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Boho home decor: A guide to making this trend work for you

Global elements of past travels, crocheted blankets, and personal trinkets —here's what to know about boho decor

Taupe walls with small desk and chair
Followtheflow / Shutterstock

Boho design is all about celebrating global travels, an untethered lifestyle, and a laid-back persona. It’s a fun, often surprising combination of colors, patterns, textiles, and furniture that, at first glance, may look like it doesn’t mesh together. However, upon closer inspection, you find everything has a place, and that place means everything to its owner. People who love boho design are whimsical and eclectic, and the space they surround themselves with is a reflection of their personality.

So, what is boho decor? While it is clearly in the eye of the beholder and very personal, there are some general rules that apply when choosing colors, materials, and furniture pieces commonly found in this style. If you think it may be an aesthetic you could find yourself falling in love with, here are some easy ways to get started.

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What does boho style look like?

boho style living room
Ksenia Chernaya / Pexels

Boho style has long been a favorite of the creatives, like writers, artists, and actors, because it surrounds them with all the culture, experiences, and inspirations of their craft. Maybe it’s stacks of books that line an antique bookshelf or clay pots from various travels abroad.

It will also definitely have all the comforts of home, such as blankets, candles, unique lighting, and pillows in abundance. Mixing and matching styles, decor, and other items only adds to the charm of a boho style.

What is boho in interior design?

boho inspired bathroom
brizmaker / Adobe Stock

Boho style doesn’t have a space for rules. Anything goes when it comes to designing your home, and that can be a freeing and exhilarating mindset. It means adding global elements of past travels along with personal items passed down from generation to generation.

It’s vintage, it’s antique, and it envelops you in all your favorite memories and life experiences. The more, the merrier. We love including crochet blankets, macrame wall decor, worn picture frames from estate sales, and first editions of your books. Long story short, boho means vitality, comfort, and warmth.

What are the rules of boho design?

boho headboard in blue bedroom design
brizmaker / Shutterstock

Though there aren’t any rules in boho design, you’ll generally see a few recurring themes.

Primarily, most boho schemes are filled with earth tones and warm metals like copper and bronze. Boho designs are also not afraid of saturated hues. As we mentioned above, mixing textures and patterns is also part of boho design, so consider carefully pairing plaid curtains with floral pillows and patterned wool rugs. Keep a few simple pieces like dark wood furniture or neutral walls to anchor the design.

When it comes to decor, remember that not everything should be in pristine condition. Having a few scratches and dents gives your decor more history, paying homage to the object’s past. When shopping for furniture, skip the retail stores in favor of pieces found in antique stores or on Etsy.

Ways to incorporate boho design in your home

Orange and red pillows in minimalist bedroom
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Blending boho style with your existing design is all about choosing the right materials, furniture, and decor items to add some bohemian flair. Here are a few ways you can invite the boho aesthetic into your space.

Boho bedroom ideas

No matter your design style, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the boho style into your bedroom. Layered textiles, patterns, and earthy tones are a great place to start.

Other boho bedroom ideas include:

  • Layer bold, patterned area rugs
  • Use plenty of throw pillows and blankets
  • Add a bench at the end of the bed
  • Use sheer or tassel bedframe curtains
  • Keep the palette earthy and warm-toned
  • Hang macrame wall art

Bohemian outdoor aesthetic

Due to its inclination towards biophilic design and natural materials, the bohemian design style is fantastic for your outdoor spaces.

Ways to add boho elements to your porch or patio:

  • Layer patterned rugs on your porch or patio
  • Use a variety of outdoor seating from benches to swings to pouf ottomans
  • Hang string lights or fairy lights
  • Decorate with plenty of plants in unique clay or ceramic pots
  • Add garlands or chandeliers on the porch

Boho living room

Focusing on unique artwork, comfy textiles, and natural materials will help you hone this aesthetic in your living room.

Boho living room ideas to try:

  • Hang a tapestry on a large, empty wall
  • Create an eclectic gallery wall
  • Use beaded or tassel pillows
  • Opt for embroidered and quilted textiles
  • Use a Moroccan-inspired round coffee table
  • Utilize wicker, tweed, and other natural materials on your furniture
  • Hide the TV in a vintage or thrifted cabinet

How do I know if boho is right for me?

Vintage decor in room
Khaled El-Adawi / Adobe Stock

If you don’t plan to follow any design rules and love a mix of styles and character in your home, boho just may be for you. Boho lovers often find comfort and warmth via lighting, fire, and candles. The coziness extends to the furniture, featuring relaxed pieces like a well-worn ottoman or a refurbished chair from your grandmother’s house. Some homes look like they came straight off the showroom floor, but boho spaces have much more personality.

It can work for anyone who enjoys living in the past, present, and future. If you’ve kept things from your travels, feel inspired when you see a vintage chandelier, or love serving guests on mismatched plates, you may be closer to achieving a boho style in your home than you think.

The key to really pulling off the style is choosing items for the living room, bathroom, or bedroom that speak to you, come from your own life or your family, and don’t replicate something you could find at, say, Pottery Barn. It should be a space that’s uniquely yours. That being said, unless you have tons of old furniture, photos, frames, and knick-knacks in storage, this isn’t a style you can achieve overnight. Instead, it’s one that will grow with you, expanding as you collect more items from your travels and find must-have wingback chairs at garage sales. Once you’re committed to the style, you can fill your home with all the greatest pleasures of your life and spend your days enjoying them over and over again.

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Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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