Interior design is an art form; it is a method of expressing your style and taste in a way that provides function and comfort in your home. You don’t have to adhere to an established design style to create a successful look in your interior spaces — but that said, established styles can help guide you in your decision-making to ensure you create spaces that are cohesive and attractive.
The bohemian interior style is a difficult one to achieve. More often, those aiming for bohemian end up in organic modern or natural vintage, both of which have a slightly different look and feel to true boho chic. If you are striving to create a bohemian-style home, here are some mistakes to avoid while you are decorating to keep your design message clear:
The inspiration for Boho interior design is Bohemianism or the practice of an unconventional lifestyle. The original Bohemians — aside from those living in the Czech region of Bohemia, of course — were artists, musicians, writers, actors; they were vagabonds and wanderers who couldn’t afford a large, well-decorated home and didn’t want too many belongings weighing them down.
Because Bohemian interior style takes inspiration from this lifestyle, it doesn’t make sense for all the decorative items used in a Boho home to perfectly match. Your home should look as though it is assembled from a creative life well-lived, which means pieces should not look like they were selected from the same set in a furniture catalog. The word “eclectic” should guide your purchasing decisions for your Boho home.
Too many organic modern homes are co-opting the term “Boho” to describe their natural aesthetic, but they are missing an important element of Boho style: color. Bohemian style does incorporate a good amount of natural materials, but its color palette goes way beyond white, cream, and beige. A true Boho room should be a celebration of warm and bright colors, like coral, turquoise, mustard yellow, peach, red and sage green.
You probably don’t want to paint your walls such vibrant colors, as they can reflect on your furniture and produce an odd cast on the rest of your room. Instead, you should paint your walls a light neutral tone and incorporate color into other elements of your décor. For example, on top of your natural mattress, you should throw a brightly patterned quilt and colorful pillows of different shapes and textures. Rugs, planters, and wall art are other places where color truly shines.
Cramming in Clutter
The Bohemian style tends to be busier than other aesthetics that are currently trending, but busy isn’t the same as cluttered. Boho designers should not aim for chaotic or random; rather, you should use layers to add visual interest and excitement to your spaces. You need to consider vertical and horizontal layers of color, texture, size, and shape. However, if there are too many pieces of furniture and décor cluttering up your walkways and surfaces, you need to purge items to make the Boho style work.
You should aim for a balance of activity and negative space. Empty areas give your eyes a rest from the busy décor of your interior design, and they allow you to move and relax in your space. Leaving some open wall space, open floor space, and open surfaces will make your rooms more functional and more attractive, too.
Playing It Safe
It is easy to go overboard with Bohemian style, which is why many so-called Boho homes end up feeling cram-packed and cluttered. However, playing it too safe can cause you to miss the hallmarks of Bohemian design, which will leave your aesthetic looking weak and confused. You will need to take risks to ensure your Bohemian style is authentic and interesting, and you should draw upon every ounce of creativity you have to keep your design cohesive and fun.
A bohemian design might push you out of your comfort zone in terms of interior colors and textures — but that might be exactly what your home needs to look and feel special. If you want your interior space to have warmth and life, and if you want your home to be uniquely yours, you can find all of that with a well-executed Bohemian space.