How to Strike the Perfect Balance of Bohemian Interior Design

Shannon Quinn - March 31, 2019
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Most bohemian style homes have white or beige walls. Photo Credit: jafara/Shutterstock

Start With a White Base

Most bohemian style homes have white or cream colored walls. There are so many style elements like tapestries, paintings, macrame, and plants that will get piled on top of the walls. So white helps to balance it out and make it not look too busy. Of course, if you want your walls to have color, that’s up to you, but there is a way to get it done tastefully to pull the look together.

Collections of glass containers and bottles are very boho chic. Photo Credit: Daria Minaeva/Shutterstock

Vintage Glass Bottles

Bohemians are usually the “starving artist” types that don’t have a lot of money. So it is all about collecting beautiful things over time. You don’t want everything to look like you bought the entire collection at one store. There is an emphasis on thrift shopping, and many people have bottle collections like the one seen above. Check out Etsy for vintage apothecary bottles for some gorgeous little collectables.

Plants bring life to a living space, especially if you are going for a boho vibe. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Lots of Plants

Most bohemian spaces have tons of plants. It brings life and color to the space, and it has the added bonus of cleaning the air, too. If you do not have a green thumb, it’s okay to buy fake plants, as well. Check out Target’s range of faux potted plants in the spring and summer months.

Furniture made of wood is commonly found in bohemian decor. Photo Credit: united photo studio/Shutterstock

Wooden Furniture

Whenever you look through a Pinterest board of bohemian spaces, they always include wooden furniture. Unlike the cheap materials sold at places like Ikea, wood lasts for years, and you can even pass it down to your kids. It also brings natural elements into the living space. Unfortunately, real wood furniture is usually very expensive. So this could be a used piece you find at a thrift shop, or a hand-me-down from your grandmother’s home. It doesn’t have to be brand new. In fact, if it looks vintage, that’s even better. If the wood seems too old, you can sand it down and give it a new coat of varnish.

Rattan furniture looks very cool when it’s tied in to a boho space. Photo Credit: Dimaris/Shutterstock

Wicker and Rattan Furniture

Wicker and rattan furniture became very popular in the 1960’s, but few stores actually make it anymore. And when they do, expect to pay a pretty penny. Before you buy expensive pieces online, start to search Craigslist and local thrift stores.

Using natural materials whenever possible is key. Photo Credit: Sophie McAulay/Shutterstock

Natural Elements

The bohemian “starving artist” types would be the ones to gathered elements from nature to help pull their living space together. In the picture above, you see tree stumps turned into little tables, and bamboo poles turned into screens. Whether you are decorating an indoor or outdoor space, keep this in mind, and try to opt for natural materials whenever possible.

Crystals are beautiful, stylish, and trendy. Photo Credit: CoralAntlerCreative/Shutterstock

Crystals

Even if you don’t believe that crystals have healing powers, there is no denying that they look really cool. They are typically sitting on a book shelf, window sill, or the top of a dresser in a boho home. Keep in mind that large crystals can be very expensive if you go to a specialty shop. Try to find some in places like Home Goods, where they will sell for a discounted price.

This bohemian bedroom is mostly neutral, but there are several pops of color in the bedding and accessories. Credit: Shutterstock

Pops of Color

Most bohemian living spaces start with white or cream, because there is going to be a ton of different colors piled on top. Gold is usually a great accent color, as seen in the photo above. However, you can use whatever colors you want in bohemian decor. Some people have an entire rainbow’s worth of colors in their house. Others go for more Earthy tones. It’s really up to you.

Bohemian spaces usually have a lot of wood included in the decor. Photo Credit: Vadym Andrushchenko/Shutterstock

Light Wooden Elements

We already mentioned buying wooden furniture to complete your boho look. However, most bohemian spaces have a light wood stain, rather than dark. Remember that the goal is to bring a lot of light into a living space. If you have the option to redo your floors, opt for light wooden paneling. Alternatively, you can add wooden beams, picture frames, a mirror, etc.

Bohemian style takes a lot of inspiration from Native American culture. Photo Credit: Ning Je taime/Shutterstock

Native American Inspiration

Nowadays, using a culture other than our own is considered to be “cultural appropriation”. But there is no denying that bohemian style takes a lot of inspiration from Native American people, Indians, Balinese, and Moroccan people. Dream catchers are a popular option, as well as feathers, beads, and other items you might see in native cultures.

Macrame wall hangings are commonly found in bohemian decor. Photo Credit: Kovtun Anastasiia/Shutterstock

Macrame Wall Hangings

Macrame became popular in the 1960’s, and they were popular among hippies. They have recently come back into style. If you are a crafty person, you can search on YouTube and learn how to make your own. It is essentially just tying knots in a strategic way. Or, you can pay for one on Etsy. However, keep in mind that if you want a large macrame piece, you will pay around $200 or more. It is much cheaper to make your own.

This bedroom has a lot of cozy elements. Credit: Shutterstock

Cozy Elements

Remember that we said that your guests should feel comfortable in a boho home. Try to choose furniture, blankets, and throw pillows that help a space feel cozy. A big L-shaped couch, like the one shown above, is low to the ground, and it draws you in so that you just want to curl up with a good book or watch Netflix.

This artwork is unique, and looks great together. Credit: Shutterstock

Unique Artwork

Boho artwork usually goes one of two ways- either big, or a collection of small bits and pieces (like the picture shown above.) You can either have one big statement piece, or a massive carved wooden mandala. The only problem with that is that it’s expensive. Alternatively, you can have a collection of artsy pieces like what you see above. Take notice to the fact that while all of those items are drastically different from one another, they all have a similar color scheme, and are therefore coordinated in a collection.

Many boho homes will have statues of Buddah or Mandalas. Photo Credit: AllaBond/Shutterstock

Buddhist Inspiration

While it’s not required, a lot of bohemian homes have Buddhist elements blended in. This usually comes in the form of a Buddha statue, a mandala tapestry, or an area dedicated to doing yoga. Many people think it helps with their “zen” vibes, but it’s totally up to you.

A key element to boho chic is finding gorgeous textiles. Photo Credit: Floral Deco/Shutterstock

Stylish Textiles

Every bohemian home needs some beautiful textiles. Start searching for Mexican blankets, or throw rugs with a beachy style. You can always find great options at Home Goods or Target.

This bedroom has a blend of Moroccan and Balinese style. Photo Credit: Kryvenok Anastasiia/Shutterstock

Moroccan Elements

Many Bohemian rooms are inspired by the style you find in the African country of Morocco. Start looking at images of Moroccan style, and you should see the parallels right away. There are some gorgeous textiles, pillows, rugs, lamps, and so much more.

This bench is very low to the floor, which leaves room for the decor. Photo Credit: Floral Deco /Shutterstock

Low Seating

Bohemian style likes to mimic the idea of sitting on the floor. If you don’t actually want to sit on the floor itself, try to opt for low seating, instead. Of course, this is optional. If you have bad knees, or if you’re very tall, you can skip this entirely.

Some people like to sit on floor cushions. Photo Credit: MintImages/Shutterstock

Floor Cushions

Some hardcore bohemians like to go all the way with incorporating other cultures into their design by sitting on floor cushions instead of chairs. This can be fun, and a cheap option if you don’t have a ton of cash. However, it’s not for everyone.

Notice how this mix of patterns in the pillows and blanket still looks great. Credit: Shutterstock

31. Mixing Prints

One of the great things about boho style is that you can have a lot of fun mixing prints. This can be tricky, because you are walking a very thin line between stylish and tacky. The key is to find one or two common colors in both prints. This way, the decision looks intentional, instead of something that was just thrown together randomly.

This is an example of how colored walls can work well in a room. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu /Shutterstock

30. Vibrant Colors

Earlier in this list, we mentioned that you should always go for white walls. This is true in most cases, but in examples like the room seen above, a dark blue wall works. If you are choosing to keep colored walls, try to subtract color in other places. In the picture above, can see that the flooring is very light, instead, and there is a lot of natural sunlight. Even if you start with a white base, adding accessories with vibrant colors is often a huge part of boho chic.

This Moroccan lantern throws shadow patterns onto the wall. Photo Credit: TabitaZn/Shutterstock

29. Lanterns

Adding lanterns to a space is very cool, and it serves multiple purposes. It is both fabulous and functional, brining light into a dark room. Moroccan lanterns like the one featured above will fit in perfectly into the style of a bohemian home.

Guitars and ukeleles are usually a staple in bohemian decor. Photo Credit: Svitlana Sokolova/Shutterstock

28. Musical Instruments

Since bohemians are usually musicians or artists, they usually have their ukuleles and guitars casually lying around the house. Some of you out there may feel like a poser for displaying an instrument you can’t actually play. So we are not suggesting that you lie about your musical ability! But if you can, show your instruments as part of your decor.

This Mosaic Oriental Kilim Rug and matching pillow are very boho. Photo Credit: Treaxures

27. Oriental Rugs

Rugs with intricate, colorful patterns are often called “oriental” style, even if they are not necessarily Asian. These look amazing in contrast to a concrete or wooden floor, and they help to bring pops of color into an otherwise plain living space.

Straw chandeliers are an iconic bohemian look. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

26. Light Fixtures

The great thing about light fixtures is that there is no one single “bohemian” style. A lot of different styles can work in your space. There are straw chandeliers that may match the color of your furniture, or you could also pick black metal industrial style lights. It’s really up to you, as long as it matches the rest of the space.

Indoor and outdoor TeePees are great. Photo Credit: Vadym Pastukh/Shutterstock

25. Little Teepees

Having a teepee in your living space is not always necessary. However, if you have kids or a dog, it can be a really cute addition to a play place. Or, in outdoor spaces like the one shown above, it becomes a gorgeous set piece for a photo shoot.

Most bohemian spaces include a vintage record player. Photo Credit: Larina Marina/Shutterstock

24. A Record Player

The Bohemian lifestyle is all about celebrating art, music, and culture. So it only makes sense that many people opt to have a vintage record player in their home. It may be pricey to pick one up from Amazon, but the good news is that once you have the record player, it’s cheap to buy the records. Most Goodwills and Thrift Stores will sell you record albums for just $1. You can also ask your grandparents and older relatives if they have any records lying around, as well.

Tapestries are popular for apartments and dorms. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

23. Tapestries

A popular decor item in a lot of bohemian homes are hanging tapestries. This is also great for people who are in a college dorm, or they are renting an apartment where they do not want to do a lot of damage to the walls. Tapestries are available at Urban Outfitters, or you can find them on Etsy.

Modern leather seating fits into many different styles. Photo Credit: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

22. Leather Seating

If you can find a vintage leather chair for a decent price, snatch it up for your boho space. The color fits in with the scheme of the rest of the style, it’s comfortable, and it’s made from natural materials. Of course, if you are vegan, you will want to opt for faux leather, instead.

Skipping the curtains help let the light in. Photo Credit: jafara/Shutterstock

21. Skip the Curtains

This suggestion does not work for everyone, but if you choose not to put curtains on your windows, it brings in a lot of light to the room. It also helps give your walls that “blank canvas” feeling you are looking for, since there will be so many other fabrics around the room. However, if you are looking for privacy, go for sheer white curtains.

Small fur rugs like this one add a natural element to a room. Photo Credit: Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock

20. Faux Fur Rugs

Small fur pelts really work in a Southwestern or Bohemian style home. You usually layer them together with some other textiles, or drape them over the back of a chair. For vegans, there should be faux fur rugs available.

Make your space smell great and give a warm coziness with candles. Photo Credit: Ina Ts/Shutterstock

19. Candles and Incense 

Part of making a space feel cozy is to light a few candles. Of course, it gives the added benefit of making the room smell great, too. Alternatively, you can have essential oil sticks or incense burning in the room, as well.

Wooden bowls will go great with bohemian decor. Photo Credit: Arkhipenko Olga/Shutterstock

18. Wooden Bowls

For some people, the idea of eating out of wooden bowls is kind of weird. If this is not your thing, try to start out with just one bowl as a display piece. These go great near your front door, because you can place your car keys and sunglasses in the bowl. They also look great on a counter top with lemons, or any other fruit.

Succulents are cute, stylish, and easy to care for. Photo Credit: Julia Karo/Shutterstock

17. Succulents

One of the most popular plants among lovers of boho chic is the succulent. They are a type of cactus that needs only a little bit of water, and lots of sunlight. Succulents are easy to take care of, because they do not need to be watered frequently. They are also very affordable. Check out Home Depot, Lowes, or your local plant nursery to find some.

Feathers or feathery-looking plants are popular in boho style. Photo Credit: jafara/Shutterstock

16. Feathers

Going along with the Native American theme we mentioned earlier in the list, many designers choose to incorporate feathers into their rooms if they are trying to get a boho style. This can either be through a piece of art, or physical feathers hanging from a dream catcher.

Antlers and skulls are usually found in boho homes. Photo Credit: Lithiumphoto/Shutterstock

15. Antlers

Having antlers incorporated somewhere in your home decor can help give it a boho vibe. Vegans out there may disapprove of using antlers in their home decor, but in many cases, they are sources from animals who have died in the woods from natural causes. There are also fake antlers out there, too, so you can represent the deer knowing with full certainty that it was not hunted to make your home decor.

Baskets are usually all over a boho home. Photo Credit: Floral Deco/Shutterstock

14. Baskets

Baskets are amazing for a lot of things. You can put fruit in them, use them for essentials like keys and sunglasses, or you can put them on display, like this arrangement shown above. The great thing about baskets is that they add a lot of texture and character to a space, but they are also serving a purpose, too. Larger baskets can be used to hide the pots of plants, store blankets, and more.

A hammock swing ads a very fun and hobo vibe to the room. Photo Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

13. Hammocks

Hanging a hammock indoors may sound strange, but when you look at pictures of boho style, it pops up again and again. It can give a room a really playful and casual element to it, and it also gives you a comfortable place to lay down to read a good book.

Vintage books are usually sitting on shelves in a bohemian home. Photo Credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

12. Vintage Books

Since most bohemian style homes celebrate using found objects and vintage decor, you usually won’t find brand new coffee table books. Take a trip to your local thrift store and see if you can find some beautiful bindings like the ones shown above.

There are beautiful textiles hand made in India. Photo Credit: CRS PHOTO/Shutterstock

11. Emphasize Culture

Last but not least, if you decide to borrow style inspirations from other cultures, celebrate that fact. Show that you love and appreciate a foreign style, whether it be from Mexico, India, Morocco, or an indigenous tribe.

Dried flowers are commonly found in bohemian decor. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Dried Flowers

Suggesting fresh flowers is common in most homes. But if you buy dried flowers, they can last for years. It has become very popular among the boho crowd, because it’s one of the most cost effective ways to have flowers in your home. If you want to make your own dried flowers, search for tutorials on YouTube. Many craft supply stores also sell bouquets of dried flowers that you can buy without taking the time and effort to make it yourself.

People who enjoy bohemian style usually meditate or do yoga. Credit: Shutterstock

9. A Meditation or Yoga Space 

Most people who enjoy bohemian style home decor also incorporate these elements into their everyday lives. These habits are yoga and meditation. For people who take this seriously, the might even have an entire area of their home dedicated to yoga or meditation. In reality, you could do yoga on a mat on the living room floor, or meditate on your bed. But for those who have the extra space, they often create a space where they can get a moment of zen.

Many bohemian people love to spend time outdoors. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Signs You’ve Been Out in Nature

Most bohemians love to be out in nature. So when you go into their homes, you usually see some sort of evidence of that. Maybe there is hiking or rock climbing equipment. Or maybe they have supplies to visit the beach. It’s always a good idea to be authentic, rather than pretending to enjoy an outdoor activity for the sake of style. But this could be a great conversation starter if you bring a friend over, or begin dating someone.

Having plants in your house is always a good idea. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Lots, and Lots of Plants

Most bohemian homes have lots of plants. In fact, a lot of Millennials jokingly call themselves “plant parents”, because they love them like pets. This can freshen the air in the home, and it makes the home smell better. It also brings a lot of color and life to a space. Earlier on the list, we already mentioned succulents. These are easier to take care of, since they don’t need to be watered often. But there are certain plants that become trendy every year.

Many bohemian people are free spirited and love to travel. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Evidence of Your Travels

The boho style is usually very free spirited. Most of these people love to travel whenever they can. Naturally, they have evidence of their travels all over their house or apartment. These aren’t necessarily knick knacks or souvenirs. It could be a piece of art, a pillow case, and so much more.

 

5. Neutral Colors Serve as a Base

Most bohemian homes start with a neutral base. This can be a white or beige wall and furniture, with natural accents throughout the home. Most of the base colors are very bland, but the accessories or where the color comes in. Pillows, bedding, blankets, and our work are usually very colorful to contrast the plain walls. The reason why this works very well is that if you have a colored wall, colorful accessory’s clash. But if the background is nearly white, you can get away with having an entire rainbow of colors going on top of it.

This homeowner added wheels to a pallet to create a coffee table. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Repurposing Furniture

Part of the bohemian lifestyle is living on a shoestring budget. Most of these so-called starving artists are what began the style in the first place. So it’s very common to find makeshift furniture in a BoHo home. You might also find furniture from thrift store that has been repainted or reupholstered to look different than it originally did. This DIY approach makes a place look more personalized and fun.

Even this garden has stylish bohemian vibes. Credit: Shutterstock

3. The Bohemian Style Extends to the Garden

In most Bohemian style homes, there is always an indoor outdoor living space. Many bohemians prioritize living somewhere where they can get outside and connect with nature. This could be a balcony filled with plants, or they have an outdoor seating area.

This home has a bohemian flare, with the evil eye mirrors hanging on the wall. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Subtle Signs of Spirituality and Superstition

While it is not always the case, there are a lot of people who embrace the boat style the subscribe to eastern religions. Or, they might align with the spirituality that can’t be defined by any particular name. Their homes are usually filled with iconography that symbolizes their beliefs. This could be a mandala, Hamsa hand, or the evil lie. In many cases, they might double in Tarot cards or other forms of fortune-telling. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are fully into that lifestyle just because they have the symbols around their home.

Many boho people love to go on picnics. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Picnic Supplies

As I mentioned earlier on the list, a lot of Bohemians like to spend time outside. In 2020, a lot of people started to do outdoor dining and go on picnics with their friends. So if you were to go into a Bohemian style home, you’re sure to see evidence of going on picnics. This might be in the form of a picnic basket or a backpack that’s me to carry supplies. Or, it could be a specialized blanket that’s meant to be laying on the grass.

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