Why You Should Actually Put Your Rug on Your Bed
And other lessons from a California boho home.
Updated Oct 1, 2021 4:26 PM
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Sharlene Kayne has lived in her 91-year-old California home for the past 11 years—but it’s still evolving. Perched at the foothills of Angeles National Forest, the sun-dappled residence is brimming with paintings and collages, vintage homewares, and cozy textiles that make a delightful lounge area for a cat.
“I’ve been calling my style evolutionary eclectic because it’s never going to be one style,” she says. “It’s a little bit of bohemian, it’s a little mid-century. It always has a whimsical touch.”
With a strong eye for color, the paper collage artist has created a home that blends a sense of ease with excitement and contemporary design with antique accents. Though the entire space is brimming with unique vignettes and dramatic combinations, it’s the bedrooms that stand out as cool and comfy nooks—and taking inspiration from Kayne’s expert curation, here are the steps we’re following to create airy, bohemian bedrooms of our own.
Step 1: Start With a White Base
“I start with plain white bedding,” Kayne says. “That way, I can keep calm or I can throw something really colorful on top.”
White bedding, walls, curtains, and area rugs make her rooms feel extra light and bright, providing a great foundation for more eccentric accents in richer hues. Instead of placing vivid accent rugs on the floor, she’s used them on beds in place of throws or quilts. There the added height makes them more of a central focus so their diverse patterns and color schemes get proper recognition.
Pops of color—in the form of pillows, wall hangings, and in one room, original tile from 1927—tie the rooms together without making them feel any darker.
Step 2: Add Well-Curated Collections
Antique accents and artwork make a space feel totally one of a kind, so Kayne prioritizes sourcing unique decorative piece for each of her rooms. “I collect a lot on Etsy—I like a global look,” she says. “Most of the sourcing I do on Etsy, I’m looking for one thing, and then, all of a sudden, I end up seeing something else and going down that rabbit hole.”
Finds from her travels (neutral textiles from Turkey and velvet pillows from trips to New York) also lend a personal touch to the bedrooms.
As an artist herself, Kayne also fills the walls of her home with her own work and work by emerging artists, as long as she follows one rule: She doesn’t buy any art that another person can buy, so prints are totally out of the question.
She finds work at accessible prices by scouting out local talent. “There are a couple very good art colleges around here, and I’ve bought pieces from students that in a couple years would probably sell it for three times as much,” she says. “They’re really fabulous pieces and they’re framed and everything for less than $100.”
Step 3: Bring in Plenty of Plants
A hit of green adds the finishing touch to each one of Kayne spaces—in the form, of course, of plants. They’re all nontoxic (pet-friendly) and manage to enjoy their optimal levels of sunlight right where they are placed.
The standout feature of one room is a group of five hanging planters, which, together, form a sort of headboard substitute. “In every house we’ve lived in, we’ve never had a headboard,” Kayne explains. “The window above the bed gets really nice light, so I found these vintage-looking brass hangers. That’s super easy—I just take them down to water them once a week, and then stick them right back up there.”
Above all, the home elevates an uncomplicated, visually refreshing foundation with dynamic elements that help a nearly 100-year-old house feel fresher than ever. “There is so much personality in the house, even without any furnishings,” Kayne says. “That just makes anything you put in it look even better.”
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