Bohemian or boho style is for everyone who loves highlighting decorative elements from different cultures and places. Boho style embraces a carefree aesthetic that feels relaxing, somewhat unusual, and filled with history. Inspired by those who lead alternative lives like gypsies, writers, and photographers. The boho style reflects their lifestyle by mixing objects, textures, colors, and patterns from all over the world. If intriguing things, colorful rooms, and rich textures get your attention, boho style might be your interior design matchup. In this guide, we’ll cover the basic bohemian style elements and walk you through every house of the house to better visualize this timeless style.
What is Boho Style?
The actual origin of the term bohemian style perfectly simplifies what this aesthetic is all about. The term coined from the French expression “La Boheme” means gypsy. Bohemia, a region known for housing a large gypsy population in the past, initiated the style. Of course, today, the expression relates more with the bohemian lifestyle followed by 19th-century artists.
Now, boho style emulates a more functional approach to decor. Yet, it still preserves the essence of combining textures, colors, patterns, and cultural influences from different parts of the world. A bit messy for some, bohemian style follows no rules or directions. Instead, it is ever-evolving as you continuously add new pieces from your travels and experiences.
The Key Elements of Boho Style
Boho style is rule-breaking, very extrinsic, and personal as it shares the stories of who you are and where you’ve been. Colors, patterns, textures, and decorative elements that abide by the bohemian lifestyle are the key elements that make this design aesthetic unique.
Boho style is:
- Open and full of visual interest without feeling cluttered or disorganized.
- Free-spirited and lives by the philosophy of the world trotter, the gypsy.
- Filled with color, patterns, and textures combining rich cultural references from all over the world.
Boho style is not:
- Perfectly organized and following set guidelines for placing or order.
- Monochromatic or focuses only on neutral colors.
- Polished and sleek with clean lines or architectural sculptures.
Colors & Texture
The use of color is perhaps the most prominent element in boho style. Unlike most decorating styles with subtle hints of color, bohemian decor welcomes the layering of colors. Rich jewel tones, warm earthy tones, and hints of metallics are common. But, white is also accepted. It is layered with bright colors through textiles, wall hanging, wall art, and decorative elements. Inspiring color palettes for bohemian style rooms include:
- Bright jewels: emerald, ruby, sapphires, fuchsia, and yellows.
- Base colors: deep brown, forest green, and burned gray.
- Warm tones: wool, hearty orange, polished mahogany, copper red, and bronze.
Layering different textures help bring a boho flair to any room. Crocheted items, fur, velvet pillows, wooden or woven furniture, braiding beading, and tassels are all thrown into the mix. This eclectic mix of textures, layered over patterns and colors, creates a distinctive aesthetic that can’t be achieved with any other style. Even mirrors and metals find their way into modern boho style homes to reflect light and brighten the spaces.
Bohemian furniture is distinct, with a very low profile; the closer to the floor, the better. Think low-back sofas, comfy cushions, and neighboring poufs as the basics. Furniture should look as if they’ve lived a life before. Bohemian style is all about distressed items that look as if they were sourced from a market in a small nearby town. Boho furniture should have a personal history. Even if you have no idea where they came from, the aesthetics should resemble a long history.
When choosing bohemian furniture, there are no rules or time references you can go back to. This eclectic mix of contrasting styles, finishes, and stories is what makes bohemian style so alluring. Furniture picks are curated over time, highlighting vintage items and reclaimed pieces. Remember that boho style rooms have a lounging feel to them, so drift away from streamlined furniture and choose relaxed pieces like chaises, daybeds, and butterfly chairs instead.
Accessories are the beating heart of bohemian style. Family heirlooms, handmade items, and memorabilia from your travels will all find a space in your boho style house. Accessories are very personal and are there to help you tell your story. Think tapestries, bottles, maps, mismatched china, framed mirrors, wall hangings—you name it.
Lighting will unify your style and create ambiance. Don’t expect to see overhead fixtures or classic chandeliers here. Multiple lanterns, candles, and a mix of floor and table lamps are what make the bohemian style so unique and warm. But, by far, bringing the outdoors indoors is the biggest decorative element in bohemian decor. Not only does greenery add vibrancy to the room, but they add texture, color, and an eye-catching interest that pulls the room together. Boho style is perfect for plant lovers because more than an addition, they’re a fundamental part of the decor.
The Boho Style House
A bit eclectic and modern, chic, and glamorous, the bohemian style house is unlike any other. Boho decor lets you share your story and style by combining pieces from your past. Family heirlooms, handmade items, and travel souvenirs are the backbone of this design aesthetic, and what better way to showcase your personality than with these personal items?
Why bohemian style tends to shy away from minimalism, it is by the entryway that you’ll see some setbacks. Here, metallics and mirrors paired with woods and greenery set the stage. Instead of overly layering and stuffing the entrance with too many items, boho entryways are usually pulled back. Expect large mirrors, low-profile benches, woven baskets, and lots of greenery as the essential decor elements. To prevent overwhelming the eyes, the boho entryway feels relatively simple compared to the rest of the house, yet it is still efficient and practical.
Boho Living Room
Here is where boho style is at its full-blown display. There isn’t an empty space in the bohemian living room. Every corner is filled with decorative objects, throws, poufs, accent chairs, greenery, and more. The eclectic blend of materials, textiles, patterns, and textures add visual interest while keeping the eye entertained. But be cautious. You don’t want your room to feel all over the place.
While there are few guidelines for the blend of objects, it should feel like a unified mess all within one theme. A bohemian home decor shouldn’t evoke a similarity to the home of a hoarder, however. Everything should have a place and a purpose, yet you don’t have to be rigid with placement. Keep a consistent color theme throughout for uniformity and to prevent a disjointed feel. Choose a selection of hues you can keep coming back to and that you can stay present with all of your elements.
Boho Dining Room and Kitchen
The boho dining room is where you showcase your true findings. Here, family heirlooms take center stage and are celebrated for their rich history. Even if you don’t have antiques, vintage pieces and repurposed items take their role instead. Expect to see greenery make a statement in the dining room as well. Artistic accessories will add further interest to your cozy spaces and make for cultured talking points.
Color reigns the bohemian dining room and kitchen. Beautiful, bright colored cabinets, side tables, bar carts, and tabletops prevail. Also, don’t expect boho decor to step back in the dining room. You’ll still see plenty of layers using rugs, wall decor, lighting, and greenery to create interest. Mix and match chairs add an eclectic flair to the dining room, breaking up with traditional styles. One element that makes a significant difference in a bohemian dining room is natural elements — wood, cotton, and linens, which are often highlighted in this room.
The bedroom is possibly the one space of the bohemian style house that pulls back on color. Here, neutral tones and softer hues reign over bright colors. Still, color shows up in earthy tones throughout the furniture pieces, greenery, and decorative elements. Overall, the bedroom fits a low-profile with most items, almost touching the ground. You won’t see the use of a bed frame here, but headboards will add texture and a hint to natural elements when used. The boho bedroom feels comfortable, relaxing, and eclectic. Like in almost every room of the boho house, greenery and plants on the floor and hanging add the finishing touches. Wall art can be prints or weaved objects, wall hangings are popular headboard replacements, and photographs of travels make a statement.
Ready to See How Boho Style Looks In Your Home?
A bohemian style house isn’t for everyone. If you like things to have a specific place and follow a set of rules, this style isn’t for you. But, if colors and patterns are your things, paired with a free-for-all way of living, bohemian style might be perfect for you. If you’re ready to see how boho style might look in your house, start a project today. Work with our interior designers to create a unique bohemian style space that sparks nothing but pure joy and excitement.