It is casual, carefree and seems to be thrown together in a haphazard way. Bohemian home decor is a mix of earth tones as a base layered with vibrant colors and mixed with a collection of loved items and found items in a way that feels comfortable and chic. It doesn’t shy away from bold, bright fabrics in a myriad of pleasing textures, classic paisleys or animal prints. The signature style is a personal collection of odds and ends and is favored by pattern players, texture fans and antique collectors.
The laid back and unencumbered bohemian decor trend looks easy to pull off, but it can be hard to attain, said Melissa Amos, interior designer and owner of Parlor 430 in Downtown Summerlin.
“Boho has lots of organic elements, natural woods, pops of colors and don’t forget some plants,” she said. “Distinctive design colors used to achieve this look are known as earth and jewel tones, naturally occurring colors, to create a warm inviting space.”
Add in furniture pieces or wall hangings with mixed metals, natural finishes on wood and white cottons to balance out the bright colors.
“It’s best to paint your space a neutral color with one or two accent walls but use the furnishings and accessories to brighten the space,” Amos said. “Layer rugs on the ground and add lots of poofs and pillows for fun, flexible seating.”
Natural elements such as bare wood and greenery are essential.
“Plants not only add organic shapes and colors to your space, they also clean the indoor air, something every bohemian can love,” Amos said of the modern hippie style.
Aside from color and texture, lighting is also important.
“Add a hanging colored lantern or organic shaded chandeliers, such as rope or shells,” Amos said. “(They can) diffuse the light and will cast interesting patterns and colors into the walls.”
Attempting to make items and colors match goes against the grain of boho’s freewheeling style.
“That is one unique thing about the boho style,” she said. “If you find an antique chair you can pair it with your new white desk you may already have. Just be careful not to get too cluttered, no one needs to get lost in a sea of tie-dye and candles. Keep things fresh and inviting, (like) Coachella.”
She finds interesting items in the bohemian style at online and brick-and-mortar stores such as Anthropology and scours thrift stores for textured pieces with patina.
“I like to use pieces that are all unique, each hand-picked to tell a story,” Amos said. “Boho is an eclectic style you can live with and it never really goes out of style.”
The rule of bohemian style is that there are no rules, said Stephanie Allen, interior designer, Boho Furniture, 7850 Dean Martin Drive.
“We can now incorporate Egyptian motifs with Napoleon, Queen Anne, Walter Chippendale, the Victorian movement and our great American designer, Frank Lloyd Wright,” she said. “Of course, this can sound daunting but, that is what the bohemian design trend represents.”
It has endured through stringent styles and dainty decor trends and been influenced by them rather than succumbed to them.
“The nonchalant trend fades in and out from time to time,” she said. “We’ve come full circle and once again we are experiencing the chance to ditch the norm, express ourselves and dare to be different with loads of compliments.”
The boho look works well with everything, from the current American farmhouse trend to the “fast furniture” drift making headway among millennials on the move.
“Just imagine the possibilities and your inner bohemian will expose a whole new world of home interior ideas, whereas you become the trendsetter and lead designer,” Allen said. “Before your own eyes, you can create aesthetically pleasing displays right in the most important place of your life, your home.”
In small amounts, the boho look can make a big impact. It’s an assortment of found items, all of which carry a story, emit an emotion or simply look just right in the place where they have landed in the living room. The style continues to evolve as it returns to the forefront of home design.
“With all the furniture and art design periods under our belts, we are once again embarking on big changes in today’s home interiors,” Allen said. “The art deco-esque designs for the 21st century are comprised from an array of styles, from Louis XIV to Bauhaus. We want it all. There is a lot to be said for the melange of interior designs emerging.”
There haven’t truly been new furniture design periods since the deco period that ended in 1945, Allen laments. That can be liberating for those who don’t feel drawn to one particular style.
“We are free to indulge in what many of us lovingly refer to as eclectic,” she said. “If you love modern Asian Noguchi coffee tables but you also adore velvet tufted sofas, now is the time to marry them with some colorful chinoiserie wallpaper accent walls. And, don’t be shy about your favorite furniture pieces.
“Dare to pair a beautiful solid wood live edge dining table and place Eero Saarinen tulip chairs around in different colors, add an Italian sideboard and call it a day. If you love it, don’t set it free, find more furniture you are fond of and ‘relationship’ them. The sky is the limit and the architecture of the space is definitely taking a back seat to this wildly popular trend.”