Bohemian décor, often referred to simply as Boho, is a versatile, artistic, and often unconventional decorating style characterized by the bold use of patterns and generous use of fabric. The style was popular in America during the 1960s, emerging along with hippie culture when artists were encouraging a freer, more expressive lifestyle as practiced in New York’s Greenwich Village and the San Francisco “Summer of Love” movement.
In recent years, Boho has re-emerged as Boho Chic. Such trendsetters as supermodel Kate Moss have brought attention to the Boho style as a major fashion direction with the use of colorful, flowing fabrics. In home décor, Boho Chic design is likewise marked by a free-flowing “anything goes” type of self-expression. Though the Boho look is often high-end, it also can be successfully duplicated at a midmarket price point. Many of the classic Bohemian characteristics popularized 50 years ago can be found today.
Fabrics are often light and flowy, though heavier textiles also play a role in such uses as upholstery, accent pillows, and area rugs. A variety of ethnic influences, ranging from Moroccan to Indian to Turkish to American Southwest, appear in Boho Chic style. You’ll see such pattern choices as wide stripes, geometrics, tribal designs, and florals. The color pairings will be bold and daring, with dramatic contrasts
Wall colors and patterns run the gamut in Bohemian-inspired décor: Sometimes they’re white or off-white to serve as a neutral backdrop for distinctive wall hangings or whatever else is happening in the room. Other times, walls are colorfully rendered in vibrant reds, blues, greens, or golds. Walls also can be part of the Bohemian style through the use of pattern. Boho Chic wallpaper patterns—for all four walls or just a feature wall—provide a way of expressing the style. Another alternative is to use Boho Chic stencils to provide accents on walls, ceilings, and archways.
Being Unique Because the nature of Boho Chic is so individualized, depicting the homeowner’s personality, interesting accessories and furniture pieces are typically part of the scheme. There can be a theme to these accessories—for example, a person who loves Southwestern décor might display Native American pottery and sculptures on tabletops and tribal masks on the walls. Another occupant might prefer an eclectic approach to accessorizing, mixing items from various cultures on walls and tabletops.
Because Boho Chic is an expression of who you are, there’s really no wrong way to do it. Enjoy the freedom that this style provides in indulging your fun and adventurous spirit.