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Home Interior Design Styles: What is Bohemian Design?

There’s only one rule: there are no rules


RaShea Drake
September 17, 2019


*We interviewed multiple interior design and home professionals to create a series on the most popular interior design styles. Once you’re finished with bohemian, check out transitional design.

A Brief History

Bohemian style interior design began in the 19th century in Paris, France. It was inspired by artists, writers, performers, and nomads who believed creativity was more valuable than money — the original bohemians. With the convergence of their respective cultures, ideals, and refusal to conform to what was accepted, they inadvertently started an interior design trend. The bohemian style, named for those nomadic artists, intended to overturn beauty standards by tossing out the rules and embracing the unconventional.

The Definition of Bohemian Interior Styles

bohemian design

Bohemian styles are defined by a lack of structure, opting instead for carefree layers of pattern, texture, and color. While there are some common practices with the bohemian look, there are no hard and fast rules like there are with modern or minimalist. The core of the bohemian aesthetic is that it’s personal and relaxed. Boho styles are not styled for any other person’s enjoyment but your own.

Characteristics of Bohemian Interior Design

While there are no definitive instructions for this style, there are common practices that are a great starting point to inspire those boho vibes. Layering eclectic patterns, different types of lighting, and saturated colors instantly help to achieve the look.

Here’s a helpful graphic about bohemian style characteristics that you can save to your device or a Pinterest board for easy reference.


“The Bohemian life is centered around art, music, literature, and political discourse. Furniture is selected for comfort and interest. Objects are collected only as they represent memories, friends, beliefs, etc. Nothing is selected to impress others, only to reflect one's life story and values.” – Beverly Solomon, Beverly Solomon Design

  • The overall look is as complicated or as clean as you want it to be.
  • More is more, this is a style where there is no such thing as “too much”.
  • All types of furniture work in this aesthetic, from chaise lounges to floor cushions to a standard sofa and pillows.
  • This style isn’t so much about creating definitive lines as it is about creating an atmosphere that you enjoy.


Boho Color Palette

“Metallic golds, as well as bright shades of emerald greens, royal blues, pinks and reds are important in a bohemian styled space. Bright colors set the stage for the eclectic mesh of style.” – Bridget Desroches, Interior Designs by Bridget

  • With bohemian, since there are no rules, there aren’t standard main colors or accent colors. You can go for a clean look, a bold style, or somewhere in the middle.
  • If you want to keep a cleaner look, select a more neutral base such as white or tan, using the more intense colors in your textiles and décor in layers.
  • If you want to create a bold statement, choose a striking color such as vivid pink, amethyst purple, clementine orange, avocado green, or azure blue for your walls, adding more colors through your décor choices.


Bohemian Décor

"A great example of Bohemian pieces you can use in your home include vintage Bohemian styled pillows, classic floor poufs and beanbags, and area rugs with a mixture of colors and textures. This often includes the mixing of materials such as burlap with more sleek materials like silk." – Brett Barter, Barter Design

  • With a history inspired by artists, it makes sense to embrace handmade pieces such as paintings, quilts, rugs, macramé, sculptures, or pottery.
  • Layer rugs, pillows, throws, and more throughout the space. There’s no such thing as “too much” in this style.
  • Add a plethora of lights such as pendants, sconces, lamps, or candles to create a cozy atmosphere.
  • Add vintage treasures, souvenirs from travels, or flea market finds to create more variety to your home.
  • Add botanicals such as ferns or succulents for a refreshing pop of color.

How to Create the Bohemian Look in Your Home

Bohemian Angular Straight Pull
Bohemian Iberian Hazelwood Hardwood Flooring
Bohemian Trellis Steel Vinyl Flooring


bohemian interior design home

Still popular among artists, boho interiors allow for the most amount of self-expression among the most popular design styles. Now that you know all about bohemian, check out the rest of the series at the Vevano Home blog.