Style & Design
How to Add Boho Style to Your Home
Eclectic and Carefree
Calling all free spirits! The Bohemian or Boho style of decorating is for unconventional people who like their homes to be full of life, culture, and unique and vintage items from around the world. It's an eclectic and carefree look that is relaxed, warm, and inviting and showcases the home owner's individual tastes and interests. If you like creating a home that's is truly your own, don't like to follow rules when it comes to decorating, and love rich patterns and earthy tones, Boho style might be for you.
What is Boho Style?
Inspired and named for a people who chose an unconventional, artistic lifestyle back in the 1800s, Bohemian style reflects an aesthetic that developed through constant travel, handmade crafts, and a relaxing of societal norms. It's a style that was embraced by the counterculture movement of the 1960s and has become associated with hippy style. Although Boho style tosses out many of the rules when it comes to decor, rooms decorated in this design aesthetic tend to have similarities, though no two rooms are ever completely alike and are as individual as the people who inhabit them.
To give you a better idea of what encompasses the style, let's cover what Boho is and what it isn't.
Boho style is not:
- Lacking color
- Matching all over
- Boring or sterile
Boho style is:
- Layered and full of personal touches
- Rich in patterns, color, and texture
- Warm and inviting
How to Add a Boho Chic Look to Your Décor
Unlike the clean, uncluttered beauty of minimalist interior design, Boho rooms create a cozy atmosphere with plenty of interesting accents, handcrafted pottery, rich textures, colorful patterns, and warm hues, and the natural look of potted plants. If you are drawn to the cozy look of Boho interiors and want to give your home a layered eclectic and lived-in look to your home, here's some design tips to help you get started.
Boho homes never lack texture. You can easily add a variety of textures to any room with baskets, macrame wall hangings, throws and pillows, stained or natural wood furniture, colorful, loomed area rugs, upholstery, handcrafted ceramics, and planters of different materials. Don't be afraid to layer textiles and add items you love. More is more in Bohemian style!
Along with plenty of texture, Boho rooms should embrace the use of patterns. In fact, patterns are key to achieving a Boho look and feel. If too many patterns seem overwhelming to you, stick with one color palette and pick patterns that include those specific colors. Bring in those tapestries, geometrics, funky prints, and woven tribal textiles. Remember to leave space in the room for your eye to rest to avoid visual overload.
Touches of color
Boho décor is all about color. Any color you can think of will look super chic. Unlike contemporary and transitional rooms that rely on muted or neutral base palettes, Bohemian style makes great use of a wide range of colors. Warm, earthy hues are common, as are metallics and jewel tones. So if you love color and find beige a little too bland, try out the no-holds-barred view on color that Boho style offers. You can use greens, grays, creams, or browns as base colors and accessorize in brighter colors such as purple, orange, blue, or red. Combine and layer colors to suit your own taste.
Go easy on black accents
Small touches of black are fine, but try to stay away from too much black in Bohemian rooms. Avoid large pieces of furniture that are painted or upholstered in the color. Likewise, don't introduce heavy, dark wood furniture or too many overly dark pieces which will make the space seem heavy and moody. Stick with light, bright woods to keep the room airy and provide a clean backdrop for the colorful pieces you'll be putting in the room. One of two smaller black accents will anchor the décor without overwhelming it.
Layering rugs gives you an additional opportunity to bring in a mix of patterns and textures. You can layer an area rug over a carpet, layer a patterned, woven, vintage rug over a larger natural fiber one, or combine a variety of area rugs within a space that are within the same color family. If you combine area rugs with wood, brick, or terra cotta tile floors, so much the better.
Add vintage or handmade touches
Handcrafted, thrifted, or vintage items are a must for the Boho look. You can incorporate heirloom pieces, flea market finds, or artisan pieces. Look for accents made of natural materials such as wood, wicker, and plant fibers. Add some warm metallic pieces such as vintage brass candle holders, copper planters, or metals with matte or patina finishes.
Sit comfortably with low-level seating
The Boho lifestyle values chilling out, sitting back, and relaxing. It's inviting, cozy, and congenial. Low-level seating encourages people to sit down and stay awhile to chat and commune with each other. Boho rooms incorporate comfy sofas, floor pillows, soft ottomans and poufs in woven fabrics and leather into the decor. Bean bag chairs also make great options for seating. Furniture can include ornate Moroccan and Asian-inspired wood pieces or even retro Mid-Century Modern pieces that are streamlined and vintage can be incorporated into the mix to create a Boho vibe.
Plant some greenery
Boho is all about getting back to nature. Bring a little of the outdoors inside and add plenty of plants to your décor. You can use ceramic pots, hanging planters, and floor containers to hold your favorite houseplants. A mix of plants bring visual interest to areas of the room that might feel empty. If you are lacking a green thumb, mix some faux florals and plants in with the real items for maintenance-free greenery in rooms with less natural sunlight.
Scent can have a big impact on your home. Rooms that smell great will leave a lasting impression. You can incorporate wonderful fragrances into your home with scented candles, essential oils, incense, scented soaps and lotions, and flowers. Just go easy on the patchouli. A little subtle scent goes a long way.
Mix and match light sources
Lighting is important in any décor style and Boho is no exception. You can mix and match lighting fixtures that please you, but you can't go wrong with pendants with shades made of natural fibers, artist glass, or lighting fixtures with modern, geometric shapes and designs. Don't forget to layer your lighting sources with a combination of task, ambient, and accent lights.
Stuff you love
To truly make your house a reflection of you and a place you can call home, you should decorate with items you love. This philosophy is especially true with Boho style. Boho celebrates individuality, quirky objects, and pieces that embody a variety of cultures and décor from regions across the globe. Fill your home with items you collected over the years, found during your travels, discovered in shops off the beaten path, or that speak to you in some sense. Special things that tell your story will serve as a reminder of your life's journey and give you joy on a daily basis.