STYLE FILE: Freespirited Bohemian
Bohemian interiors are colorful, breezy, and look as if everything in the room has settled into it's own space, when in fact everything has been carefully layered and curated to look just so. The boho style is an ode to Moroccan design, with rich colors and bold patterns and textures. You are not afraid of color, you embrace it!
A Little History
The word Bohemian was originally used to describe the nontraditional lifestyle of vagabonds in the mid-1800s. It was also used to describe those who chose not to conform to current social and political views. Later, the word was used interchangeably with "gypsy." It described those who left behind the rigid rules for an unconventional, nomadic life.
The definition carried itself through the decades where it found it's way into the hands of the first generation of baby-boomers, many of whom opposed the Vietnam War. Boho style found its place in the United States in the mid-1960s and 1970s when the hippie movement was in full swing. There have been multiple resurgences in the fashion and design world of bohemian style since then.
The only "bad" color in a boho home is the lack of color. Here, nothing is off limits. Where most people would never dream of painting their walls bold turquoise, you would never think of painting them eggshell (unless they were to be covered with artwork!) If you can't paint your walls (apartment-dwellers) or you love the chic look of white walls, there are plenty of other places where you can bring color into your space.
Next to art, pattern may be the most important factor of bohemian design. Layering multiple well-curated patterns in a room makes for an eclectic mix that looks effortless and well-lived in.
With so many fabrics and colors being used, it is important to balance out your selections carefully with your finishes. Earthy hardwood and stone floors are a great choice. Herringbone parquet is a great way to tie in a beautiful subtle pattern throughout your home. It is also a nod to European design, and a great way to tie in some history to your space.
The furniture in a bohemian home will be where your eclecticism truly starts to shine. Mix and match different pieces;
- Wicker + rattan
- Vintage pieces
- Floor throws, pillows, and poufs (Yes! I consider these furniture. The closer to the ground, the better.)
- A pair of armchairs upholstered in a bright Suzani, Kantha quilt, or Ikat fabric
- Metal pieces with delicate detaling (end tables, storage options, etc.)
Decor + Details
At first glace, the best boho interiors seem as if they were thrown together with little effort. This may be so, but upon closer inspection, you will most likely notice the layers and details that went into creating the space.
It's no secret that plants and the bohemian home are in a long-term love affair. Hang them, put them on shelves, windowsills, counter tops, make macrame plant holders for them. Just make sure they are in every room of your home. (And don't forget to the H2O!)
A large collection of vintage masks may seem out of place anywhere else, but it fits right in a boho home. The biggest challenge presented with any collection is how to display it in a way that is meaningful. Once this is achieved, the payoff of a well-styled space is worth it.
Tapestries, rugs, and scarves
When dressing up your home with rugs and tapestries- no surface is off limits. Layer. Mix and match. The one faux-pas you can make with rugs in a boho home is similar to plants- to not have any at all!
Around the World
Similar to other design styles (World Traveler and Serene Zen in particular) the bohemian style naturally lends itself to globally-inspired textiles, furniture, and art. A boho home makes a great style for those who travel (going back to those gypsy roots) as it's so free-spirited and ever-forgiving to changes being made within it's walls.