Going the Bohemian way!

Admin on May 27, 2020

While trying to figure out your interior décor style, have you ever felt that pretty much everything available these days have a sense of impersonality to them? Or that it doesn’t represent you well enough? Bohemian or Boho interior décor is for those folks who want their homes full of life, culture, and interesting items that tell a story. This aesthetic contrasts with modern sensibilities and embraces the carefree, the relaxed, and the unusual. And while Boho rooms tend to have certain similarities in that they are always eclectic and share similar features — no two rooms are ever completely alike, and can always create its own vibe or mood.

Bohemian sensibilities are inspired by people who choose to lead a completely unconventional life such as constant travelers, actors, and writers. Bohemian design is generally inspired by those who lead a free-spirited, norm-defying life, like travelers, writers, artists and such. What we now understand as 'bohemianism' from a purely-design perspective actually emerged from early nineteenth-century France, when artists moved into the lower-rent Romani sections of Paris in order to seek alternatives to ostentatious expectations. This convergence of cultures had given rise to a kind of lifestyle where the pursuit of procuring expensive items for just show was abandoned in the search for a creative life and alternative ideals of beauty, something more personal. For culture connoisseurs, the Bohemian style mirrors that offbeat style by combining objects, colours, and patterns from many areas of the world. If you are looking for a style that you can truly make your own, Boho might be for you.

Colours

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Bohemian decorating, it still goes by certain base sensibilities. Warm, earthy colours are mostly used, as well as metallic and jewel tones. You might want to consider deep browns, greens, and grays for base colours. When you accessorize, go ahead with saturated purple, fiery orange, and electric blue. Combining and layering your colour palette is what makes this style stand apart.

Feel free to mix patterns and textures. Do not be afraid to use styles that would not necessarily go together in a conventional way. Use dyed textiles and patterns from around the world — such as Ikat from Cambodia or the Suzani style from Central Asia, some European vibrancy blended with Japanese simplicity and functionality — to give the space a sense of fun and exoticism. Experiment with bright layers thrown on top of furniture and try hanging tapestries or area rugs on the walls alongside your photos and art. If this all seems a bit much, keep in mind that while saturated colour is key to Bohemian style, white can have a place as a backdrop for richer tones. Use white to strategically to bring a little visual space into the equation of your decor.

Furniture

Bohemian furniture is not usually found in a store, hence the challenge and uniqueness. These rooms tend to be filled with furniture collected over time from different sources, so second-hand and vintage items are right at home here. Each piece of furniture should be special and tell its own story. Have fun exploring your local vintage shops, auctions, heritage sales and choose each piece individually. If you love it, it will fit right into your home.

Both you and your guests will feel the true Boho vibe with plush chairs and couches in saturated colours. Throw rugs or overstuffed floor pillows will also create a welcoming floor-seating atmosphere. Since a Boho room should have a comfortable “sit and stay awhile” feel, streamlined or straight-backed furniture will not fit in here. Choose comfortable, relaxed pieces such as chaise longues, daybeds, or butterfly chairs.

Accessories

The key to using decorative accessories in a Boho setting is to mix and match. Natural, basic materials like burlap and sisal can be combined with silk and chenille. These materials should have a slightly worn look, which is not damaged, but at the same time, not shiny and new either. Fringe, crochet, and macramé abound—pillows, curtains, and throw-rugs combine beautifully to make a cozy, globally-inspired hangout. Canopies over beds and living areas are very typical Boho embellishments.

Lighting

Understated lighting will lend character to your Boho room and complete the calm and welcoming feel. Rather than overhead fixtures, decorate the room with multiple lanterns, candles, and floor and table lamps. Today’s global design markets make it easy to find a variety of shapes and styles, which is perfect for the mix-and-match look.

Recreating the natural world is central to this style, so bring your room to life with ferns and hanging plants. Not only do they lend vibrancy to a room, but most indoor plants also improve air quality. So, the more the merrier. Philodendron and peace lilies can withstand a variety of light and temperature levels. You can also consider succulents, which are now widely available in a range of colours and textures. These eye-catching plants need little more than a sunny spot and occasional watering, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining them constantly.

Finally, pull together your unique Boho décor with a personal touch such as family heirlooms, handmade items, and objects from your travels. These different accessories should tell your story, so feature what you love: tapestries, vintage bottles, maps, or even mismatched china that means something to you. Do keep in mind that while Bohemian style tends to be primarily eclectic, it can still be chic and glamorous and display class, so do not be afraid to try out an ornate chandelier or a chunky gold-framed mirror. The only rule is that every item in the room should tell a story by itself.

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