How to Achieve Bohemian (or “Boho-Chic”) Style

Some might wonder what Bohemian style is. Although it embraces a sense of flowing liberty in décor choices and can be associated with eclectic style, Bohemian style is more than that. The word “Bohemian” comes from the French word for “gypsy,” and it applies to those who live unconventional (usually artistic) lives.

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Someone or something that has a Bohemian style typically evokes a picture of travelers, hippies, artists, gypsies, and other “free spirits.” Individuality is expressed, which means the style is as diverse as the individuals themselves.

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If you enjoy structure and order, you might want to give this style a pass. But if you’re inherently drawn to free expression, unconventional displays, and colorful collections, read on… This is most definitely the place where your own personal style and aesthetic can shine.

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Speaking of unique aesthetics, let’s start with this one: Rainbow-colored slips are used as curtains in this Bohemian style bedroom.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Mix Old and New with Reckless Abandon. Although the essence of Boho-Chic is a vintage-inspired version of “laissez-faire,” or, in other words, “let it be how it will be,” the style benefits by juxtaposing older items with more modern ones. For example, a sleek, streamlined table could hold a colorful fringe-y table runner with great effect.A lacquered swivel chair could accompany an old, weathered secretary. Or, the more modern “white space” could make an excellent background for other Bohemian-style décor objects.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Fill Every Space. With an eye toward variety and diversity in color and form, choose objects that you love and use them to fill every visual and physical spot in the space. Think outside the box in layout, and think of each plane as an open book for you to fill.

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The sky is the limit, here – think art, books, furniture, fabrics, pillows, sculptures, plants, lamps, or whatever else makes your heart sing its free song. Remember, you’re trying to create a cozy space full of life and a sense of the well-traveled, well-lived person.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Embrace the Handmade. Just as the entire style itself is focused on the sense of unique individuality, handmade items are a perfect component. Really, no two handmade items are alike. Whether the handmade comes in the form of textiles, a braided rug (photo), a sculpture, or an oil painting on the wall, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the feeling of individuality supersedes any prior notions of decorating dos and don’ts.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Less is Less, and More is More. As if to pack a space with as much personality as possible, Bohemian style encourages a sense of stuffed-to-the-brim. This mimics a feeling of overflowing with life, in a sense. An interior that embraces Boho-Chic should appear busy, almost chaotic, and yet confident and happy in its fullness. Cover the walls with beloved items, fill surfaces with textiles and color, and layer, then layer, then layer again.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Look to the Lights. Soft lighting creates a special, comforting atmosphere. This is a key element to show your treasures’ best face in the space. Lighting options that hover around the sense of serenity provide an excellent contrast to the near-chaos that is everywhere else in your free-spirited Bohemian space.

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Bohemian Style Tip: Make the Space Your Own. As you’ve no doubt realized by now, the individual is what makes Boho-Chic such an inviting and interesting style choice. You don’t need to change your own style or life in any way to adopt a sense of the Bohemian in your space.

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Be creative in the use of your furniture, bring in rich, vivid colors of any hue, and go bold with any patterns you happen to love. Throw in photos of your family or favorite vacation spots. You don’t need to edit your life or loves in a Bohemian space – the style itself embraces it all.

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Lastly, if you’re going to remember any rule about Bohemian style, remember this: That there are no rules. You can certainly dabble in the Boheme style but then veer off in ways that make you happy.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.