Table of Contents
- Boho style incorporates a bit of the natural world, with lots of textures and distinct style choices.
- There is no one-size-fits-all for boho style, but pops of color and eclectic decor take center stage.
- Get adventurous with how you arrange your furniture, and prioritize lots of unique textiles.
- Visit Insider’s Home & Kitchen Reference library for more stories.
You’ve probably seen influences of bohemian, or boho, style in fashion and interior design — like those dreamy photos of golden-hued rooms overflowing with foliage and draped in woven blankets. And, if you’re someone who likes bold choices and coloring outside the lines, then that look is probably right up your alley.
A boho home is made up of unexpected style “moments” and flourishes. It doesn’t conform or play by any rules, which is what makes boho so distinctive.
“At its essence, the boho vibe is more of not following a specific trend and making your home reflect your unique personality and lifestyle,” says Hanin Smith, owner and principal designer at Beachy Boheme. “At its origin, my interpretation is that it’s not following anything cookie cutter.”
Colors and textures are key
The boho style favors playful, yet subdued colors — think earthy and jewel tones, like turquoise and pink.
Ultimately though, Smith says what makes a boho space truly bohemian are the different textures you weave in, like a Moroccan carpet or a throw blanket with tassels and fringe elements.
“I don’t think that color determines the look specifically, because I think a lot of it is a matter of mixing and matching textures,” Smith says.
Your bedroom is where you spend the most time relaxing, and you want it to be decorated and organized in a way that inspires just that. When it comes to a boho bedroom, lay the groundwork and build up.
- Ground your space. Smith recommends starting with a textural rug to help set the tone for your bedroom. Whether you opt for a bold piece like a Persian rug or something more neutral like jute or sisal, think of your rug as the foundational element and go from there.
- Incorporate the natural world. Adding a forest of greenery is one easy and common staple of a boho space. You can have one plant in a statement pot or play with different heights of plants. “A little goes a long way,” says Smith. “Be a little bit playful with where you place your plants, and pick unexpected plants.”
- Strike a balance with rough edges and soft touches. For your bed, consider a wood frame with touches of woven caning. Balance out the carved corners of the wood with a soft linen duvet and oversized, patterned lumbar pillow.
Any living room should have an inviting quality to it, but you especially want to emulate this in a boho living room. Keep it casual, cozy, and homey, while also infusing that extra bit of whimsy.
- Get adventurous with decor. According to Smith, a big facet of boho style is incorporating “little style moments” that show off some extra thought. It’s a “different take on something standard,” she says. For example, instead of a traditional glass or wrought iron coffee table, Smith suggests a natural wood, raw-edged coffee table, or even a patterned ottoman.
- Layer textiles on the floors and the walls. Get experimental with your wall decor, and hang up rugs, tapestries, or other textile art. You can go the extra mile with the unexpected flairs, and incorporate wood wall paneling as well.
- Keep it relaxed, but unique. The boho style also informs the furniture you pick. “I tend to be less inclined to use really rigid upholstered furniture,” Smith says. “I prefer slipcovered furniture that’s casual and loose and a little bit more flowy.” Smith also advises floating your furniture — or spacing them away from walls and corners — to make your space feel more intentional and less traditional.
The boho style possesses a bit of a playful quality. Not everything is meant to appear polished and perfect, rather it’s meant to feel a bit incohesive and offbeat. When it comes to your kitchen, keep these ideas and inspirations in mind.
- Cast an organic glow. Bright or harsh overhead lighting won’t do in a boho space. Smith says you can get playful by hanging seagrass or woven pendant lights and sconces to add something distinct.
- Embrace asymmetry. Shake things up by mixing and matching cabinet doors and hardware, whether it’s different colors, patterns, or even the style of doors. “For example, your island could be different than your perimeter, or your lowers and your uppers could be different,” says Smith. “Or you could have one statement pantry or something full height.”
- Add some extra personality with kitchen accessories. Mix and match patterned canisters for your flour and sugar, and display them along with some plants on floating shelves.
While natural elements and playful accents characterize the bohemian style, boho ultimately isn’t a style you can put into a box. Rather it’s something you’re meant to unreservedly mix, match, and experiment with until you find the combination that reflects your own whimsical personality and lifestyle.
“To me, [boho style is] a reflection of your own personality and being less worried about conforming to a prescribed aesthetic,” Smith says. “If you were to ask, ‘What’s the prescription for boho?’ I feel like that negates the whole boho thing.”