In search of alternatives to the bourgeoisie, many of the artists in early 19th century France moved into the lower-rent Romani area of Paris. This fusion of creative Western European sensibility and Indo-Aryan nomadic culture gave rise to a free-spirited lifestyle of artists, writers, and travelers. People sought a different kind of creative life and alternate definitions of beauty. The Bohemian aesthetic was born.
Bohemian (or Boho) is interior design for people looking to infuse their homes with life, culture, and interesting items. The Bohemian aesthetic challenges traditional rules and embraces the carefree and unusual. Boho rooms are eclectic and combine colors, textures, materials, furniture, and accessories from all over the world. You can truly make Bohemian your own by following a few of these guidelines.
The Boho palette includes warm earth tones, metallics, and jewel tones. For base tones such as rugs, walls, sofas, and other large furniture, look to deep brown, grey, and green. Think outside the box and hang a beautiful Persian rug on the wall. Layer several floor rugs in different styles and colors for a bold statement. When accessorizing, go for exciting purple hues, shimmering silver, and electric royal blues.
Another way to make your colors stand out is to mix them with different patterns and textures. Mix and match in an unconventional way and use dyed textiles from around the world, the more “lived in” the better. While you don’t want to buy poor-quality goods, you do want a used vintage look. And, while the bold jewel tones make great layering accessories, white can be a perfect backdrop. White will add visual space to any room and can work as a bedspread, for example, under a sea of jewel-toned pillows and a canopy of bold Moroccan silk.
The Bohemian style is about more of everything, and mixing and matching. Natural materials are popular. Combine textures like wool and burlap with silk and jacquard. Keep in mind you want a weathered look and a palette of colors that contrast with your base tones. If you have a grey sofa, choose blue and purple throws with contrasting patterns. Anything made with fringe or macramé, such as bedspreads or throw-rugs, will ramp up the Boho feel and create a hip international vibe. Draped fabric is a signature boho look. Consider a DIY canopy over your bed using a sheet, blanket, or sew your own for a real Boho feel.
Typically, each piece of Bohemian furniture is special. Pieces are collected over time and they don’t come from traditional furniture stores. Think second-hand and vintage items that tell a story. Make it fun to explore local thrift and antique shops to choose your pieces. Fall in love with them as you go.
The Bohemian style is plush chairs and sofas in rich colors. Furniture is low to the floor or sometimes even on the floor. Low-backed sofas are popular with overstuffed throw pillows. If you do go with floor seating, be sure you start with a good soft rug and lots of cushions in various sizes.
Lighting and More
Unify your Boho room and create ambient light with floor and table lamps, lanterns, and candles. You can find these at vintage stores or check out one of today’s popular global design markets. There are so many shapes and styles to choose from making the mix-and-match look easy to achieve.
Bohemian style rooms are about creativity and the natural world. A great way to give life to a Boho room is with ferns and other hanging plants. Plants not only bring vibrant color and life to a room they also improve air quality. Succulents are a great choice. There are many varieties and they are perfect for the green-thumb challenged. Choose a few different colors and textures of succulent, find a sunny spot, and water occasionally. Your Boho room is complete with live plants.
Finally, accessories can be anything including objects from travels, maps, tapestries, and family heirlooms. While the Bohemian style is certainly eclectic, it can also be chic and elegant. If one of your family heirlooms is an ornate chandelier, by all means, hang it. It’s your story to tell, you get to create your very own personal Boho look.
Get Creative with a Barn Door
Sliding barn doors are instantly unique and vintage in any room, just choose a rustic or antique, patina. You can also have fun with color and choose a DIY unfinished barn door. Then pick your favorite jewel-tone and accent with a barn door. You will save space and make a bold statement in your Bohemian-style room. Have questions about which barn door is right for you? Contact us, we can help.