What's Your Style?
Looking for the right style for your home can be tough. Our "What's Your Style" series breaks down all kinds of different interior designs to help you find the style that best reflects you and the things you love.
Bohemian furniture can be described as fundamentally laid-back, relaxed, and carefree. Throwing all of the rules and conventions out the window, the style imposes no limitations on what is possible. Mixing different kinds of materials, patterns, textiles, and colors, it tips the hat to maximalism as it focuses on producing a lively space that reflects life, culture, and art.
Is Bohemian style for you?
A Bohemian aesthetic is welcoming and can be appealing to many people, but is it the right style for your home? We have put together a list of a few quick questions to help you out:
- Do you like to be free to make design decisions without a guidebook?
- Do you love to be surrounded by art, music, and nature?
- Do you prefer to lead a laid-back, simple lifestyle that reflects your carefree and fun mentality?
If you found yourself excitedly nodding your head at any of these, then Bohemian might just be the right style for you!
The Origin of Bohemian Design and Furniture - How Did it All Begin?
"Bohemian" was the name originally given to the Romani people upon their arrival in Paris in the 1800s. The term Bohémiens was designated by the French as they believed the nomadic group had come from Bohemia in the Czech Republic.
By the mid 19th century, French authors and artists had changed the narrative around the term quite significantly. The word "Bohemian" formed strong ties with the free, wandering lifestyle of the artists in that prioritized art, self-expression, and freedom in Paris at the time.
This counterculture, originating out of necessity due to the impoverished life of artists in post-revolution France, was worlds away from the lifestyle of society at the time. Eventually, it inspired the lively style of colors, textures, and patterns we know today.
In the world of 21st century interior design, the term has shed all of its early negative connotations, and instead, Bohemian design refers instead to the charming, eclectic and personality-ridden style.
Getting the Look: The Defining Features of Bohemian Furniture
Bohemian furniture complements those very notions of freedom. It works effectively to make a space feel comfortably unstructured yet cohesive in its own terms. Although it rids itself of any rules, here are some of the common elements found in Bohemian furniture:
- Low-lying aesthetic
- Mixed colors, textiles, and patterns
- Eclectic details
- Natural materials like wood and bamboo
- Layered patterns
- Vintage pieces
The Elements of Bohemian Furniture
Cordoba Dining Table and Bench
Rattan along with things like natural woods or bamboo, these materials are likely to come to mind when you think of Bohemian furniture, and for good reason. Boho pieces are often used as a reflection of art, music, and culture. They aim, more than to just function as furniture but also as of self-expression.
Materials often collaborate with various textiles and patterns to create one-of-a-kind, beautiful Boho pieces. Paisley designs are popular options for couch and chair cushions, as well as pillows. They are often mismatched with other fun and expressive patterns throughout a room.
Other materials, like glass, are often implemented with a Boho twist. Stained glass, for one, is a great alternative to add variety through the material while still keeping the Boho feel.
Throughout our "What's Your Style" series, we have taken a look at how other popular styles, such as Modern Farmhouse and Mid Century Modern, depend on texture to add complexity to a space. These specific design options count on elements such as a subtly textured chair and accessories, for example, to ensure that a room is not "flat."
Boho design and furniture can be found on the opposite side of that spectrum. It's true - there is no lack of depth in various other elements of a Bohemian style home; however, we stick to our mantra, more is more.
Bohemian design is largely known for its loud explosion of colors and patterns. Though this is certainly often true, the furniture of the style comes in many different variations. Pieces can contribute to the bright colors through interesting, patterned upholstery, or can stick to neutral tones and let the colors thrive elsewhere.
Neutral tones are often found in Bohemian furniture, even if only in their natural materials previously mentioned, like wood and bamboo. This greatly helps balance the saturation of color, keeping it lively while still maintaining an organic and unrefined feel to a space.
If going all out with color sounds like you, we couldn't be more on board. Incorporating various patterns and color schemes next to each other will add to the casual and eclectic feel of this style.
Our 5 Best Design Tips for the Perfect Bohemian Home
For a style that is the epitome of laid-back and the antonym of "ruly," it can get overwhelming to actually make design decisions. Here are some of our best tips for the perfect Bohemian space:
1. Look to your own experiences for inspiration
It may seem counterintuitive, we know, but trust us. Bohemian design and furniture is all about promoting self-expression, and putting an emphasis into what matters to you.
Turn to your travels or most important moments and see how they can be manifested into your space. Maybe that is through souvenirs you have collected in your travels, or special mementos you have been gifted by your family and friends. Whatever says "you" is what works!
2. Vintage furniture & accessories
This couldn't be more true for Bohemian style spaces! Vintage accessories from your favorite destinations or your local flea market can do wonders for your space. It will instantly make your home that much more personal to you and your own memories, celebrating your life and decorating at the same time.
3. Plants, plants, plants
Whether they are hanging out in the corner, hanging from the ceiling, or adorning your favorite pieces of furniture, they can only improve the overall feel of your Boho home.
This is also the perfect opportunity to find some amazing Boho pots to accessorize your space even more.
4. pendant lights
Modern light fixtures can stand out in an unwanted way if they don't match the Boho vibe. Try going for something that is more subtle and adds to the style of the space in a positive way.
Lantern-like fixtures or pendant lights, for example, will do a great job at promoting that soothing environment that we want. Take a look at our Bali Boho Glass Prism Hanging Pendant Light for the perfect look.
5. Final Touches
So you have gone through all of your keepsakes for your space (and the tips above!) but still feel like you are missing some final touches. Don't worry, we have some more options just for you. Here are some details that we feel are perfect if you are looking for some extra elements:
- Wind chimes
- Textured curtains
- Vintage art
- Global accents (keep an eye out on your next trip abroad!)
Don't worry about finding all of these at once. Building a space tailored to you takes time and effort, but it will pay off in the end.