Boho style is sometimes called bohemian or boho chic. Boho is closely related to hippie fashion and is a term to describe someone who’s socially unconventional. The idea of a boho décor is to create a rich and heady space to visually stimulate the eye and relax the spirit. This laid-back, individualistic style of decorating showcases great character within the home. There are many different aspects of the boho style, which will be explored later in this article.

The main considerations of designing a boho décor are color palettes, distinctive decorations, and special furniture pieces. Boho can be much more than an aesthetic. Turn it into a fulfilling pastime by combining it with your love of DIY, or flex your handyman skills while also learning about the unique boho style.

Table of contents

What is boho decor and where does it come from?
The most common boho color palette
What are the best bohemian decorative materials?
How to choose your perfect bohemian furniture
Lighting and accessories for your bohemian home
Get started with some DIY projects
List of home retailers to purchase boho accessories/elements
Important mistakes to avoid when decorating in boho style

What is boho decor and where does it come from?

Boho comes from the word boheme, the French word for bohemia. It was first used in the 19th century to describe peoples of central Europe, who had unusual colorful styles of dress and a relaxed attitude towards life. The term gained popularity in this timeframe when a group of intellectuals and artists in Paris rejected the constraints of traditional society and instead embraced the unconventional lifestyle defined by freedom and creativity.  

The boho design aesthetic is less about a specific style and more about the spirit of the designs. The bold colors, natural materials, and carefree beauty are expressions of artistic freedom rather than rigid rules. Boho is an eclectic style created to entice people to relax and incorporate free-spirited elements in tandem with intentional touches.

This style has survived in many varieties over the years. It was last in prominence when beatniks from the 1950s opted for minimalism and self-expression, followed directly in the 1970s by the hippie culture.

The most common boho color palette

As you consider boho color palettes, remember that these colors aren’t exclusively applied to textiles. Your furniture, cloth materials, décor choices, and even rugs all combine to create a full palette of colors reminiscent of a rich tapestry.

How to choose your bohemian color scheme

Because the boho aesthetic is so eclectic, you have a wide range of options when it comes to color. If you prefer a more contemporary boho look, choose a combination of one or two dominant colors. From those colors, expand into hot and cold hues on the spectrum, and incorporate a variety of shades within the home. Boho is a style that benefits from a multitude of colors.

Boho colors tend to be pastels, neutrals, and rich earthy tones. These colors include peach, rust orange, lemonade, teal, red, purple, and electric blue. Accent these with metallic gold, emerald greens, royal blues, and reds. Avoid neon colors or anything highly saturated.

All in hippie

The boho hippie look provides a casual aesthetic, but when you put all the colors together, it creates a unique elegance. This palette harkens back to the 1960s and is based on the look of worn leather jackets, maxi dresses, and white shirts. These colors are youthful and relaxed.

Strive for colors like soft orange, gray magenta, walnut, mica, grayish cyan, autumn gourd, grayish violet, Bora bora browns, and deep wheelbarrow grays. These colors come together to create an inviting space where you can let your cares slip away.

Edgy boho style

For an edgier boho vibe, add in some grunge and metallic details with dark, moody color options. Use colors like raging sea, black dress, black licorice, khaki, dark gray, light gray, and classic gray. Mix these in with grainy wood textures and pops of green from plants for a uniquely beautiful design.

This style is perfect for a more angsty, masculine vibe (though it suits any gender). The staples of this style include leather and metal, with sleek silhouettes. Lenny Kravitz usually embodies a classic form of this look, fusing together a suave yet funky appeal.  

Colors of Morocco

Morocco invokes a style of tile and stone finishes. The color palette that suits it best includes copper, soft orange, moderate red, moderate orange, and light grays. Other colors, like spiced pumpkin, sycamore, and butternut squash, blend beautifully into the décor.

These Moroccan colors look great against a white-washed wall, but they also work against burnt red or cobalt blue. Moroccan tiles often invoke cobalt blue, vivid scarlet, and emerald greens to bring an uplifting flavor against the earthy hues of the palette. Incorporate elements of green, which is the Islamic hue, or blue to invoke the Mediterranean sea.

What are the best bohemian decorative materials?

When it comes to decorating in a bohemian style, consider incorporating greenery, curated artwork, and comfort items throughout your space. These decorative choices are effortlessly glamorous, energetic, earthy, and eclectic.

Plants everywhere

Plants are the best way to add pops of earthy colors to every room in the home. If you’re going for boho chic, plants will be your best friends. A great plant to start with is the pothos plant. It thrives in dry soil and dim light, or bright lights and rich soil.

Succulents are also great for small spaces. They come in various colors and shapes, so you can find one that works for your tastes. Calathea, cacti, and monstera are all vibrant plants with unique aesthetics and are often seen in major influencer posts through Instagram for their unique styles and beauty.

Fringe, crochet, and macrame

Macrame and crochet is a beautiful hobby that can liven up any object within the home and provide a unique boho vibe throughout. This is where you can flex your curation skills the most and create your home décor styles.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to macrame. Most people use macrame to build hanging shelves and pots. These macrame decorations can be DIY and create a beautiful and functional pop in any room you choose. You can hold fruit in hanging kitchen baskets or place your new plants on macrame shelves in the bedroom. 

Carpets, rugs, and pillows all over the place

When it comes to carpets and rugs, anything crafted from natural fibers is an ideal foundation. Find an area rug with neutral tones, earthy hues, and captivating textures of jute or seagrass to create uniquely playful textiles. Try placing a washed-out Persian rug over top of a natural fiber rug for a classic boho look.

Opt for patterns on both your rugs and your pillows to showcase motifs from around the world. The patterns should be interesting and enduring, which could take center stage in a room or play a supporting role.

How to choose your perfect bohemian furniture

Your furniture plays a major role in capturing the perfect bohemian design. Like the colors and patterns you’ve chosen, your furniture should be nomadic, eclectic, and warm. The appeal of boho design is that it prioritizes comfort and uniqueness over all else.

What type of furniture to look for

When you choose furniture, start with a large statement piece, like a burnt orange sofa. This will transform your space and bring all your other design choices together. Statement pieces in warm, rich hues can work with your rugs, colors, house plants, and many throw pillows to tie in your boho style. Large, framed mirrors will give your boho living room the illusion of space.

Your furniture doesn’t have to match. Pair your statement piece with rattan ottomans and side chairs. Prioritize pieces with ancient designs. Woven baskets are quirky and economical decorations that add a beautiful texture to the room. Pair this with an ancient-looking coffee table or jute rug with neutral tones. When considering shelving, go for similar tones and designs. 

Focus on form, texture, and materials

The big thing when picking textures and materials is choosing natural fabrics, like cotton. Colorful patterned upholstery and rugs really bring the room to life, especially if you stick to neutral earthy hues, ancient designs, and old-world fabrics. Be playful, as boho relies more on form and your willingness to mix and match textures over finding matching materials.

Pair your macrame decorations with sheer chiffon curtains. Overlap rugs of two different types. Mix in pillows with rough textures with soft satin-like pillows. Texture is one major area to let your inner artist go wild, so don’t think about it. Pick items that look great and fit the boho vibe.

Lighting and accessories for your bohemian home 

Your lighting makes a big difference in creating your boho aesthetic. If your lights are bright and harsh with cold hues, they won’t blend well with the rest of the room. The lights also double up as extra decorative pieces that bring your boho style to life.

Ambient lighting

Ambient light is a term that describes general light rather than focused light. They tend to come from small lights that contribute to the overall light in the room. Chandeliers, wall sconces, and lamps are great examples of ambient lighting. Warm, romantic tones that light up an area rather than create a sharp focus are akin to the open-minded attitudes that the boho movement promotes.

There are numerous options for boho chandeliers, pendants, and lamps created from natural fibers that cast interesting shadow patterns. Get warm hue lightbulbs that provide a yellow glow, and your boho room will be relaxed and romantic.

Add some sheer curtains and let some light in

The beauty of boho décor is that the more colors you have, the more enrichment you bring to your room. The trick is to choose colors that complement other colors rather than contrast them. Your curtains should feel like the room would be incomplete without them rather than statements in and of themselves.

Sheer materials for curtains are best, and light colors may help manipulate natural light entering your space. For patterns, Arabic and Mediterranean designs are a great place to start. You want your space to be expressive in all aspects of your furniture.

Get started with some DIY projects

Boho chic is unique from many other design aesthetics because of its openness to DIY projects and décor. Since boho comes from ideas of art and creativity, all of its decorative styles celebrate uniqueness. Bring your own styles and creations into your home by trying some DIY décor yourself.

DIY macrame boho candle lanterns and wall art

There is no shortage of excellent DIY crafts to create lighting and wall art. Macrame is an excellent use of materials that provide natural art and beauty. Create some wall art with macrame designs to practice the knots and style for yourself.

From there, consider candle lanterns and chandeliers using beads, macrame, and some basic framing materials you can spray paint soft metallic colors to further tie your new decorations to the boho aesthetic. These projects are not expensive to take on, and as you improve your skills, you can recreate your projects and continually improve over time.

Giant pop pom crochet blanket

Crochet décor is trending because it’s a great hobby to keep your hands busy while binging your favorite shows. As a bonus, you’ll craft something beautiful over time. 

Spice up your pillows with crocheted patterns that you create. Glue them on to give a plain pillow an expressive beauty. Your crochet art can be used to accent various rooms and objects around the home. If you want to take on a larger project, crochet a giant popcorn stitch blanket, which both suits your space and keeps you warm. The homey touch that crochet brings will give you a sense of comfort.

DIY boho plant hangers and vases

Plants are one of the best decorations in any bohemian space and shouldn’t be left out. To complement these plants, create your own plant hangers from macrame. Paint your own vases, and even create macrame decorations for these usually plain pieces to bring a further element of artistic pizazz to your space.

Plant hangers and other hanging decorations in macrame add multiple layers of decoration from top to bottom in any room. It strikes the perfect balance between looking interesting without standing out. Decorative macrame and crochet can tie together even the plainest items into the boho style.

List of home retailers to purchase boho accessories/elements

There are many great places to find excellent boho pieces. Beyond the examples provided, keep your eyes peeled at local thrift stores, farmer markets, and other places with vintage furniture and hand-made products. To get started, these retailers have some great pieces to consider:

Important mistakes to avoid when decorating in boho style

The boho style is one of free-spirited expression and uniqueness. It’s a style that’s different in how it challenges those who embrace it to relax and let their inner artist take over. Despite this spirit, there are some avoidable mistakes you can make in utilizing the boho style.

Not incorporating enough texture

When starting with boho design, it’s important to remember to add a lot of texture. Texture gives dimension and depth to your space and shapes the cozy, lived-in feeling that exemplifies boho style.

Early boho adopters don’t consider texture enough, but luckily it’s an easy fix. Layer fabrics like fur, linen, boucle, and velvet on couches, pottery, and tables. Layer a jute rug and a shag rug on top of one another. Find textured pottery, or add rattan accents. Shelves can be given extra life with dried flowers. Consider where in your space you lack texture and dream about how to change it.

Not mixing and experimenting several styles together

Boho is a style that brings many elements from around the world together. The international touch from these many styles is a great way to make boho shine within your home. Incorporate interesting souvenirs and thrift-shopping finds to bring in outside influences. Don’t avoid other decoration styles, such as Scandinavian minimalism or industrial. Various furniture pieces can be altered, painted, and updated to suit your bohemian chic and show your openness to try pieces from all walks of life. The trick is to find ways to make your pieces warm, relaxed, and cozy.

Using too much rattan

Rattan is a style on the rise that makes perfect furniture for boho chic. However, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Many boho enthusiasts fall in love with rattan, then use it everywhere only to find that they’ve overwhelmed the space. Instead, pair rattan with metal or wood accents, and refrain from placing rattan pieces together in a room. You can have a lot of rattan if you spread it throughout the house and keep it surrounded by other materials to keep your spaces diverse, interesting, and fresh.

The boho chic look is trending, and its unique ability to showcase global patterns, wide color palettes, and personal creativity has made it a favorite among many. This style focuses on numerous patterns and textiles, making the space comfortable and cozy. The fact that you can mix and match furniture gives a sense of freedom of self-expression. Best of all, you can practice your DIY skills by creating your own boho furniture and decorations. With this artistic style, few other design aesthetics match the boho charm, comfort, and cozy flair.