Call it boho or hippie decor: It's colorful, exuberant, uninhibited and everything that appeals to the young and the young-at-heart. If you're nostalgic for your mud-encrusted days at Woodstock, or enamored of the glamor of iconic hippie events, dig up some rock posters, pull out the peace signs and tie-dye your way to a bedroom that lets the sunshine in.
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Colorwash the bedroom walls watermelon; paint the ceiling sky-blue with sponged-on puffy white clouds and the trim lively yellow-green citron. Spread a cream, red, pink and orange Moroccan tribal carpet on the floor. Ditch the bed frame. Put the mattress on the rug, cover it in a bright Indian cotton bedspread, and tack up a wall hanging to serve as a headboard. Reclaimed furniture is fine. A shabby reproduction French court chair with faded velvet cushions gets an embroidered peasant shawl tossed over it. A scrap of vibrant silk sari covers the thrift-store lampshade and tints the light at night. A carved African stool serves as a nightstand and holds your treasured copy of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. A throw pillow with a painted panel of Laxshmi, Hindu goddess of abundance, dominates a nest of pillows on the bed.
Tie-dye is a hippie cliche, so embrace it in everything from sheets to shades. Tie-dye pillowcases and a duvet cover so you never have to make the bed. Tie-dye sheer lengths of loosely woven cotton and hang them in the windows so the light filters through them. Frame a vintage tie-dyed T-shirt and hang it on the wall. Knot long strips of rainbow-colored cloth on a bamboo pole and mount it on the wall behind the bed or over a doorless closet. Crisscross colored streamers over the ceiling to "weave" a rainbow sky. Suspend a vertical string of large multicolored paper lanterns in a corner, drop a light string down the center of the lanterns, and wash the bedroom in soft colored light.
All the Colors
Forget "Zen" and "subdued." You want a riot of vivid color setting that hippie pad ablaze. Paint one wall lime-green, another hot pink, a third tangerine and a fourth serene lilac. Cover each wall with more detail: cork tiles studded with concert ticket stubs, friend photos, uplifting sayings, song lyrics and hooks for handmade jewelry; framed black-and-white photos of rock legends; and a wall papered in overlapping magazine tear-outs, and other printed data about environmental protection, endangered species and yoga sequences. Layer an old table with mismatched scarlet and yellow patterned cloths and park your lava lamp and a vase of flowers on it. Add a black light to the room and try a spooky trick: Outline the walls with a spray of laundry detergent that dries clear. The phosphorous will light up in the dark when the black light is on.
Crafty Peace Out
Every hippie bedroom has its peace sign. Create one that shines day and night with a stretched canvas from the craft store and a string of fairy lights. Paint the canvas with every-which-way brush strokes of dilute colors so it looks bright and child-like. Cherry-reds, pinks, purples, inky-blues and silver are suitably '60s. Apricot, mint, lemon, turquoise and lavender are pretty and pastel. Trace or draw an outline of a peace sign on the back of the canvas and poke tiny holes in the outline at even intervals. Stick the bulb of a fairy light through each hole, taping the wire to the canvas between each light to hold the bulbs in place -- if you make the holes slightly smaller than the bulbs, each light will sit in its space more securely. Prop the canvas on the dresser or on the floor against the wall and plug in the light string for a twinkly message of peace.