Justina Blakeney: The New Bohemian

How do you integrate your love for plants and nature with your passion for design and textiles?

I use both plants and textiles very liberally in my design work. They are the easiest things to use quickly and totally transform a space, even on a budget. Plus, plants carry good energy, so bringing them into a room can change the space not just visually but also energetically. Now, with the release of my wallpaper collection with Hygge & West, I’m able to seamlessly integrate plants and patterns into a space through the “jungalicious” wallpaper motifs, which is really fun.

Justina Blakeney
Credit: Justina Blakeney

How did you come up with the idea for The New Bohemians?

I came up with it when I tried (unsuccessfully) to pitch a book about my blog, Jungalow, which ended up being too niche. So I took a look at some of my favorite design books, from The Selby is in Your Place to Remodelista and Domino, and I made long lists of what I loved about those books. I then put all of those things together and came up with what is now The New Bohemians.

Which client/corporate partnership has been the most rewarding?

I’ve had a ton of great experiences, but designing a rooftop oasis for CB2 was especially memorable. What are some words you would use to describe your style? Colorful, patternful, “jungalicious,” maximalist.

Justina Blakeney
Credit: Justina Blakeney

What is the role of social media at the intersection of your art and your business?

Building my audience has taken about six years, and a lot of trial and error. I spend a lot of time looking at the stats and metrics from all my social platforms to see what performed the best and what resonated with my audience. I find that when people feel like they are a part of something, they are more likely to purchase. So I try to let my audience in on my projects and give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what I do. At the end of the day, the true mark of success isn’t just about having your audience buy your products; it’s having them share those products with friends, family, or their own social audience. In order for people to want to do that, the product has to be solid. Gimmicky things have a short shelf life.

In your opinion, what is the difference between a house and a home? How does interior design play into this?

A house is an empty shell. A home is where your family is – even if your family is a few philodendrons and a goldfish! I actually don’t think interior design plays much of a role in this, it’s really about love.

For more information about Justina Blakeney, visit: justinablakeney.com or @justinablakeney on Twitter.


the author

Mira Blumenthal

Mira Blumenthal is lead editor, communications at MISC.