Boho interior design has continued to be a popular style year after year. But it’s also a style that we get tons of questions about. There are so many different facets of bohemian style and so many different ways you can bring it to life. With so many questions, we’re rounding up everything you need to know about this design style, all in one place! Read on for our ultimate guide to acing boho style.
What is bohemian decor?
Bohemian decor is a colorful, eclectic look with a global inspiration. It’s the style you might think of for an avid world traveler or a free-spirited flea market lover, as it tends to be full of an eclectic assortment of collected objects. Bohemian style features a fun mix of color and patterns, furniture styles, and unexpected decor—along with asymmetrical layouts. Boho style tends to be super casual and carefree, with a relaxed approach to styling.
There are so many different ways to get a boho look. Explore some of our favorites here.
Eclectic vs Bohemian
As you might expect, bohemian home decor has similarities to eclectic interior design—but they’re not entirely synonymous. While these terms are often used interchangeably, “eclectic” is actually a bigger umbrella term that describes an approach to style that’s all about mixing different style and design elements together. Meanwhile, “boho” is a specific design style derived from the approach of artfully mixing decor elements. Essentially, any style can have an eclectic nature or styling approach. That’s why we prefer to use the terms bohemian or boho to describe the actual design style!
What are bohemian color palettes?
So many different color palettes can work in a bohemian space. So, there’s not just one color scheme that suits this design style. However, boho spaces tend to have more unexpected and bold palettes, and they’re often deeply saturated. This creates a lot of contrast, which pop’s against a neutral base.
Scroll down for some of our favorite boho color palettes.
If you like a more grounded approach to boho design, a palette of high-contrast neutrals might be just the thing for you. You still get the boldness of saturation, but in browns and rust tones which feel a bit more approachable. When paired with lighter neutrals, this creates a relaxing space that gives off an air of spa-like tranquility.
An earth tone color palette, with its earthy, rustic vibe, results in a similar state of calm as high-contrast neutrals, but with a bit more color injected in the space. Because of the muted nature of earth tones and the way they coordinate with each other so well, you get the satisfaction of bringing color into your space with the ease of decorating with neutrals.
Pinks, Blues, and Neutrals
For a more mid-century approach to boho, we love a color palette of pinks, blues, and neutrals. It gives any space a trendy vibe. And this color scheme goes beautifully with lighter-toned woods and natural textures for a beachy look.
Pinks and Greens
A pink and green color palette gives a boho space a very tropical vibe! Youthful and vibrant, this color combo pairs perfectly with cane or rattan furniture and tropical motifs. You can also add gold elements into your furniture or decor to give this color palette of edge of glam.
Blues and Neutrals
Blues are our most requested color family—and for good reason. Blues, paired with neutrals, are calming and have a safe vibe. And this color scheme works just as well in bohemian interior design as traditional. When paired with lighter wood furniture and natural textures, it takes on a beachy, carefree air that perfectly suits the boho look.
What are the key elements of bohemian style?
So, how do you take your boho design ideas and make them a reality? Keep reading for some of the key elements of bohemian style, along with decorating ideas to bring this look to life.
Layer in Plenty of Textures
Part of the eclectic nature of boho design is the layered textures in a space—especially natural texture. Working in layers with your texture brings visual depth and approachability to a space. So, play with a mix of smooth and rough textures, chunky and refined, hard and soft. In this design, the rough wood nightstand adds a rugged quality to the space that contrasts with the smooth upholstered bed, giving visual appeal to this arrangement.
Want to bring some relaxing, boho vibes into your bedroom? Read our tips for designing a boho bedroom.
Use a Mix of Materials
When it comes to boho spaces, a mix of textures and patterns are two halves of the same whole. You can’t have one without the other! The no-brainer way to get a layered mix of textures in your space? Incorporating a range of materials. Bringing in a mix of natural materials like jute, cane, natural wood, and leather, as well as chunky knits and upholstery helps give a room a layered and collected look.
Pile on the Patterns
Patterns bring vibrancy and movement to a bohemian space. They’re also a great way to bring in that globally inspired vibe that boho designs are known for—whether that’s through a shibori pattern, kilim textiles, palm prints, or a vintage-inspired rug. Bonus points if the patterns are colorful!
Enjoy the boho look year-round with a few small updates. Learn more about bringing fall boho style into your home.
Embrace a Casual Layout
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the layout of a bohemian space, they tend to be more informal and asymmetrical. This gives a room a more casual vibe and complements the more collected nature of this design style.
Incorporate Antiques and Vintage-Style Finds
Since bohemian designs are all about creating a unique look, and often feature pieces that are collected over time, this is a perfect design style to try if you love antiques or vintage furniture. These unique pieces will bring a storied element to your space that only older pieces can bring. Of course, if you like the look but aren’t a fan of scouring flea markets and antique stores, you can always bring in vintage-inspired pieces that have that old-world charm but don’t require searching!
Love the look of a collected, boho living room? Make the look your own with our tips for designing a boho living room.
Decorate with a Range of Different Furniture Styles
While certain pieces of furniture might scream “bohemian” (say, a rattan chair that hangs from the ceiling), the great thing about boho style is that you can actually mix in a wide range of furniture styles. And, the pieces you choose will help guide the overall vibe of your space. You could go for cleaner-lined furniture for a mid-century boho look. Or pieces with traditional details to bring in that antique vibe. Or, a mix of the two like in the design above for a perfectly eclectic but put-together space!
What are some different takes on Bohemian Design?
As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can bring bohemian style into your home. And there are also different levels of intensity—from more subtle eclectic design elements to a blatantly bohemian room full of bright prints, textures, and materials. So, what’s your interior design style when it comes to bohemian style decor? Find out by touring some of our favorite bohemian-influenced designs.
The Look: Tropical Boho
Perhaps one of the more “classic” takes on boho, Tropical Boho (or Jungalow) is a vibrant, maximalist look that’s easy to personalize. This look—which was popularized by eclectic style icon Justina Blakeney—is big on colors, patterns and textures, and PLANTS. But don’t forget to incorporate those organic shapes and materials to help offset the busyness and boldness of this style.
Tropical Boho is perfect for…
Plant-lovers, free spirits, and maximalists who appreciate a touch of glam.
The Look: Bohemian Elegance
This is a more refined take on bohemian design. In fact, boho design elements take more of a back seat in this style—but they’re definitely still present. Bohemian Elegance has a more curated and formal feel than many other takes on boho style (as you can see in the symmetrical layout and classic-inspired furniture and art), but it manages to still capture a bohemian sense of openness and free-spirited ease through the mix of warm materials and global patterns.
Bohemian Elegance is perfect for…
Those who lean a little more classic in their style preferences but like the collected nature of boho design.
The Look: California Modern
California Modern is a safer but very of-the-moment take on boho style. Its rustic and earthy vibe makes it very approachable—but it definitely still looks pulled together and polished. With a mix of rustic, natural, organic, and modern design elements, this style has an easygoing nature. And, styled with an eclectic edge, it all comes together in a way that feels personal and collected.
California Modern is perfect for…
People who love the Studio McGee look and those who want to incorporate rustic warmth into a modern boho-inspired space.
The Look: Mid-Century Boho
If you gravitate toward a more youthful and trendy take on bohemian design, you probably want to check out Mid-Century Boho. It takes all the best of Mid-Century design—the clean-lined furniture, the organic forms, and the focus on functionality—but with a very boho twist, thanks to the use of natural materials, colorful patterns, and textures. It’s a casual style that has a playful sensibility while still feeling intentional and pulled together.
Mid-Century Boho is perfect for…
Those who want a more family-friendly and relaxed take on boho. Also: Millennials. (After all, this style makes for some killer Instagram pics…)
Want to bring the boho vibes into your home?