Home Decorating Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody

Karen Cole has never met a boho pattern she didn’t like. When it came to decorating her new Toronto Victorian semidetached, featured in the March 2011 issue of Canadian House & Home, the designer had one guiding principle: encouraging the “need to explore.” She tells the magazine, “My house has little surprises and I create little moments of beauty that I hope beckon to people.” To which we say: consider us summoned.

Cole filled the spaces with all her favorite items. In the guest bedroom, she positioned two cottage-charming vintage pine daybeds, then layered on ethnic and graphic prints, including the area rug and the tapestry repurposed as a window hanging.

In the lower-level den, the white walls are a clean backdrop for the lived-in velvet sofa, seagrass armchairs chairs, punchy printed pillows, and modern art that lines the perimeter. We can’t get enough of the artisanal rug; the long, elegant photo triptych; the Moroccan pendant lamp; and the red stairs and Moroccan-style side tables—bright exclamation points in a mostly toned-down palette.

The bedroom is a study is lush, layered ease, with a tall, neutral tufted headboard set off with vibrant, textured pillows, simple white sheets, and cozy blankets in contrasting blues and orange. Sure, the mismatched found cabinets are genius for storing small items, and they help elongate the room, but we can’t take our eyes off the oversize, kilim-upholstered ottoman with nailhead trim. The effect is both casual and exotic, cool and inviting, and never looks forced.

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