Channel Bohemian Vibes with This Boho Room Recipe

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on February 10, 2021

Boho decor is Havenly’s most requested style. And Havenly designer Brady Burke thinks he knows why. “Boho designs feel inviting and approachable,” Brady says. “It seamlessly blends high and low pieces with personal effects, making the style both affordable and attainable.” 

But what does the boho style really entail? 

Let’s first consider the word “bohemian,” which originally referred to someone — usually a writer or artist — living an unconventional life. Cue: La Vie Boheme to get into the free spirit. Boho designs, in turn, are deliberately and delightfully individualistic, even a little eccentric. “They eschew the formality and stiffness often found in traditionally designed spaces,” Brady says.

Boho decor ideas focus on natural and organic materials, often vibrant color palettes (though we’re seeing a rise in the more muted boho home), global influences for a well-traveled flair, and an effortless mix of pattern and texture. The short and sweet of it: embrace less structure, infuse more personality.

If you’re looking to craft a personal and adventurous design story in home, layer in these key elements of boho decor: 

An Organic Nature

Boho decor is certified organic. It celebrates a connection to nature by drawing the outdoors in — through colors, materials and plants themselves (more on that in a minute). 

That means a boho space features the likes of wicker chairs and seagrass baskets, wood furniture and wool rugs, even bone-inlay tables or lamps.

Look no further than this stunning cane mirror to reflect visions of the bohemian life. Perfect for completing a dresser or sideboard vignette, or packing an artsy punch in your entryway.

Personal Effects

Boho homes never cease to tell a story.

“Boho spaces are personal to those who live in them, and rife with small yet vivid details of their stories and experiences,” Brady says. Whether it’s family photos, inherited vintage pieces or souvenirs from your childhood, lean into your collections and gather treasures to create a more character-filled space that feels inimitable.

See how a couple expresses their love of travel through a collection of miniature airplanes in this Portland, Oregon, apartment.

Global Influences

Speaking of travel, global patterns and influences are a trademark of boho decor. No passport required.

At its best, boho design is a collection and celebration of your farflung trips and adventures — whether scouted at a local market overseas, or curated by brands celebrating artisan craft (like iconic rugs and decor from The Citizenry). 

Whether you prefer the look of Middle Eastern-inspired textiles or Portugese tile, macrame wall hangings or artistic maps, the boho home is a window to the greater world.

See subtle global influences at play in this New York City nursery.

A Mix of Textures

Any round-up of boho decor ideas should include a heavy handed dose of texture. And then more texture. And add a little more texture on the side. (Did we mention: boho spaces demand a mix of texture?)

Boho style hinges on a playful layering of textures, as well as colors and patterns, to create a space that is cozy, colorful and one-of-a-kind. For the free spirited abode, there is only one rule: there are no rules. So throw convention out the window and feel free to get a little (or a lot) wild.

Think a velvet loveseat piled with intricately woven, wool throw pillows, a leather ottoman off to the side and a sculptural wooden side table to complete the scene. 

For inspiration, check out the particularly deft mix of textures in this modern bohemian Tudor on Long Island.

Plants

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a boho space doesn’t have a plant in it, is it truly boho? The answer is probably, “No.”

Whether real or faux, hanging or free-standing, a collection of houseplants give your boho decor that close-to-nature look that it thrives on. 

Consider the way plants pop up throughout this Cali-boho living room. And bonus: Plants are great for your physical and emotional health. What’s not to love?

Take Havenly’s style quiz, select the spaces that speak your language, and we’ll pinpoint your perfect interior design style — whether it’s boho, global, coastal or otherwise.

Words by Staci Sturrock