Bohemian, or Boho, is an unconventional design style that embraces various aesthetics derived from an array of cultures and periods. Combining bold colors and patterns from so many different ways of life gives Boho-styled homes an eclectic vibe.
Bohemian is a French word that was first used to describe people, sometimes referred to as gypsies, from the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. The term loosely refers to artists or musicians who lived nomadic lifestyles. The Beat movement in 1950s New York helped to ignite the popularity of the Boho style and evolved into the hippy culture.
Today, Bohemian is a general term to describe the style that relies on the design from the 60s and 70s. Since Bohemian is an open term, there are many different Boho styles to choose from when you’re decorating your home.
Check out this guide that breaks down Bohemian styles, colors, and patterns to find the perfect Boho style that suits your design style!
The general rule of thumb with Bohemian-inspired design is there aren't any rules. Here are the basic guidelines for creating a bohemian style in your home:
- Colors — In some design styles, there are rules on mixing and matching patterns and colors, but Boho is more open: anything goes. Bright colors and earth tones are both commonly used; typically, deep browns and greys are used as base colors, with more brilliant colors as accents.
- Patterns—Don’t hold back on mixing styles from different regions. Combining textiles and patterns from around the world will add a level of exoticism and separates Boho style from other design styles. Some patterns you can combine are floral, paisley, and geometric.
- Natural Fibers — Natural fibers like sisal, jute, and bamboo are found in Boho design. You can include rustic accessories throughout a Boho home with woven rugs, wall décor, macrame, and leather furniture.
- Layering — Layering helps keep your space casual, which is a significant aspect of this design style. Place throws over sofas, add poofs over rugs, and don’t be afraid of too many throw pillows. Keep it casual and homey.
- Texture — Rustic elements add a wide range of variety to Boho styles. Think fringes on throws and pillows, a rough wooden accent like a tree stump footstool, a sisal rug, or even a metal accent to contrast the harsher elements. Silk is also a suitable fabric and will add romance to any design.
- Vintage — Boho spaces primarily utilize mid-century modern vintage pieces throughout their design. They don’t have to be authentic—you can find mid-century modern accessories and furniture online or at local stores.
- Culture — The Bohemian style comes from artists, so your home décor should emphasize culture. Be liberal with art books, prints, or even framed album covers to add culture to your Boho design.
- Global — Another way to accessorize is to add pieces from around the world. Again, they can be authentic from your travels, or you can find replications online. Buddha statues, Ming vases, or Moroccan lanterns can help to fill the space with a sense of adventure.
- Plants — Bohemian style is focused on the natural world, and adding plants to your design can emphasize it. Both potted and hanging plants will help to add a sense of calm and life to your space. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, succulents are another great plant option that requires minimal care.
Even though the Boho style can sometimes be overstuffed and busy, there is a more minimal design style that still incorporates the essential spirit of Bohemian. Some designers and homeowners might feel overwhelmed with the saturation of colors, textiles, and patterns. However, you can integrate natural fibers in a sleeker design: Minimalist Boho focuses on natural textures and neutral colors.
You can use concrete walls and countertops to utilize a sleek finish with natural elements. As a neutral color scheme that uses white, grey, and brown, Boho Minimalism is mainly comprised of straight lines with the occasional curve to add softness, like a round rug. Jute or sisal woven rugs can help break the monotony of right angles and are often found in a round style.
Minimum use of plants to add some color can be used, but any references to nature are primarily done with raw fabrics: hemp, sisal, bamboo, or jute are used frequently. The overall effect is simplicity with a nod to the Earth.
If you’d like something with splashes of glamour but which gives off more laid-back vibes, Boho Glam is an option that blends the two. Bohemian Glam become popular in the 1930s and includes elements of midcentury modern design and natural features.
There is an even mixture of rustic accessories and sleek accessories to balance the opposing aesthetics. Glam includes pops of bold colors, another tenet of Bohemian design. You’ll also find natural fibers, but they are more refined, the list including marble, sheepskin, or wicker.
Still, the objective is to emanate Hollywood glamor, but in a laid-back way. Mix and match textiles, incorporate elements of culture, and don’t be afraid to try opposing patterns.
The coastal Bohemian style is maybe the laid back of them all: think beach vibes. The color schemes are more muted, with whites being the base, but there are still vibrant splashes of cobalt blue, rusty orange, and palm green.
Coastal Boho design style works well for outdoor spaces and lofts. With more muted colors, textures play a more prominent role in the design. Kitchens and bathroom coastal designs usually have marble countertops with natural fiber furniture and accessories, like wicker stools or baskets. You can incorporate textures in many ways, such as distressed furniture, rattan chairs, and layered rugs.
You’ll find Moroccan-style rugs layered on top of natural fiber rugs. Floral and traditional patterns are also prominent and help to create an overall relaxed vibe to any space.
Any Bohemian style design is an eclectic and fun design style that is flexible to your tastes. A Classic or Glam style will suit more vibrant color and pattern choices, while Minimalism and Coastal will appeal to homeowners who enjoy sleeker décor.
After you find the perfect Boho style that suits your design style, explore the Bohemian style rugs at Boutique Rugs. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!