What comes to mind when you envision your home in bohemian décor? Is it a sun-drenched Scandinavian-inspired space with calming neutral hues? Or an explosion of eye-popping patterns and international flea market finds that blend effortlessly together? How about a Tulum-influenced living room that's brimming with greenery and rattan accents? The answer: All of the above, according to interior designers who've mastered the art of this chic, globally-inspired aesthetic in their own unique way.
Unlike other home design trends that have come and gone, this free-spirited approach to decorating is clearly here to stay, thanks to its versatility and endless possibilities. "Boho doesn’t mean it has to be all maxed out with no negative space," says interior designer and blogger Anita Yokota, whose own home is a mix of California eclectic style and bohemian elements.
For Nashville-based interior designer and author Lauren Bradshaw, pieces like tasseled rugs or plants in baskets are an effortless way to bring softness and texture into any room, especially if you lean towards minimalism when you decorate your space. Yokota agrees: "What I truly love to do is visually play pattern, texture, and color together in a cohesive and clean manner. You can add touches here and there and get that vibe" without going full maximalist, she says.
Ahead, keep reading for these interior decor experts' top tips for achieving that effortless bohemian look—without traveling across the globe.
Mix and Match Furniture Styles
Just as the vagabond lifestyle requires flexibility, the same can be said for decorating your bohemian-inspired space. Opt-out of buying that matchy-matchy furniture set and mix and match different decor styles instead: "To elevate the look I'll combine bohemian elements with modern forms in other areas, like a structured dresser or sculptural table," says Bradshaw.
Combine Bright Patterns and Organic Textures
Regardless of how you define bohemian décor, one simple way to get the look is by layering natural textiles with colorful, patterned carpets, says Yokota. She suggests starting with an organic raw element like a large jute area rug, then adding a pop of color with a brightly patterned Persian or Moroccan rug, for example.
Looking to soften your space? Woven accents can help you achieve that goal, Bradshaw says. "Lately I've been especially drawn to lighting that looks like it is woven from rope or wicker," she notes, while chic baskets can be used as wall decor or extra storage.
Add Mid-Century Modern Lighting
Another fool-proof way to get the bohemian look is by mixing in vintage pieces, like mid-century modern lighting, which brings an instant sophistication factor to any space, says Yokota. For those who love going retro but prefer modern-day conveniences, "plug-in sconces are budget-friendly and easy to install yourself," she adds. "You can place them on your living room wall where the sofa lives, or flank two on each side of a bed or fireplace mantel."
Give Your Space a Green Boost
One thing that boho abodes of all persuasions have in common? "Plants, plants, plants! Bohemian homes almost always have a large variety of plants placed thoughtfully but throughout the space," explains Yokota.
Another reason to add houseplants to your decor besides upping your style quotient: Indoor greenery also helps to remove toxins from the air and boost your mood and health.
Express Your Personality With Eclectic Art
When it comes to bohemian décor, eclectic art can add an element of playfulness and act as an extension of your own creativity, says Yokota.
In addition to grouping imagery with vibrant color palettes, another way to make your walls look non-generic is by including found objects (like your favorite travel souvenirs or flea market finds) that hold special meaning to you.
Deng L, Deng Q. The Basic Roles of Indoor Plants in Human Health and Comfort. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2018;25(36):36087-36101. doi:10.1007/s11356-018-3554-1