has always resonated with me. I’ve never been a mainstream kind of girl.

Tips for a nurturing home

Again, begin with a sense of how you’d like the space to feel. What would a nurturing, warm and calm space look like to you? Because it can look and feel a million different ways, depending on the individual. My only mantra is: be YOU. And within your spaces, find YOU. We retreat to our home. We surround ourselves with things we love, because it’s our safe and sacred space. Beside perhaps other human beings, the walls of our home may very well know us best of all. And if they don’t, they should!

The power of plants + flower medicine

The healing power of plants alone, the energy they give to a space, the thought of treading gently upon and finding nourishment from the Earth itself? It is a powerful, beautiful and incredibly profound realization and series of actions. We become connected. Alive. So close to our source. There is an incredible sense of calm and deep satisfaction that is gifted with that.

Nature, staying wild & close to the earth

I think that sense of connection to the earth is exactly why I started my little business in the first place. There is no feeling of isolation or aloneness when one fully embraces that the earth, whilst it’s so big, is also incredibly small. I regard myself as a child of the earth. And what that looks like for me right now is a plant- and high-energy-filled home that is vibrant and alive. We grow so much of our own produce and the satisfaction that comes with pulling it from the earth and serving it all up for dinner is incredible. I am overflowing with wanderlust and have a perpetual burning desire to

explore the world and see people and places that, for now, remain unseen. I want to drink of the earth, devour it, savor it and then carry it all within me, like sunshine and moonlight colliding all at once in the very center of my heart. And then? To share it all!

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