5 Mistakes You're Making When Decorating in Boho Style

A boho style living room with natural colors

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Boho style spaces are incredibly popular and are known for their inclusion of '70s style design elements, such as wavy furniture, rattan pieces, soft rugs and throws, macrame wall hangings, and lots of plants. While the style over all is thought to be laid back and unfussy, it turns out that there are mistakes that people commonly make when decorating their homes in boho style. We spoke with home decor enthusiasts who have incorporated boho style elements into their own spaces to find out just what exactly these errors are—as well as how to fix them.

1. Using Too Much Rattan

Rattan furniture is having a major moment in homes of all kinds, but it's particularly common to spot these beautiful woven pieces in boho style spaces. According to some boho style enthusiasts, though, there is such thing as too much of the material. "One mistake people can make is adding too many rattan pieces and not mixing it with other materials," home Instagrammer Ana Isaza Carpio explains. "I love to add rattan pieces around the house but not next to each other." Carpio suggests pairing rattan finds with wood or metal accents—brass is one of her favorite complementary materials. She reiterates, "A rattan chair with a wooden desk would go perfectly, but try not to have a rattan chair and rattan desk. It’s all about mixing textures."

Designer Miriam Silver Verga agrees. "We get it, rattan is indicative of boho style, but it is not the only element," she comments. "Add a ceramic stool or woven ottoman instead of adding yet another rattan piece." And while you're at it, why not go the vintage or secondhand route? "Perhaps try a vintage table that you can easily paint to give it new life and then source pieces from a local artist," Verga suggests. Sophie Hill agrees that thrifted furniture is often the way to go. "I think when people buy new boho style cane furniture, it’s never as good quality or looks as nice as thrifted pieces," she comments.

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2. Only Decorating With Neutrals

Boho style spaces often feature lots of tans, beiges, and creams—just think about the macrame hangings that often grace boho style rooms' walls, for example. Yet opting for solely neutral pieces is a no-no, home design blogger Emily Welch notes. There are so many other happy hues that one can incorporate. "Personally, I love to add coral, blush, sage, and/or mustard to my color palettes," Welch comments.

Hill expresses similar sentiments. "I’d say the one thing I see when people try to do boho style is they focus way too much on neutrals," she comments. Even if you would prefer to keep your main furniture pieces neutral, think outside of the box when it comes to decor, she offers. "I find by using different types of natural woods and linens you can still add color with accessories, such as cushions and artwork."

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3. Not Experimenting With Other Styles

There's no need to limit your space to solely boho style pieces when you can have fun drawing in elements of other design styles, home Instagrammer Breanna Young notes. "Boho style is known for being warm and vibrant, therefore styles that are typically colder, such as industrial, modern, and Scandinavian make great companions." Young has implemented this tactic in her own Brooklyn apartment. "In my modern industrial loft, I threw in hanging plants, natural textures, copper-toned decor, and a Persian rug in order to make it still feel cozy and relaxed," she shares.

boho style

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4. Holding on to Too Much Clutter

While a boho style space should feel cozy and welcoming, there is such a thing as keeping too many accessories and accents on display. "It’s easy to have a lot of clutter with the boho look," home Instagrammer Ashley Sedelbauer shares. She offers a few tips for those looking to mitigate this issue. "I would recommend the less is more approach and focus on layers. If you see that you have too many layers of items, patterns, or blankets, I would suggest to lessen the load," she comments. "Too much boho can definitely turn into too much of a clutter look fast! 

boho room

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5. Not Incorporating Enough Texture

"One of the most common mistakes when decorating a home with a boho vibe, whether it's colorful and eclectic or neutral and minimal, is not adding enough textures," home Instagrammer Lisa Arslaner says. Why is texture so key? "Textures create depth and dimension in bohemian design and effortlessly shape that cozy, lived in feeling," she explains. Fortunately, there are many ways to easily incorporate texture into one's home. "Layering different fabrics like boucle, linen, velvet, and fur on a couch, adding a shag rug (or even layering a jute and shag rug on top of one another) and adding textured pottery, rattan accents, and dried florals to a shelf are all great ways to diversify textures and liven up a space," Arslaner comments.