Bohemian, or Boho for short, is meant to break all the rules. It’s exotic and wanderlust yet down-to-earth and eclectic. Imagine the home of someone who lives a more Bohemian lifestyle, such as a world traveler, actor or writer who likes to surround themselves with objects, colors and patterns that inspire them and their work. Not sure what it means? Here are some ideas and boho home decor tips for beginners to achieve this cozy and inviting style.
Add a Variety of Textures
Textures are one of the easiest ways to establish a boho home decor. From the flooring to the ceiling and walls, texture creates visual interest and extra dimension to a boho style room. Choose original hand-scraped and distressed hardwood floors or laminate flooring with a striking color variation that resembles the real thing. Hang woven macrame crafts on the walls and stacks of books on the floor. Incorporate slightly worn pillows with fringe edges to the sofa and place down ottomans wrapped in dyed textiles like Ikat and Suzani.
Create Relaxing, Low-Level Seating
Bohemians are laid back souls, so your boho style home should reflect this relaxed lifestyle. Create an inviting space with low-level seating, such as chaise lounges, daybeds or butterfly chairs. You can also look for a mid-century style sofa and chairs, which offer a low profile. Throw down some floor pillows wrapped in a textile with colorful patterns or add a leather pouf ottoman or two in front of the sofa.
Add Some Greenery
Boho homes are typically meant for very earthy individuals, so add as many potted plants as you desire! Of course, stick with indoor potted plants that can grow in low light and that are easy to maintain if you don’t yet have a green thumb. Choose a variety of plants in different sizes to give a lush jungle vibe. Add some fig trees or palms in a corner and hang some baskets of ferns from the ceiling or a hook. Cacti, succulents and philodendron are big boho trends and are very forgiving and easy to keep alive. Place some stoneware-potted plants around on coffee tables, countertops and even nightstands. The more, the merrier when it comes to greenery and plants!
Create Lighting Layers
Another boho home decor tip is to create multiple layers of lighting. While your home may have existing recessed lights, make sure they are on a dimmer switch that allows you to create a more relaxing environment. Once that base layer is complete, add more fun and playful lighting with vintage chandeliers and pendant lanterns. String lights draped across a table or book collection can add some twinkle and extra interest. In the bedroom, a canopy over the bed can create an intimate space and also diffuse lighting in a unique way. The idea is to mix and match lighting sources and finishes.
Play with Patterns
Much like textures, you want to play with patterns. For the ultimate boho look, add multiple layers of patterns. But for a more minimal boho look, use no more than a handful of patterns across a room, allowing your eyes to rest in the negative spaces between. This can be anything from a Turkish area rug to sofa pillows to wall tapestries and wallpaper.
Invite Vintage and Handmade Objects
Boho home decor style resembles that of a world traveler or artistic mind. And vintage and handmade items are the perfect way to add character and soul into a boho style room. Visit local antique stores and thrift shops to find the ideal furniture or lighting piece to take center stage in a room. Handmade objects, such as pottery and craftsman style furniture, also lend a boho vibe. When it comes to vintage items, wicker and natural reed-like materials like burlap and sisal are back in vogue, as are warm metallic accents like copper and brass. If you find an item you love, but it looks a bit rough for wear, give it new life with a can of spray paint or sand it down and apply an original finish in a bright color.
Boho home decor is full of vibrant colors. However, like playing with patterns, the trick here is not to go overboard. Use a base of warm earthy hues such as a rich brown, serene greens or neutral grays. Add layers of brighter jewel-tone colors and shiny metallics on top of that. Think deep violets, monk-robe reds, saffron yellows and electric blues. Pick up patterns in these colors as well to double the impact. And be sure to add a splash of brass and copper metallic finishes here and there–for example, in an ornate Baroque-style antique mirror.
Showcase Personal Collections
One of the most personal ways you can add to a boho home decor is by showcasing your own personal collections. Whether it’s an entire library of books, a terrarium of exotic plants or little knick-knacks you’ve brought back from your travels, showcase everything you’ve got! This could be anything from vintage maps to mismatched dishware and Americana coffee mugs from greasy spoon diners. Also, avoid merely buying these collections purely for the sake of creating a boho look. Your boho home should reflect who you are as a person.
Create Your Boho Home
Creating a boho style home–with all its eclectic layers and colors and textures–is not easy. While many design magazines and websites make it look pretty effortless, it does take patience and time to get it just right.
Play with your existing furniture and establish a grounding layer with flooring and rugs. From there, bring out your personal collections and add lighting to accentuate shelving and other areas where you intend to showcase them. Take your time and, eventually, your boho home will appear as if it came together naturally. After all, your boho home should appear to tell a story of your soul.