Bohemian Design Style 101
Free-spirited and creative, bohemian style breathes color, pattern and good-vibes-only into any space — no matter your style.
What Is Bohemian Style?
Born carefree and eclectic, bohemian design mimics the artistry of those who appreciate the textures, patterns, colors and motifs of nature. While many take a “more is more” approach, you can do boho however you’d like: maximalist, minimalist, modern, chic. The key is mixing, matching, layering and exploring; incorporating trinkets from your travels; crafting a comfortable and meaningful space. We’ll show you how with our tips below.
Bohemian Style Is Organic
Boho design revolves around elements of the natural world — literally and visually. According to designer and Jungalow creator Justina Blakeney, plants are primary. They infuse life, air and energy into a space. Pair them with bright colors and geometric patterns for an maximal look. If your green thumb isn’t up to speed, try using nature-inspired patterns (florals or leafy prints).
And, Bohemian Style Is Layered
Whether it’s a marriage of bright patterns or a cozy combination of neutral textiles, boho boasts layers. Think cushy blankets thrown over a ladder leaning up against a shiplap wall, a beaded pendant hanging from a wooden beam, patterned rugs over reclaimed floors. And you don’t have to stop with just one blanket or rug. Use as many as you’d like — they don’t even have to match.
Bright, Eclectic Living Room With Exposed Ceiling Beams
A sofa draped in white blankets matches the bright white look of the walls and ceiling in this small and stylish living room. The black floor is a lovely, bold contrast. A striped runner follows the flow of the floor and aims toward a leaning ladder adorned with textiles. A gorgeous shell chandelier adds a unique detail, while plants add vibrant, natural color.
Bohemian Style Can Include Texture
Woven textures in particular, like rattan and wicker, create the cozy depth that defines boho style. Here, designer Wendy Blackband bound Kazi sweetgrass baskets of varying size to a wall. Her woven masterpiece and inspired accessories create a cohesive and natural boho design (extra points for the reclaimed credenza).
Boho style is a free-spirited aesthetic that mixes different cultures and artistic expressions into an eclectic style with an emphasis on organic elements and nature. When putting together your boho style space, mixing patterns, metals, woods, materials, animal hides and trinkets from your travels is highly encouraged.
Chair of the ASID National Board, designer Kerrie Kelly
Bohemian Style Is Inspired
“Often a reflection of a person's travels, bohemian design embraces cultural influences and global style,” says HomeGoods style expert and designer Beth Diana Smith. Beth’s living room is decorated with pieces from her travels as well as globally-sourced woven baskets, colorful juju hats, hand-carved wooden side tables and upholstered benches and wool rugs from HomeGoods. Why not show off souvenirs from your own travels? Let vases, art, textiles and furniture tell your personal story.
Or, Bohemian Style Can Be a Bit Eclectic
"Pattern mixing is always a good idea," says Justina in her book The New Bohemians Handbook, Come Home To Good Vibes. Don’t be afraid to mix and match to create an eclectic blend of shapes, colors and visuals. Designer Dabito infused assorted motifs into this small bathroom: a tribal rug, nature-inspired art and geometric wallpaper. The final design is uniquely bohemian.
Bold Bright Bathroom
Small bathroom color palettes don't have be limited to whites and grays. In a small space, you can use bright, bold colors and patterns that might be overwhelming in a larger room. This small bathroom from Dabito of Old Brand New is bursting with rich colors, quirky patterns and geometric shapes.
Dabito, Old Brand New
Bohemian Style Is Comfortable
Cozy layers and tons of texture equal one key design element: comfort. “One of the many great elements about boho is that there are no rules,” says Beth. “It allows you to play with design and inspires you to think outside of the box.” Create a space you love with cool colors, punchy patterns and soft fabrics.