Top 5 Ways to Create a Boho Chic Home

Nowadays, in relation to style, "boho" is a term used to define things that are unconventional and artistic; however, it helps to understand the roots of Bohemian style in order to pull off the look in your home.  

You've heard the word "boho," but what does it mean?  Boho is actually short for the French word bohémien, meaning gypsies, termed after a particular group of people who traveled from Bohemia, a region in the Czech Republic.  The word later morphed to include any...MORE artist, writer, actor or musician who was often poor and led a nomadic lifestyle, traveling quite a bit throughout major European cities.  A more recent hotbed for boho culture existed in Greenwich Village in New York City during the 1950s, otherwise known as the beat generation, which eventually gave way to the hippy culture of the 1960s and 70s.   

Aesthetically, today's boho chic look is eclectic, but with an emphasis on ethnic and vintage pieces from the 1950s, '60s and '70s.  Here are the top 5 ways to embrace boho chic style in your home.

  • 01 of 06

    Mix Patterns and Colors with Abandon

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    Eclectic Mix of Pillows. Courtesy of HomeGoods

    There is a foolproof formula for mixing and matching throw pillows like a pro; but, when it comes to creating a boho chic space, all rules go out the window.  Bright colors and lots of patterns such as florals and paisleys mixed with ethnic patterns like tribal prints and geometric patterns are a hallmark of boho chic style. 

    Throw a boho mix of pillows and throws on a bed or boring sofa for a layer of extra comfort and eclectic energy.

  • 02 of 06

    Use Natural and Rustic Finishes

    boho chic style
    Boho Chic Dining Room. Digs Digs

    The hippy influence on boho chic style results in an infusion of accessories that utilize natural or raw materials such as hemp, sisal, wood, and rattan.  Think woven wall decor, macrame plant hangers, a sisal area rug, or a leather footstool.  Although natural textures are key, don't let that stop you from throwing in a metallic Buddha or metal floor lamp for a little shine.

  • 03 of 06

    Add Global Accents

    boho chic global accents
    Boho Chic Global Accents. via Tuvalu

    Given that boho culture has a history of celebrating wandering artists, home accessories that have a global feel are important in a boho chic space.  Items like Buddha statues, Moroccan lanterns, Indian tribal prints, and Ming-style vases and urns all achieve a global look.  If you travel to far-flung locales, look for beautiful souvenirs that can help you achieve an ethnic-eclectic feel in your home; but, if you don't have that luxury, shop at import stores or retailers like Pier 1 and World...MORE Market for global accents.

  • 04 of 06

    Use Vintage Pieces

    boho dining room
    Boho Dining Room. Sunset

    Like any eclectic space, boho chic rooms utilize vintage pieces.  But rather than American primitive pieces or rustic flea market finds, this style focuses more on mid-century modern accessories as well as anything reminiscent of the hippy culture of the 1960s and '70s.  For example, a mid-century arc lamp mixed with a tribal print rug and a gallery wall of magazine covers from the 1970s achieve boho chic perfection.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Go Casual

    boho chic living space
    Boho Chic Living Space. via Apartment Therapy

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep it casual.  Boho chic spaces are not fussy.  Think floor cushions and poufs; piles of pillows or a comfy area rug; and spaces that encourage conversation, reading, and listening to music or playing games rather than watching TV or hosting formal dinner parties.

  • 06 of 06

    Put an Emphasis on Culture

    stack of books by chair
    Stack of Books by Chair. Martin Poole / DigitalVision / Getty Images

    No boho chic space would be complete without a mixture of art and books in it. In fact, beatniks back-in-the-day likely owned way more books than they did clothing, furniture, or other material possessions. If this decorating style appeals to you, you probably already value the arts. Boho-chic style gives you a license to pile art books on the coffee table, frame album covers as wall art, or hang an eclectic collection of art prints on a gallery wall that stretches floor to ceiling.