3rd July 2018 Art & Interior Design

Bohemian Bliss versus Urban Chic

Cp Print

style="font-family:  style="font-family:By Faye Hamblett-Jones & Daniel Lee-Jacobs

Trendy urban chic or laid-back bohemian, what's your style? This week we're looking at how to choose artwork to match your interior.


The Bohemian style is for those of us who definitely don't feel like 'less is more'. If you want to fill your house with colour, culture and curiosities then it's time to embrace your 'Boho' self!

Bohemian homes have certain hallmarks - they're always eclectic, full of vibrancy, colour and patterns, handmade objects and curiosities, plants and unique furniture. That's why we think artwork is such a natural partner for the Bohemian home!


Photo Credit - Art Symphony Blogspot

In contrast, the 'urban' style has a cool, modern aesthetic. Exposed brick walls, wooden floors, and large windows give a vaguely industrial feel. There's a sense of laid-back chic, where open plan floors and lots of natural light give these spaces an open, airy feeling.

In these more minimalist interiors it's up to artwork or feature furniture to bring some much needed complexity and colour to the room!


Photo Credit: Evermotion - Orbit103

But how to find artwork for each of these interiors? We think it's all about finding the right tone and style. Here's some examples to demonstrate!

Abstract Art...

Abstract art comes in many forms and guises. It has been prevalent in many of the different art movements in the 20th century, ranging from abstract expressionism to minimalism. This means it is hugely versatile and diverse in its nature and you'll find abstract art which is messy, vibrant, muted, monotone, complex and incredibly simple. However, when it comes to choosing...

...For Urban Style

For urban chic - don't be afraid to go loud and proud! For example, Dr Paul Helliwell is known for his fluid and forceful paintings which confront the viewer with their vibrant composition. The artists working method, which is spontaneous and passionate is reflected in the imagery. This approach is interconnected with the themes of Helliwell's work, as he uses paint as a medium to reflect powerful feelings of life's pleasures and pains.

Night Visions by Dr Paul Helliwell is an impressive wall of fun and colour at 1.2m wide and 1.5m high. A hint of urban graffiti is sure to liven up any room, and it's definitely a talking point. His work is quite reminiscent of the late great Jean-Michel Basquiat, but uses more paired back, less aggressive lines and colours.

Don’t be put off by how loud this painting is, given the right amount of wall space it won't have the effect of feeling overly busy or colourful. It will suit a bright well-lit room and could pair well with other statement furniture items which include colours found in the painting itself.

Dr. Paul Helliwell - Night Vision - Painting

Dr. Paul Helliwell - Night Vision - Painting ( 120cm W x 150cm H) Price: £2,900

If you're a fan of Dr Paul's work but perhaps don't have the space (or the budget), check out the works of Martyn Lucas or Lisa Denyer below for more inspiration.

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Cymbal Lisa Denyer Cymbal

Lisa Denyer - Painting (18cm W x 24cm H) Price: £300

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Lisa Denyer - Painting (14cm W x 23cm H) Price: £150

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Martyn Lucas - Painting (44cm W x 33cm H) Price: £215

A577Dc Bc1C74C1Dce54Ef09C9227D43A9Fbe79Mv2 The Difficulty of Landscape (Grey)

Martyn Lucas - Painting (64cm W x 44cm H) Price: £390

...for Bohemian Style

In a bohemian home filled with colours and patterns, it can be more fruitful to look for abstracts which are less busy and more rich in colour.

Heidi Koenig is an abstract artist who was brought up and educated in Germany but was first introduced to printing through her grandfather who produced many woodcuts and linocuts. As shown by 'Springtime' below, her work is vibrant and bold with colour and provides a strong counterbalance to the patterns and textures prevalent in bohemian homes. She works on her own prints in a very spontaneous way, using the etching plate as a drawing board, and then colouring every print by hand with many of the key details being added after they have been through the press.


'Springtime' by Heidi Koenig - Monotype Print (44cm H x 45cm W) - Price £475

It can also make sense to seek works which are more 'linear' in nature. Strong lines or geometric patterns work well against heavy patterns or layered textures. Examples of strong abstract work fantastic for a bohemian home are presented below by Stephen Snoddy and Tatanya Abramova.

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Sleeping In A Field Abramova S 1024X867 Sleeping in a Field

by Tatanya Abramova

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by Stephen Snoddy

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by Heidi Koenig


One of this years biggest design trends has been 'bringing the outdoors in'. Potted plants, plant patterns, recycled materials and earthy tones are adorning the interiors of cafes, trendy bars and homes alike in a bid to create an airy, natural atmosphere. Plant patterns and florals can vary from the more vibrant tropical motifs, to the more subtle and delicate, here's an idea of what might suit these two homes:

...For Urban Style

With wide open walls and minimalist interiors, it's important to choose work which won't blend into the background. 'White Hellebore' is certainly one of those pieces. Natalie Toplass' work is often described as photorealistic, but her interest is more with colour
and richness of texture. This means that her work is powerful, forming an intense focal point in any room. The scale of her work is also an important feature which provides a fresh view of a common subject.


White Hellebore by Natalie Toplass - Oil Painting (110cm W x 110cm H) Price: £2,300

Alternatively Double Negative is a forceful limited edition signed print from the hugely celebrated Cornelia Parker. This print is a close up shot of Parker's vast installation, War Room, which consisted of floor to ceiling canopy of red negatives left from the production of poppies. It was a year long production process to commemorate those lost during the war. Parker's retrospective was held at The Whitworth Manchester and coincided with their 2015 reopening. It featured iconic pieces such as Parker's Cold Dark Matter. If you didn't get a chance to see this exhibition back in 2015 - I'll be honest - you missed out! But don't worry, you can bring home a piece of her work instead.

The vibrant red in this bold floral print will be sure to arouse the senses, evoking feelings of power and excitement. Owning a piece by this famed artist is sure to be a conversation starter, and will undoubtably be the envy of any visitor. Typical dulled tones in urban flats or houses will be livened up by this flash of colour and is right on trend.


Double Negative by Cornelia Parker - Print (55cm W x 43cm H x 1cm D) Price, £250

If these works aren't quite to your taste, browse other hand picked works to enhance your urban home.

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Magnolia Magnolia, new buds

Paul Sims - Lighthouse gallery. Painting (75cm W x 72cm H) Price: £1,500

Karenina Fabrizzi Wild And Co 1 Wild & Co 1

Karenina Fabrizzi - Artzu Gallery. Painting (30cm W x 40cm H) Price: £450

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Peter King - Lime Tree Gallery

...For Bohemian Style

Boho beauty - entwining textures and patterns with a natural flare! This famous interior style is perfectly accompanied by artist Lara Bowen. Her paintings pay homage to the impressionist tones of the great Monet, with flowers being her main subject, and the manner in which she paints mirroring that of the legend.

The artist is fascinated with freezing moments and immortalising them through the means of painting. There is a free spirited, joyful feeling to her works, making them appear lighthearted and pleasing to look at.

Her painting entitled The Dance is a perfect example of a Bowens ability to capture movement. At 30cm by 25cm, this work with not intrude on any other details in the room, but simple add to the picture. On its own, or in a collection of her other works, this painting’s delicate nature oozes serenity. The pastel colour pallet makes it versatile and allows the piece to work amongst louder colours, or to compliment other natural tones. Her floral works are a great addition to any bohemian styled room, from the kitchen to the bedroom, they add a little moment of floral joy.


The Dance by Lara Bowen - Acrylic on board (25cm W x 30cm H) Price, £440

Princess by Maria Rivan brings a more nuanced approach to this style. The original collage is an appropriation of a vintage portrait merged with botanical and animal inspired imagery in a quirky but delicate aesthetic unique to this artist. This limited edition print offers an affordable way of owning Maria's sought after work and is perhaps most befitting of a modern bohemian style, working particularly well against bold coloured backdrops as featured below.


Photo credit - Cheshire Interior Design

Wether you love bohemian styles, or have urban tastes, as long as you're in love with the piece, you can't go far wrong!

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Princes - maria rivans Princess

Maria Rivan - The Contemporary.

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Moira Beaty - Getaway Gallery

5137 Daffodils

Anne-Marie Butlin - Lighthouse Gallery

Want to win £250 to spend on art for your home!?

Check out our July Competition here!