Having spent a lot of time at home in the last year, many people have decided to ditch minimalism entirely in favour of a more eclectic bohemian style. In this post, we’re going to explore what bohemian style is, how to make your home more boho and what it means to embrace this very personalised style.
What is Bohemian Style?
The first step in figuring out how to decorate your room boho style is knowing exactly what it means to have boho style. Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle that goes against society’s strict rules, a counterculture movement from which the bohemian style stems.
Boho style is defined by its lack of definition. While mainstream, modern culture focuses on storing things away, minimalism, and striving for show-home perfection, bohemian style stresses the importance of a very personal and relaxed space. There is no one way to be bohemian, but it is often characterised by eclectic belongings, cultural displays and bright colours.
How to Make Your Home More Boho
- Use Rugs Untraditionally
Think about using rugs in non-traditional ways and simply placing them wherever it feels right. While mainstream styles typically subscribe to guidelines for rug placement, you might consider putting rugs at an angle or layering multiple rugs on top of each other, or using rugs on carpet.
Incorporating different patterns and textures together, or combining different coloured rugs, can be the first step away from straight lines and order, and give you the freedom to place rugs wherever you might want them to be.
2. Low-Level Seating
There are many options for low-level seating out there, particularly if you look at how different cultures use it. You could use Moroccan floor pillows, Japanese kotatsu, or even just comfy beanbag chairs. Low-level seating is great in bohemian style because it can be easily moved around to work best for you.
Remember, the name of the game is that the space works for you. Low-level seating may not be for everyone – you should feel comfortable and relaxed in your boho space! If low-level seating isn’t your thing, you could instead hang swing chairs or hammocks to recline in style.
3. Cultural Pieces
Cultural items are a staple of boho style. Books about various topics or in different languages might be your thing, or you might love local works of art and home decorations. If you’ve travelled a lot, you could display pictures or mementos that you collected or bought. Even if you haven’t travelled, do some research on different countries’ art styles and use whatever you feel most drawn to.
With boho style, it doesn’t matter if you use art styles from different countries that aren’t complementary. You could have a throw from Peru, a Korean wall hanging, and a figurine from France next to each other. In boho style, placing things together that don’t quite make sense is fine because it’s more important for them to tell a story.
Here at Rug Traders, we have many rugs from across the world, from Egypt to Turkey to Greece and many more incredible places, and each style is a piece of art in its own way. You could even use a rug as a wall-hanging, which can be both stylish and insulating.
4. Avoid Dark Colours
Although there are no rules in bohemian style, if it’s boho you’re aiming for, then we recommend steering clear of too many dark colours, and particularly black. If you’re looking for neutral colours, particularly for furniture pieces, aim for light woods instead. This helps open up the space more and let it feel light and airy.
However, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t use dark colours at all. In a typically bright aesthetic like boho, dark colours can make wonderful grounding accents to stop the room from being overwhelming. Dark cushions on a bright sofa or dark metal accessories (like candle holders) can help bring the room together.
Plants are a really easy way to make a space feel more organic and fresh. Make sure to use plants suitable for the amount of light they would get and how much care you can give them.
Hanging pots are ideal for drawing the eye upward – rather than having lots of plant pots dotted around your floor, try hanging pots at eye level or along the wall. Trailing plants are great in the kitchen or bathroom. A space filled with nature works well with boho style, and caring for plants can be very rewarding.
If you’re a keen chef, try growing some herbs in your kitchen or propagating some vegetables to grow in the windowsill. Everything tastes better when you’ve grown it yourself.
6. Lots of Light
Brightness is key to boho style. If you have large windows you can get a lot of natural light, and that’s great, but what if you don’t?
Well, using different light sources rather than one overhead light can make the space more inviting. Strings of fairy lights or standing lamps can offer lots of ambient lighting.
Alternatively, if you prefer to use an overhead light, try swapping out the light shade for a woven or fabric one.
8. Keep It Colourful
This is where you can really let loose. Bright, bold colours and patterns often characterise the boho style. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every item in your home has to be a different colour, but more that you shouldn’t feel constrained by colour wheels and whether or not two things are complementary.
If it looks a bit eccentric, all the better. You should feel free to choose colours that you like, and colours that make you happy. Paint the walls, the doors or the skirting boards – feature colours against a light neutral background (such as an off-white or light grey) can be stunning.
8. Reclaiming and Upcycling
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with these terms – they aren’t scary! Reclaimed items are finished pieces (such as a piece of furniture) that are no longer relevant to mainstream culture, whether they’re out of style or a bit archaic. Upcycling involves taking an item and giving it a new purpose.
Reclaiming and upcycling are great for the environment because they reduce waste, and it often takes very little effort to get new life out of these items. This is particularly useful if you’re wondering how to make a bohemian bedroom; try using old pallets as a bed frame, or melt some wax into old jars to make candles. This gives these items a personal touch and makes them more meaningful to you.
9. Handmade Décor and DIY
Handmade items are perfect for boho style because they’re completely unique. You could make bunting to hang around the room or a wall-hanging, or even paint something. It’s not about skill – there are plenty of ways to create gorgeous art without any art knowledge at all – but about making something entirely personal.
10. Vintage Pieces
Blending vintage and modern styles is a great way to style a boho room. Vintage décor can infuse a room with charm and character and contrast more contemporary pieces beautifully. Authenticity is important, and natural materials are the best option, so look for wood or natural fibres if you can.
11. Bright Furnishings
Another way to embrace boho style is to have some large furnishings painted bright colours. When looking at how to make a boho bedroom, try painting the bedframe, wardrobe or chest of drawers. If you’re a creative person, you could paint patterns or focus on a theme that ties together your room.
Brightly coloured furniture is ideal if you prefer a neutral background or live in rented accommodation and can’t paint the walls themselves but still want to inject some colour.
12. Your Story
This is by far the most important point in this list. Boho is about being authentically yourself in a world of trends and expectations. It’s about not letting anyone dictate what things are in your space and displaying the things that make you happy rather than what you ‘should’ display. The reason boho style works is that, when you truly embrace it, it means that you love the space you’ve created and that it tells your story.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make your home more boho. If you’re looking for more ways to style your home by yourself, please have a look at our guide to redecorating during lockdown or ways to transform your loft space.