Funky Boho Lounge, Phase 1

July is almost here, and that typically means an insanely nutty, crazy-busy work month for me. I am on the board of directors for the NY State Blues Festival.  My job is to set up and manage our VIP tent which will have 600-700 sponsors and VIPS come through over the course of the weekend and do much the same thing with the artist hospitality area for 100 musicians and crew…plus 75ish volunteers. That’s a lot of people to feed! We keep everyone hydrated, lubricated and well fed for 2 days of music and shenanigans. My most favorite part of this project is decorating the VIP tent and the artist lounge area backstage. Since my personal projects come to a grinding halt while I work on this, I thought I would share my plans for a funky, boho lounge area.

The idea is to set up a comfortable space where the musicians can relax and chill out before and after they perform. Many of them are on the road constantly, so they really appreciate a comfortable space to hang….which is why it’s also known as the “artist hang”. 🙂

We have use of some space in the office building next to the square and that’s where we set up the food and drinks. It’s kept private from festival goers and it’s air conditioned – a HUGE plus in the middle of July. We’re grateful for the space, but the room is seriously ugly – it looks like it hasn’t been updated in over 20 years ago and it functions as the ice skate rental area during winter. It’s dated and worn and features bright fluorescent lighting and zero style – not exactly the cool vibe-y kind of space I’m after.

This year we decided to keep the food and dining area inside the building and set up the lounge in a 20×20 tent just outside. My mission is to create a funky temporary lounge using thrifted, borrowed and DIY-ed furniture and accessories. It’s a ton of fun and not at all like shopping thrift stores for your house. For one thing, the budget is VERY low. I’m looking for sofas for $60-$90, upholstered chairs in the $15-$25 range and occasional tables for $5-$10. I’m also looking for things that I wouldn’t necessarily put in my house, especially pieces that are a little “out there” – the quirkier the better.

Weird furniture from the 70’s works great, and it’s not stuff that everyone is looking for – so you can usually get it cheap. Vintage-y grandma furniture works well too when mixed with other things. My other big rule is to make sure the furniture is small in scale and lightweight. This stuff will have to be moved to the site and then removed 2 days later, so I would never pick huge contemporary pieces. Worn spots and dings are fine for what we’re doing – they can be camouflaged with throw pillows and other accessories.

Like any decorating style, bohemian has a lot of variations. When you hear “boho decor”, you probably think of bright colors and wild patterns, tons of plants and natural textures, right? But boho is not just about crazy colors….check this out this post from Daily Dream Decor:

8 Dreamy Bohemian Spaces that will Make You Swoon

Most of these color schemes are pretty muted. As I was looking for inspiration for this project, I realized that I could totally do something with a well traveled, international, funky, bohemian look and still keep it pretty monochromatic.

I also realized that I am becoming completely obsessed with this whole style…but that’s another blog post. 😉

The decor in my house right now is all very neutral with a lot of texture and natural elements, and this look isn’t really that different except it’s got a much funkier vibe.

Fun Fact: I had a Morroccan style bedroom several years ago – deep gold on the walls, burgundy and olive drapes over the bed, piles of purple and gold beaded pillows and Marrakesh inspired accessories. A good friend of mine stopped by shortly after I finished it and commented “Wow….this looks like the set of an international porno flick – and not a low budget one either”.
Not really what I was going for, but….I’ll take it as a compliment?

I love looking at bohemian decor in other people’s homes, but I’m not sure I’m ready to go full on boho in my own house – so I’m having an absolute blast playing around with things I wouldn’t normally consider.

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Boho Lounge Inspiration

How crazy cool is this space?

Ready Gypset Go Airstream
Source: Ready Gypset Go

You can follow the globe trotting adventures of Sarah and Josh on their blog Ready Gypset Go. This photo is from their beloved Airstream “Flo”. 

I adore this lounge at Grove Byron Bay in Australia:

Grove Byron Bay lounge
Source: Grove Byron Bay via Instagram

And how about this outdoor boho lounge from Andre and Tiffanie’s San Clemente wedding featured on the 100 Layer Cake blog?

100 Layer Cake - wedding lounge
Source: 100 Layer Cake blog

I found these leather butterfly chairs at Wayfair, which would be soooo perfect for the lounge:

Wayfair butterfly chairAnd I’m totally trying to figure out how to work a pair of these into my house. 🙂

I have to get my hands on some kind of pouf or ottoman…I think any of these styles (all from Wayfair) would look fabulous:


Metallic Moroccan Pouf Ottoman


Faux Mongolian Lamb Pouf Ottoman


Modern Pouf Ottoman

For more bohemian decor inspiration, follow my Pinterest Board – Boho Decor Inspiration. 

Hunting & Gathering

Once I had some ideas for the project I began shopping for my two biggest pieces – the sofas. This year I lucked into an ivory leather contemporary sofa for $80 and a golden tan sofa that has a bit of a 70’s vibe for $60.

I've been busy working on a super-fun project this week - a funky, boho lounge area for the artists at the NY State Blues Festival.

golden tan sofa

They are both so neutral that I really could have done anything with them, but next I found some hippie mandala tapestries  on Amazon that have a golden brown pattern, which gave me a pretty clear idea of what I was looking for with everything else.

Hippie Tapestry

Eclectic, funky boho style is perfect for this project, because almost anything goes – I have TONS of latitude in my choices, which makes it easier to find bargains.

I found this fun little 1970’s gold striped chair:

1970's chair

And this pair of matching pie crust tables for $10 each. I thought it would pretty easy to give them a kind of Marrakesh – international vibe:

pie crust tables

I want to include plenty of wicker and bamboo, so I scooped up this papasan rocker:

papasan rocker

I know it doesn’t look like much (and it was a little embarrassing buying it), but once I ditch the country blue cushion it will fit in perfectly. I have some wicker chairs in my house that I’ll borrow too.

ReStore Score!

Since I’m working with a completely blank square canvas in the tent, I thought that adding some folding screens would be a good way to give the space some structure. I was originally thinking about regular wooden doors, but they are WAY too heavy to be lugging around for this project. I headed to the ReStore and hit the jackpot:

reStore louvered doors

ReStore louvered doors 2

They were having a sale 2 for $10 on bi-fold doors, so I got all of these for just 15 bucks – enough for 2 screens. HUGE SCORE!

Furniture Triage

My deck has been functioning as a kind of triage station for ugly tables:

furniture triage

If they were going into my house, they would definitely be candidates for painting. But, since they are only going to be used for a couple of days I just gave them a good cleaning and rubbed some stain into the knicks and scrapes. You would be amazed at how much this easy trick improves wooden furniture that has seen better days.

Boho Pillows

I want lots of pillows, but the budget doesn’t allow for paying $20-$50 a pop. I found some terrific pillow covers at 50% off from Hobby Lobby:

Hobby Lobby pillow covers

White faux fur pillow cover
Natural and brown pillow cover

$8.50 and $4 are much easier on my budget, plus I was able to use some of the embarrassing large stash of pillows I have in my attic.

I did pick up a few pillows on clearance when I found a good deal:

clearance pillows

Boho Tchotchkes

I planned to use accessories that I already had:

old accessories

But I happened to stumble on an unbelievable selection of accessories in Hobby Lobby for 90% off:

round trays

I got a pair of amber glass vases, a set of round metal trays and some other odds and ends for $1.50 to $3.50 each and large heavy mirror that was originally $89.99 for just $9.

I’ve been squirreling everything away in a 10×10 storage space:

storage space
(The bright plastic Adirondack chairs are for another area of the festival)

I think I’m about done with the shopping. The last thing I have to do is finish up the folding screens – I’m planning to brush some darker stain on them before I hinge them together. One week from today I’ll be putting it all together, and I cannot wait to see how it all looks. Will it match the vision in my head? We shall see.

My blog posting will likely be a little light for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll be taking lots of pics of the finished area and sharing all the dirty details here next week.

Funky Boho Lounge - I've been busy working on a SUPER-fun project this week - a funky, boho lounge area for the artists at the NY State Blues Festival.

I’m linking this post up at some terrific blog parties – you can find my complete list of places I party HERE.

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About Julie

Julie is a serial entrepreneur, marketer, former newspaper columnist, black belt bargain hunter, voracious reader, gardener, music lover, foodie, wino, avid party thrower, hopeless romantic, closet Parrot Head and DIY machine.