While at first glance it may appear that bohemian designs are all about abundance and mismatching stuff, somehow there's this miraculous synergy that holds a boho room together. Making the whole look effortless yet well balanced might be a challenge that calls for a good deal of imagination and flair for creativity. Here's a quick guide to the hallmarks of Bohemia-inspired décor.
Don't be fooled to think that the only rule in creating a bohemian-inspired space is the lack of rules. While boho is a quintessentially diverse style and can be created in a variety of ways, it is definitely not about random pieces thrown into a room in a haphazard fashion. If you want your home's bohemian transformation to be a successful one, do consider the following elements…
Vibrant color palette
While there is no fixed palette for the original Bohemian decor, the contemporary, chic versions are often characterized by their use of bright, saturated colors against a lighter background. Basically, it is up to you how bold you're going to make it. Paint the walls raspberry pink to give the entire space a real boho flair, or leave them white and just fill the room with strong color punches: grass green, peacock blue, magenta or marigold yellow. For a much more subtle effect, choose from the neutral palette of earth tones (deep browns, beige, rust, brick and greens) -- a tell-tale sign of the "hippie" bohemian aesthetic. And don't forget to add a few silver and golden touches. Metallic accents such as lamps, lanterns, tea trays and bowls make a bohemian room feel complete.
Variety of patterns
There is no such thing as too much pattern in a Bohemian look, so ignore strict rules of matching. Florals, stripes and ethnic prints in a variety of deep colors go perfect together, and can be introduced to you home through curtains, scarves, tapestries, pillows, bed spreads and upholstery. For a room with ultimate boho ambiance, add large-scale print wallpaper to the walls, and consider good-quality patchwork upholstery -- if there's one style that welcomes the artful chaos of patchwork designs, it must be boho. Let your imagination loose and trust your instinct. The space might even seem a little chaotic as long as it feels laid-back and looks creative to you.
If you're designing a bohemian room, mismatched furniture are definitely your best friends. Shop thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales for diverse vintage pieces -- coffee tables, chests, shelves or sideboards -- that can then be recovered, repainted or just left with their original wear and tear. When decorating a sitting area in a living room, try to find pieces with varied colors or textures to enhance the bohemian feel. In a dining room, range random chairs around a secondhand table, and if you want to give them a matching theme, use identical seat cushions. As long as all pieces are deliberately chosen and placed, the room will appear stylish and coherent.
A little clutter
A little chaos and clutter is inscribed into the Bohemia-inspired style, but mind you, it cannot be a random mess resulting from ages of not cleaning up. Fill your room with souvenirs, Chinese vases, musical instruments, Native American totems, hookah pipes, fake flowers, statues and any other beloved objects you want, but give the whole a thoughtful construction. While appearing carefree, boho chic spaces are characterized by well-executed designs, with each piece purposefully chosen and placed with intentional thought. Don't necessarily get obsessed with that, but make sure your collections and personal items appear to have some sort of arrangement, instead of just being thrown around in a haphazard fashion.
There is this magical quality about brick walls that makes them look good in virtually every decorating scheme. They can be an extremely elegant addition to a modern or traditional space, but at the same time make a perfect background for vintage designs. Whether it's because they look as if they were unfinished or appear worn with, brick walls can really add ambiance to a bohemian-style room. Just don't take the "wear and tear" too literally. Exposed brick needs to be properly maintained. Otherwise crumbling mortar will quickly become a nuisance and problems with moisture control might causing health issues. Learn more about the pros and cons of exposed brick.
Tapestries and rugs
Ethnic rugs and tapestries are more and more often found on walls, either as original works of art or backgrounds for all sorts of furniture pieces ( eg. in place of a headboard). This method of decorating is a fantastic way to add a focal point to a room, and perfectly adheres to the bohemian aesthetic. Colorful, intricately patterned wall hangings can quickly turn a room into a hippie haven, or bring a bit of the boho chic flair to a more traditional home. For a complete bohemian look, hang a free-flowing piece of bright fabric in the doorway and brighten up the floor with a patterned rug.
Throw pillows are an absolute prerequisite for establishing a genuine bohemian feel in a room , and the more varied they are the better. Opt for an eclectic collection of pillows featuring bold patterns and graphic prints infused with a bright color palette. Put pillows everywhere in a carefree fashion: on sofas, chairs, window seats, and even on the floor to serve as informal seating. This way you will add some intense flavor to your room and create a laid-back, inviting atmosphere perfect for chilling out. Use pillows in different shapes and sizes -- you may try to give your collection a common color theme, but matching should by no means be your primary concern.
Bohemian decorating is inspired by global influences, but nowhere does it seem to take stronger roots than in Moroccan lifestyles. From brightly patterned fabrics, textured walls and tapestries to large floor cushions, exotic plants and pendant light fixtures -- the flamboyant character of Moroccan interiors is a perfect inspiration springboard for boho chic decorating. Embrace all of these traditional elements to create a complete, genuine look, or work several colorful accents into a more contemporary interior. A blue pillow here, a coat of orange paint there, and a plain interior can come alive with Moroccan energy. You can find some pretty ideas.
Varied lighting fixtures
Keep the lighting in line with the style's eclectic character and include a number of varied fixtures. Mix lamp styles, scour flea markets for interesting designs or throw intricately patterned scarves over plain lampshades. A lava lamp can be a fun, retro-inspired accent and a DIY chandelier decorated with jewelry will infuse the space with creative spirit. And don't forget Moroccan style lanterns -- they add great visual interest to a bohemian interior. Central overhead lighting should perhaps be avoided, unless it is a pendant fixture above a dining table. Also, opt for lamps with dimmers -- setting a laid-back boho mood will be so much easier.
Simple window treatment
Window treatment tends to be an important focal point in bohemian-style decorating, which is accomplished by virtue of color and pattern rather than by form. Avoid traditional curtains, sophisticated draping and tailored shades. Light, free-flowing panels, strings of crystal beads or simple bamboo blinds work best in boho interiors, and in most cases you can get them for pretty cheap. Try not to leave your windows completely undressed. Even if it's not for the purpose of light control (you can use sheers), fabrics are such an important feature of bohemian-style interiors that you should use every opportunity to incorporate them in your design.
If space permits, do work a colorful hammock or fabric swing into your design. They will pair fabulously with a riot of patterned pillows and tall, exotic plants around. Just have a look at these amazing macrame hammocks from Hamanica store on Etsy. They are handmade from natural cotton and come in a variety of beautiful options. A quintessence of boho! Hammocks add a sense of freedom and temporariness to an interior, which is why they perfectly complete the image of the carefree bohemian traveler. Place one out of the center of the room, so it is not visually heavy and can serve as a tranquil nook during the day.
A great way to bring in a true bohemian spirit is with old books. Tons of books! An impressive collection of hardbacks is an attribute of a creative, free-minded thinker, and that's the aura we are trying to achieve in bohemian-style interiors. A wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookcase or long shelves mounted high up around the room walls are an awesome idea. Don't pay too much attention to grouping books -- make it a haphazard collection rather that a neat arrangement by size or color. Also, stack books on the floor and tables, use them as bases for lamps and other decorative accessories.
Casual wall art
A gallery wall full of different types of artwork showing your individuality is what makes a bohemian-style interior complete. Try to avoid traditional, straight line arrangements and make your collection as personalized as possible. Paint your own canvas, hang record albums and musical instruments, frame pieces of beautiful fabrics or tape up a collage of photos and magazine pages. For some really eclectic air, hang souvenirs and art objects from all over the world: tribal masks, ethnic rugs, tapestries, dream catchers, Middle Eastern plates, and whatever else makes your mind wander.
Abundant jewelry is as important in boho-chic home décor as it is in corresponding clothing style. You can keep your favorite items visible in glass bowls or make cute frame displays. Long necklaces can be used to adorn a simple wire chandelier or as curtain tiebacks. Make sure you stack up on glass beads and crystals as they are particularly hot in boho designs. Dangle them from lampshades, hang them on strings in doorways or over windows -- they will catch light from every angle and throw beautiful sparkles all over the room.