Bohemian is becoming one of the most popular interior design styles for apartments in Portugal. Like a bohemian lifestyle, it should reflect a kind of “no worries” and carefree lifestyle.
The first rule of bohemian design is:
There are no rules!
The only rules are the one your heart tells you!
So, what should be included or excluded in a Bohemian Home?
Why choose a bohemian decoration style
If you like homes full of life, interesting items from all over the world, mixing cultures and styles and a carefree attitude, then bohemian is the way to go. It flies in the face of modern sensibilities and embraces the relaxed and the unusual.
There is a backbone to bohemian-style rooms with certain similarities features. But there can’t be two bohemian homes completely alike. So, by choosing a Boho interior design you can truly create a unique, charismatic and big personality style.
Where to start to create a Bohemian home
First, let’s start with what you should never do when decorating a Bohemian House:
Bohemian is all about living the moment and doing what you feel. So, use that mood to give that look to your house. Better, have fun!, like we did when we rebuilt and decorate our Cozzy Boho Vibe apartment in Lisbon.
Bohemian homes may include vintage furniture and light fixtures. But it can also have some high-end tech or avant-garde design object mingled with an old sentimental piece.
When creating our Bohemian apartments we had lots of fun. We browsed flea markets, like Feira da Ladra, where we found displays of collections and all different kind of items.
From our travels, we bring two things: Inspiration and random stuff. We buy decorations items or furniture just because we like. Then we use them in our houses. If that piece has a completely opposite look from our western culture, the better.
What colours are Bohemian
When it comes to Bohemian decorating, yet warm earthy colours are quite common, as are metallic, you can choose whatever you want. Better than that: choose whatever you feel.
Remember the first rule of Bohemian style? So just use your gut!
In case you’re not feeling it at the moment here are some pointers to start you up.
- Think brown, terra cotta, gold and other colours in that family.
- For tapestries and art go with jewel tones like saturated purple, fiery orange and electric blue.
- Go warm. Boho is not only what you feel but what makes you feel. Who does not want to feel warm in their hearts?
- Mix lots of patterns to give a more contrasty look
- Don’t be afraid to use colours that wouldn’t necessarily go together in a conventional way.
- Hang tapestries and area rugs on the wall to blend those colours.
What decorative materials are Bohemian
Like colours, you can’t go wrong mixing and matching materials in a Bohemian style of decoration. Try to use more natural materials like burlap and sisal and don’t be afraid to mix them with silk and cashmere. If the materials look slightly worn, not shiny and new, you reached a Boho climax. But do not use or abuse of damaged materials. We want to give it a bohemian style, not a dump look.
To go the extra mile, you can fringe everything, from lampshades to pillows.
Where can I buy Bohemian Furniture
We’ll buy everything at Ikea! That’s the best way to go in the opposite direction of a Bohemian style. Also, you can’t just go to an old store and buy all of your furniture there.
Bohemian is about feelings. The best Bohemian designed rooms have their furniture collected over a long period of time in different locations of the globe.
Of course, you can have a brand new Ikea piece, but try mixing it with second hand and vintage items. Unlike so many other interior design styles, shapes and sizes aren’t important. So, go big and then go small: a small sofa and a big hammock in the living room.
The more important thing is the story that each piece tells you and those who visit you, no matter what it looks like.
If someone walks into your room and tells you where you bought your furniture, sell it all and start again. And next time, remember to have more fun and trust your instinct more.
Where to find Bohemian accessories
Accessories to a bohemian house are more than a material item that looks good or is very functional. Bohemian accessories have a soul and memories attached to it. They tell a story and have an emotional connection to the house and the owner.
You should feel the personality of the person who lives there, or decorated the room, just by looking at its accessories:
- Old rattan boxes to place magazines,
- vintage beer bottles that you kept just because you got drunk in Sri Lanka,
- old maps you bought for that South America trip that never happened
- mismatched china you got from both your grandmothers
… and the list goes on when figuring out what accessories you can use.
So the items in a bohemian room must have been collected from the world over, or at least they should look like it. And keep in mind that just because it can look too offbeat it doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous.
Just take the drippy crystal chandeliers and ornate gold mirrors out of the closets and put them to use.
The second rule of bohemian style is that every item in the room should tell a story.
Having rules about not having rules and other rules that are supposed to be broken is so Bohemian.
Bohemian style by house division
Bohemian Living Room
If you already have some decoration in your living room, do go for a complete makeover. Start by adding a few colourful items, like Indian pillows or an African design rug. You never go wrong with an Ottoman lamp or a vintage old chair. Remember that mixing different textures provides the so needed contrast. This way you can give it a splash of bohemianism without going full monty with a drastic overhaul.
Bohemian is about the using and reusing materials that were build for something else.
For example, in our Cozzy Boho Apartment in Lisbon, we use transport pallets to create a Cozzy and comfy sofa. We mixed the style with a simple a minimalist white aluminium cabinet, under the TV.
Bohemian Sleeping Room
First up, it’s all about the basics:
The use of pallets to create a base for the bed not only will make your room look uniquely stunning from the very first step it will automatically show the bohemian mood.
If you add an exotic, softly coloured, patterned rug like the one we used in our Bairro Alto Apartment, your bohemian sleeping room starts taking shape.
Secondly, it’s all about bohemian furniture to really get your room feeling like it’s travelled the world.
An arabesque, middle Eastern inspired wooden chair used as a bedside table tells a great story and gives lots of personality to the room. It gives that hint of culture and the “I don’t care attitude”:
“I couldn’t find a nice bedside table so I used the first thing that I thought of was this old middle eastern chair that I bought in Lebanon”. – So cool!
If you want to go all the way, throw in a door that you kept from the last house renovation against the wall, as a painting.
To really make the room feel like it’s been around the world, place a mandala pillow in the middle of the bed.
Complete the accessory layer with a large, sunburst mirror. Or, even better, place a large size mirror in the corner.
Usually, a Kitchen is all about practicality. You need something more for a Boho kitchen. You can use that old tile floor that clashes with the new wall tiles. You can have plants there, especially aromatic herbs that you can use in your food.
Don’t forget that vintage or vintage look-a-like appliances. A Smeg fridge near that old kitchen table will look great.
Hang old advertising posters on the wall and, just for kicks, place an old coffee pot on the stove even if it hasn’t seen coffee in years.
If you’re a fan of the Bohemian look in other parts of the house, you should extend it to the bathroom as well.
There are no rules, right? So your bathroom doesn’t have to be 100% sleek and shiny. This doesn’t mean it can be dirty!, so don’t confuse Boho with filthiness.
You can mix a different kind of tiles or even better: combine wood, concrete, tile and panelling to have the best effect. Use heavy brocade curtains and Persian rugs in the bathroom, but just make sure they’re out of the splash zone.
Moroccan lanterns, boldly patterned towels and plants give that eclectic Bohemian look, the easy style and comfortable feel. Use bold
colours and, very important, unusual and unexpected elements. A vintage bathtub in the middle of the bathroom creates a unique personal space.
Bohemian style is eclectic. It can have an ultra-glam coffee table paired with transport pallets sofa. It’s mixing a dining table with a mid-century chair and a new cheap bench.
To bring the Bohemian style to life just have fun and laissez-faire attitude. Remember, everything will be perfect as long as you love it.