A Colourful Guide To Bohemian-Chic Decorating
Are you the artistic type that likes to explore, experiment and reinvent things? If so, then you should know bohemian is the best style for your home.
It’s for those who live unconventional lives and like mixing colours, patterns and textures without paying attention to any fancy rules…
It’s about changing the rule book, and adding some spontaneity to your living space.
If you’re inherently drawn to free expression, unconventional displays, and colourful collections, then read on… This is most definitely the place where your own personal style and aesthetic can shine.
Boho style interiors are one of the more modern trends when it comes to decor. Boho chic interiors look unusual – blending extraordinary designs and wonderful room colours with vintage style, eco elements, gypsy decor and glamorous bohemian details.
Imagine an explosion of colour and design flowing together in a brilliant menagerie of draperies, rugs, throws, and accent items. That’s just something of what boho chic for the home means.
Boho chic is all about breaking from the humdrum decorating norms.
“Boho” derives from the term “bohemian homeless”. It embraces not only decorating on a budget – casting aside the expensive and extravagant – but also finding one’s own sense of colour and design.
Chic, of course, is all doing it with style.
There is something aspirational and enviable about the bohemian lifestyle.
From the nomadic heritage, or dreaming about that whimsical gypsey life, travelling endlessly to far-flung places and colourful cities rich in culture and history.
That’s why boho homes are still on the top of our inspiration list—who doesn’t have a bohemian board on Pinterest?
Think unique and exotic fabrics, perfectly disheveled throws, an abundance of greenery, sentimental keepsakes, relics, knick-knacks, and handmade collectibles lovingly layered to create a worldly space.
Like all fashion trends, it didn’t take long before bohemian looks began to show up in home decor. With eclectic textiles and home decor and now the boho style of decorating has just about become mainstream. For the home, boho is the new wave version of hippie glamour!
A Blend Of Vintage Styles
Many misinterpret the bohemian style as a collection of a few individual elements. Finding its roots in the unconventional lifestyle, the style is anything but fixed or certain.
A bohemian look with far fewer flea market additions and far more order can easily pass as eclectic.
You can even ramp up the Mediterranean or Moroccan design elements and decor to give it a less obvious bohemian look.
Even the modern beach style or nautical theme blend well with bold bohemian accents.
If you’re asking yourself what Bohemian style consists of, here’s a quick list of the decor elements:
Colourful, eclectic and whimsical
Pattern on pattern / abstract designs
Mixed materials and finishes
The opposite of minimalism
Vintage and reclaimed / 1950’s and 1960’s inspiration
Bohemian Home Decor
Bohemian decorating is for those who want their homes full of life, culture, and interesting items for all the world to see.
It embraces the carefree, the relaxed and the unusual. That said, bohemian-style rooms tend to all have a certain style and structure – they share some of the same features, yet no two are completely alike.
There are no rules when it comes to bohemian decorating, yet warm earthy colours are quite common, as are metallics.
Think brown, terracotta, gold and other colours in that family. Jewel tones like saturated purple, fiery orange and electric blue often make appearances in accessories like tapestries and art. The key to using colour in bohemian decorating is to think warm.
Be sure to mix lots of patterns and don’t be afraid to use colours that wouldn’t necessarily go together in a conventional way.
Layer rugs on top of each other and try hanging tapestries or rugs on the wall.
Bohemian Style Tip:
Less is less, and more is more. The idea is to pack a space with as much personality as possible. This mimics a feeling of overflowing with life, with momentos and inspiration from travels and other worlds.
An interior that embraces boho chic should appear busy, almost chaotic, and yet confident and happy in its fullness. Cover the walls with beloved items, fill surfaces with textiles and colour, and layer, then layer, then layer again.
A bright and colourful unique tribal piece – perhaps a rug or wall hanging to bring boho chic into your home.
This piece will be the centrepiece of your design, which can be surrounded with functional, simple, often solid coloured furniture, giving the space body.
These rugs are perfect for use as the centrepiece of your boho chic home design.
The right rug can become the centrepiece of a room when it’s paired with the right space. The perfect one should be a continuation of the story your home.
A few colourful throws as well as unique and eye-catching items will give depth and dimension to your home.
Remember to be different but complementary.
Every element in the space should feel unique but also flow together with the other pieces. For instance, the throw pillow stands on its own in colour and design, but looks good with your existing decor.
When you decorate your room in boho chic decor, don’t shy away from bright, bold and beautiful colours. Anything can work!
It’s less about using what’s expected and all about using what you love.
The only real rule is that there are no strict rules. Boho chic is all about creating the space that reflects the inner, expressive you.
The key to using materials in this style of room is to mix and match.
Use natural materials like burlap and sisal and mix them with silk and chenilles. The materials should have a slightly worn look (not damaged, but not shiny and new either).
Everything can have fringe on it – from pillows, to curtains to lampshades.
Bohemian Style Tip:
Make the space your own. As you’ve no doubt realised by now, the individual is what makes boho chic such an inviting and interesting style choice. You don’t need to change your own style or life in any way to adopt a sense of the Bohemian in your space.
Bohemian furniture can’t be bought in just any old shop…
Bohemian rooms tend to be full of furniture collected over time. Second hand and vintage items are right at home in these rooms.
Shapes and sizes aren’t nearly as important as they are in other styles of rooms.
Each piece should be special and tell a story no matter what it looks like. No one should be able to walk in to a bohemian room and be able to tell where you got the furniture.
Accessories in bohemian rooms should tell the story of the people who live there.
Ornate boxes, vintage bottles, maps, and mismatched china – you name it.
Bohemians travel so the items in a bohemian room should look like they’ve been collected from the world over. And keep in mind that just because bohemian tends to be offbeat it doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous.
Don’t be afraid to use drippy crystal chandeliers and ornate gold mirrors.
Be creative in the use of your furniture, bring in rich, vivid colours of any hue, and go bold with any patterns you happen to love.
Throw in photos of your family or favourite holiday spots.
You don’t need to edit your life or loves in a Bohemian space – the style itself embraces it all.
Committing fully to the bohemian theme is not the idea of a perfect home for many of us. (Though we love it, thanks to the lesser demands it places on organisation!)
Lastly, if you’re going to remember any rule about Bohemian style…
Remember this: that there are no rules. You can certainly dabble in the Boho style but then veer off in ways that make you happy.
“Bohemian style is for those who care less about style and more about life!”
Now we want to hear what you think!
Is the Boho style one you’ve embraced or one you’ve passed by? Let us know below and leave a comment!
Updated April 2021.