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The New Bohemians NYC release party

Dear friends, I would like to cordially invite you to the Calypso Maison boutique in SoHo on Wednesday, April 22nd, to celebrate the launch of The New Bohemians! I would love to raise a glass with you, sign your book, look at pretty stuff and, well just genuinely party with you. Dabito and I will be restyling the entire store to be all jungalow fabulous and I guarantee there will be many ‘grammable moments. See you in NYC!!

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How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

Bookshelves add so much to a room and are a really great way to display and show off your personality. I remember in one home I decorated, the client was really, really concerned about her shelves. They were one of the first thing that guests saw when they entered the house and she mentioned that she felt insecure about the shelves — like guests often spent a long time studying them, looking at what books she read, checking out interesting objects and looking at her family photos. This made her feel nervous. She didn’t feel like her shelves told her true story — they didn’t accurately represent her style and personality. I get that. So when Target asked me to share some bookshelf styling tips I was all about it. When faced with a totally blank shelf, it can be super intimidating, and tough to know where to start. I thought about this client and how I helped her arrange her shelves in a way that was fun, not fussy and collected, not cluttered. Here’s what I did:

How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

Bottoms Up
I start with the lower shelves. I fill them to the brim with items that need to be stored, but that are also visually pleasing. I always have way too many pillows and blankets, so I fold blankets neatly on the lowers shelves with the pillows. Done and done.

How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

Get Booked
Next I add books. I organize books by size and color, starting with the biggest books on bottom.  I place some piles of books horizontally and others vertically using bookends to keep them in place.

How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

Book Toppers
Use the horizontal stacks of books as a platform for your favorite objet d’art or framed photos. How sweet is this little gold whale box?! Create visual balance by using objects with contrasting shapes and sizes. If you have a stack of square objects, for example, try placing an object that’s round or amorphous on top. This will help to make your shelves look collected, not cluttered and add visual interest to the shelves.

Three’s Company
Remember the power of threes. Placing objects in groups of three tends to be visually pleasing.

Basket Case
I use bowls or baskets to hold smaller, uglier items. I’m using the above basket to hold catalogs and papers that I will sort through eventually.

Repeat, Please
Use repetition, like identical vases standing in a row, to give the eye a break.

Art Attack
Add art. Use paintings and outward facing books to fill in negative space.

How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

Botanicals and Bling!
Breath life and a little bit of glam into your home by pairing botanical elements — like plants or flowers, with bling – anything that sparkles — like this insanely cute ceramic gold turtle that I’ve so cleverly transformed into a planter. Hehe. Placing botanicals together with bling immediately elevates the shelves into something fun and fresh with a touch of glam.

How To Style Shelves with Personality | The Jungalow

So, are you ready to have guests stare at your shelves now? You should be. They’re probably just taking notes. ;)

Photography Danae Horst
Creative Direction and Styling by Justina Blakeney

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Home collection in stores and online.


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Getting Pre-Approved for a loan With Trulia

As a people-pleaser type, I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself that I don’t need anyone’s approval but my own. But alas, in this journey to find our dream jungalow, the word ‘approval’ keeps on surfacing again and again. And then a scary mutation of the word: PRE-approval also rears it’s ugly head into the home search. As if needing approval in the first place isn’t bad enough already, in today’s real-estate market you need to get a loan PRE-approval before you can really start searching for a home. Why? Because you don’t really know how much you can afford (unless you’re paying all cash for a house) until a lender tells you how much (if anything!) a bank will give you for a loan.

Having been denied for pre-approval twice in the past, I wasn’t feeling overwhelmingly confident about pre-approval this time around, but I decided to stay positive and give it another go…. (more…)

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Face-the-foliage-6 When my homies over at Yeah Rentals asked if I wanted to host a little something at their popup at the Hudson Lofts celebrating their rad new furniture line, I decided it would be fun to do something beyond just sitting around and signing books (though there will be some of that too…) I thought it would be fun to play with flowers and talk a little bit about creativity and where inspiration comes from. So if you’re in Los Angeles, this Saturday April 18th, from 11am-2pm you can come, hang out, make some #FaceTheFoliage portraits and get a book signed, too.  The event is free but you have to RSVP.

Also, there has been a lot of New Boho Buzz in the last 48 hours or so. Thanks to the L.A. Times, Refinery29, Centsational Girl, and to today’s stop on the blog book tour, the wonderful Holly at Decor8 for your generous reviews of the book! I’m still floating on cloud nine!



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The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney

Woohoo! My book is finally here!!! I have been waiting for this day for a long, long time and I and thrilled to bits that you all will finally get your hands on this sucker! As you can see from the above pic, I’ve bitten my nails way too low and completely neglected my hair for weeks all in anticipation of this book hitting the shelves! I’m kinda kidding, but actually this has been pretty all-consuming for the last year or so and finally, finally it’s out in the world. I feel like I just dropped my kid off at college. You’re on your own now. I’ve given you a strong foundation and now it’s up to you to make your own way in the world. Ok maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but all of this to say this is a major milestone for me and I’m super proud, excited, and, yes, a bit anxious too.

Today also kicks off a blog tour of the book. Blogger friends from all over the world have generously agreed to share their takes on #TheNewBohoBook with their audiences and I’m excited to see how they capture the book and what their takeaways are. Today, Nicole from Making it Lovely is starting things off, and you can check out the whole (amazing!) blogger lineup right here.

I’d love for you to share any projects, inspirations or ideas born from the book using the hashtag #TheNewBohoBook so I can see them and feature them here on the blog and on Instagram.

So many people to thank for amazing work on this book. First and foremost my TALENTED homeboy Dabito who made this book so dang pretty…to my team at Abrams (Dervla, Andrea, Deb, Jennifer, Melanie…THANK YOU!) Team Jungalow: Natalie, Danae, Sara…My agents Kim and Stefanie my PR Rich,  To Stephanie Bartron for lending me your plantastic knowledge and time. To Katie Wilson, and  Monica Ramos, for the illustrations. Thanks SO MUCH to the twenty families that allowed me to come into your homes and share your stories. And to Jason, Ida, my parents, grandparents and in-laws–thank you for your ongoing support and unconditional love.

Heartfelt thanks to YOU the new bohemians — who are always a voice of support and encouragement. This book would not be in your hands if it weren’t for you.

Thanks to those of you that pre-ordered. You got me real excited. Now you can pick up the book at your local bookstore or order it from any of these fine online retailers:

Barnes & Noble |  Indiebound.org | Books-A-Million | Powells Books | Abrams | Amazon

With love and gratitude.


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Our eyes must be accustomed to seeing straight lines in interiors, because have you noticed how wonderful it can be when you see a circle (or other shape), where you thought a square or rectangle should be?  I’m all about the surprise of anything circular in an interior.  This semi-circular doorway ads such a flare of grandeur, doesn’t it?


Go round with your windows, ummmm…yes please!

Add a circular window with corresponding brick work above a fireplace for a bit of wow factor!

A circular mirror can be such a simple, yet strong choice.

Or add more than one into a gallery wall for a powerful and playful approach.  *Note: It doesn’t get much more bohemian than a starburst (or peacock) mirror ;)


Put a circle on the wall…cut out on its own or in a frame if you want to be fancy.

Paint a circle on the ceiling.  One of my favorite things in the whole world is the moon, so I could imagine la luna having an awesome effect on my bedroom ceiling, or how great would it look in a nursery?!

A rug is an easy choice- if you find a circular one that you love, go for it!  Also, think round cushions instead of square for something a bit different.


Go a bit crazy and opt for a round bed!!!  The semi-circle canopy is super fun too!
What would Justina do?  Paint a quirky circle on the wall in a punchy color, put a shelf on top in the same hue and prop something fun on it.  Eh bada boom, bada bing!

Photo credits: AD, Remodelista, Kinfolk,  The New House Book by: Terence Conran, 1974, Happy Interior Blog, House and Garden UK, MThe New House Book by: Terence Conran, 1974,anolo Yllera, Billy Baldwin Decorates, 1972, The New House Book by: Terence Conran, 1974

This post was created by Nicole Valentine Don for JB est. 1979.

For more of Nicole’s magical musings, visit her blog & follow her on instagram



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I was listening to my local radio station, KCRW this morning on my way home from the gym, when I heard a story about AirBnB taking off in Cuba. I’ve never been to Cuba, but have always wanted to visit. All the photos I’ve seen from Havana have a ton of color, lots of vintage elements, amazing foliage and incredible architecture (tile!!). Needless to say, as soon as I got home I hopped on to AirBnB to virtually walk through some of the homes available for stays to fish for design inspiration…


There is a lot to love…These aqua walls!?!


Lush foliage….


Corals, and teals and ornate patio chairs…


High-gloss green floors? Yes please!


Walls in totally unexpected colors…and my oh my that tile!!


Stunning views…


Old world charm…


And, of course, a general love of plants. I would love to visit someday!

All images via AirBnB ‘Cuba’ search. 

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