What is Bohemian Style Decorating?

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated June 9, 2022
living room interior featuring light cream and tan wood tones with black accents and cozy, soft lighting
AsiaVision/E+ via Getty Images

Boho style decor for the home is about combining unusual colors, patterns, and textures from room to room to create a one-of-kind look as distinctive as its designer

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If your idea of home design is breaking all of the rules, then considering the boho style for your next home redesign project is a no-brainer. Inspired by the colorful lives of artists, painters, and actors (think Moulin Rouge, people), bohemian style decor is all about combining different colors, textures, and furniture pieces to create a totally unique look. In short, the only design rules you have to follow to achieve a boho style look are absolutely no rules at all.

What Are The Characteristics of Bohemian Style Decor?

Boho Style Colors

While anything goes when it comes to colors for your boho-style-inspired home decor, the traditional boho style colors are usually earth and jewel tones.        

That’s because these colors reminded the original Bohemians (the Pre-Raphaelities back in the 19th Century) of the wild beauty of the natural world. 

If you want to stick to a classic boho style for your decor, opt for greens and browns as your base color and add jewel blue or purple accents.

If those colors aren’t for you, don’t worry. Boho-style home decor has something for everyone, provided you’re ready to banish the white surfaces in your home.

Boho Style Furnishings & Decor

Some design aesthetics are all about order and coordination. However, if you’re going Boho, it’s time to bid farewell to order and minimalism and embrace furnishings and decor not just from different schools of design but from different eras and parts of the world. 

That plush but battered velvet settee you found on Craigslist next to the Michael Graves designed modern guest chair? That’s boho-style decor. 

While Marie Kondo would have you organizing your home for a minimal life, in boho style home decor, more is more is more is more. The only sin in a house full of people embracing bohemian-style decor? That would be a plain white wall. Instead, a boho-style home should provide a feast for the eyes, with beloved objects dotting nearly every surface. 

Lamps, lamps, and oh yes, did we mention lamps? Boho style and harsh overhead lights don’t mix. Instead, for boho-style lighting, opt for an array of desk and table lamps to keep the space feeling intimate and personal.

home interior with white, cream, and light wood bohemian decor with hanging chair in middle
AsiaVision/E+ via Getty Images

What are the Pros and Cons of Bohemian Style?

When it comes to breaking down the pros and cons of Bohemian style decor, it all comes down to a matter of personal taste. For some people, the lush, haphazard luxury of Bohemian style is exactly what they want, but for those who crave clean lines and empty spaces, Boho style is a no-go.

There are, however, a few practical concerns to look at before you design to implement the Boho style design aesthetic in your own home.

Pros of Boho Style Decor

Easy to DIY

Because implementing Boho style home decor is all about objects and furnishings that speak to YOU personally, it’s an easy project for you to tackle without the help of a professional home decor specialist.


Boho style is the thrift shopper’s friend. To give your home a boho-style makeover, you don’t need to spend a ton. In fact, the older an object is, the more of a fit it is for this look.

Cons of Boho Style Decor

Hard to Clean

Boho home decor relies on decorative objects and often heavy and textured fabrics. This can make cleaning your home (especially dusting) a bigger project than it typically is.

Unpredictable Timeline

If you’re looking for a home redesign idea with a clean timeline, boho style may not be the right fit for you. Boho-style home decor often evolves and grows slowly, changing as you discover funky new furniture and unique objects. As such, they aren’t ever really “done.”

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