Blame it on Instagram (#bungalowstyle) or a host of breezy West Coast tastemakers like Emily Henderson, Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors, and fashion and home-goods designer Jenni Kayne: The effortless, sand-in-your-linen-sheets California look is everywhere. You know the vibe – stark white walls, primitive wooden benches, surf photography, plus a giant yarn octopus adorning the wall (made by an eccentric textile artist from Topanga, naturally).
It’s easy to understand the appeal. Whether you’re squirreled away in a generic cubicle or you actually live in L.A. city limits, it’s beyond soothing to imagine escaping to a light-filled aerie in Laurel Canyon filled with succulents, peshtemal towels, and a surfboard propped just so. It’s a minimalist millennial’s fantasy, one that suggests you’ve been up at dawn catching waves or trawling the farmer’s market for the perfect avocado. (Work? What work?)
The good news is that you don’t need to be an actual bohemian to live bohemian chic. You probably do need a job, though, to pay for all this stuff. Here are 13 signs you’re living the California Dream.
- Yarn art is key.
- Even if you’re a vegan, you’ve got to get some Icelandic animal hides.
- You have collections of shells, pebbles, and partial beehives (for “authenticity”).
- A vintage surfboard is a must. Never mind that you actually take lessons on a $100 board from Costco – or not at all – the 1960s longboard on your wall is a work of art.
- Details count. Your accessories come exclusively from Peru, Tibet, or the General Store in Venice. Think raw wooden chopping boards, Allswell notebooks, and Canyon coffee beans.
- Marie Kondo has nothing on you. In this world, there is no trace of grocery store packaging, trash bags, or supermarket toiletries. Even your dish soap is from Aesop.
- Fluffy towels are verboten. Linens must be Belgian or Turkish, and monastically abrasive.
- Furniture should be spare, easily pushed back to the corners of your room for your morning meditation practice or monthly full-moon circle.
- Even your wardrobe is on message: You exclusively wear shades of indigo, camel, pale gray, and white.
- Altars abound. Buddhas, Durgas, prayer beads, sage sticks . . . you’ve got to offer something to offset the karmic implications of spending $95 on a wooden spoon.
- Proof that you’ve been to Joshua Tree. It’s not a real L.A. home until you have a black-and-white photo of a yucca plant.
- Zero evidence of technology. It doesn’t matter that you have 50k Instagram followers. You listen to Joni Mitchell on a vintage Victrola, thankyouverymuch.
- A giant steel drum full of alien-esque succulents from Big Red Sun in Venice. And, of course, you know that you have to talk to the plants (to foster their independence). And, of course, you do.