Although it perhaps sounds like a new dance craze or a character in a children’s book, Bobo is actually a clever abbreviation of two very contrasting styles of living, the bourgeois and the bohemian, or bourgeois-bohème. The phrase was first thought of and written about by the American journalist David Brooks in his book ‘Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There‘. David says ‘The essence of bobo life is people who consider themselves sort of artistic or writers or intellectuals but find themselves in the world of making money, in the world of commerce.’ I must admit I love this idea that you can be creative without having to count the cost too much.
The BoBo lifestyle is reflected in everything they do including how they dress, where they live, the food they eat and of course the way they style their homes. The Haut Marais (or Marsh) district in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris has become a centre of French bobo-chic with very stylish homes and trendy art galleries, hotels, bars and restaurants. Some people even refer to this as Boboland!
The interior of the Hotel Du Petit Moulin, situated in Haut Marais, has been designed by Christian Lacroix in beautiful bobo style. These images from the hotel give an indication of just how creative and flamboyant you could be. What an experience, waking up in one of these rooms!
I do think they show the amount of flair needed to make the bobo look work well and yet how completely individual the results can be. For me a mood board would be an essential item to begin a bobo-styling project, adding photos taken of any antiques, furniture, paintings, etc. that need to be kept, along with photos of new purchases as they occur.
Of course if you would rather throw caution to the wind and let your inner creative juices flow, then bobo is just the style to ‘go for it‘! Think vintage retro pieces and mix with quality antiques, modern classic designer furniture and opulent fabrics. Choose full on vibrant colours going side by side with monochrome, well made (usually expensive) designer wallpapers and plush furnishings. The trick is to always keep quality and individuality in mind.
Ann Horne is an interior stylist and long-time FrenchEntrée contributor. She runs Frenchicandshabby a site created to find beautiful French style furniture, furnishings and accessories for the home.
Photos by kind permission of Hotel Du Petit Moulin in Paris