What Is Bohemian Design Style? Origins, Elements, And Inspiration
Bohemian design style originated in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic and represents freedom, self-expression, and a rejection of societal convention. It evolved from artistic movements such as the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau, along with the hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s. The style is characterised by a refined and sophisticated approach to bold colours, patterns, natural materials, and layering decor to create an eclectic vibe.
Sustainable and second-hand items are important elements of the style, making it both stylish and environmentally friendly. Bohemian style can be adapted to suit any age and lifestyle while encouraging creativity and self-expression.
The History of Bohemian Design Style
The cultural roots of the Bohemian style
The Bohemian design style has its roots in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, from which its name is derived. This style is heavily influenced by the Gypsy culture of the region and is characterised by its colourful, eclectic, and carefree aesthetic. It developed as a reaction against the stringent and repressive norms of the time and represented freedom, self-expression, and a rejection of societal convention.
The influence of artistic movements on the Bohemian style
The Bohemian style found a significant influence in several prominent artistic movements, including the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, and the hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s. The Arts and Crafts movement emphasised handcrafted items and natural materials, which appealed to Bohemian sensibilities.
On the other hand, Art Nouveau was a reaction against industrialisation and featured curving lines, intricate patterns, and decorative motifs. This movement embraced the Bohemian aesthetic and emphasised peace, love, and harmony.
How the style has transformed over the years
Over the years, the Bohemian style has evolved and adapted to changing tastes and trends. Today, the style is characterised by a more refined and sophisticated aesthetic, but it still features bold colours, patterns, and natural materials.
The focus is on creating a cosy and inviting space that reflects one's personality and style. Bohemian style has also found its way into fashion, with flowing skirts, fringed accessories, and vintage-inspired pieces.
💡KEY TAKEAWAY: The Bohemian design style is deeply rooted in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic and represents freedom, self-expression, and a rejection of societal convention. Today, the Bohemian aesthetic is characterised by a more refined and sophisticated approach, but it still features bold colours, patterns, and natural materials that create a cosy and inviting space.
Elements of Bohemian Design Style
Vibrant colour palettes and patterns
Bohemian interiors are all about vibrant colour palettes and bold patterns. Don't be afraid to mix and match colours and create a playful, eclectic feel in your space. Think warm, earthy tones like rust, mustard, and sage green mixed with jewel tones like deep blue and amethyst.
And when it comes to patterns, the more the merrier! Geometric shapes, stripes, florals, and animal prints can all work together to create a beautiful, boho vibe.
Mixing textures and fabrics
Another key element of Bohemian design is the mixing of textures and fabrics. Don't be afraid to blend materials like wool, jute, silk, and cotton to create a cosy, layered feel in your space. You can also incorporate natural materials like rattan, bamboo, and wicker to add a touch of Bohemian flair.
Layering decor to create an eclectic look
Finally, to truly capture the eclectic, Bohemian feel, layering is key. Don't be afraid to go overboard with decor like rugs, throws, and pillows. Mix and match vintage and modern pieces to create a space that's uniquely your own. The key is to have fun with it and let your creativity run wild!
💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Bohemian design is all about vibrant colours, bold patterns, a mix of textures and fabrics, and layering decor to create an eclectic vibe. Don't be afraid to play with different colours and patterns, blend textures and materials, and layer decor to create a space that's truly unique and reflects your personal style.
Inspiration for Bohemian Design Style
The natural world and sustainable materials
Central to the Bohemian design's ethos is the idea of embracing the natural world and using sustainable materials whenever possible. Think of handcrafted textiles, handwoven baskets, reclaimed wood furniture, and organic materials like cotton, wool, and jute. When it comes to colour palettes, earthy tones like sage, rust, and terracotta are popular among Bohemian designers.
Recycle, reuse, and repurpose items to create a one-of-a-kind look that's both stylish and environmentally friendly.
Second-hand and vintage items
Another key source of inspiration for the Bohemian design style is second-hand and vintage objects. Head to your local thrift store or flea market to find unique pieces that speak to your personal style - think vintage suitcases, Moroccan lanterns, or Indian tapestries. Pair these with more modern pieces to create a layered, eclectic look that's both playful and sophisticated.
Global cultural influences and travel
Finally, the Bohemian design is heavily influenced by global cultural artefacts, textiles, and traditions. Look to exotic locales for inspiration, and incorporate elements like Turkish kilim rugs, Mexican pottery, and Indian block-printed textiles into your home. Use travel as an opportunity to collect unique items that bring a sense of adventure and story to your living space.
💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Bohemian design style draws inspiration from the natural world, vintage items, and global cultural influences, making use of sustainable materials and colourful layers to create a playful and eclectic look.
How to Incorporate Bohemian Style at Home
Starting with a neutral base
Choose a neutral colour for your walls or floors, such as white or beige, to set the tone for the rest of the décor. This will allow the textures and patterns to pop, without overwhelming the space.
Layering and combining textures and patterns
Layering and combining textures and patterns is key to achieving a Bohemian style. Mix and match different fabrics, rugs, and textiles to create a cosy and eclectic look. Incorporate vintage pieces, like a colourful kilim rug, and mix them with a modern geometric design. Mix patterns like florals, geometrics, and stripes, but choose fabrics in coordinating colour palettes.
Adding greenery and natural elements
Adding greenery and natural elements is an essential aspect of Bohemian décor. Fill your space with plants, succulents, and other greenery to bring a sense of calm and tranquillity. Choose woven baskets or rattan furniture to create a natural and organic vibe in your space.
💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Incorporating Bohemian style at home involves starting with a neutral base, mixing and matching textures and patterns, and adding greenery and natural elements.
Debunking Bohemian Design Style Misconceptions
It's not just for ‘hippies’
Bohemian design style is all about mixing and matching different colours, textures, and patterns to create a unique and personalised space. It's a free-spirited style that encourages creativity and self-expression. While it's true that Bohemian design style has roots in the counterculture movement of the 60s and 70s, it has evolved into a more sophisticated and refined aesthetic today.
It can suit any age and lifestyle
Contrary to popular belief, the Bohemian design style isn't just for young people or those with alternative lifestyles. It can be adapted to suit any age or lifestyle, from families with children to retirees. The key to making Bohemian design style work for you is to choose pieces that reflect your personality and taste, whether that means incorporating bold colours and patterns or opting for a more muted and subtle look.
It can be practical for everyday living.
Another common misconception about the Bohemian design style is that it's impractical and only suitable for showrooms or photo shoots. However, this isn't the case at all. Bohemian design style can be incredibly practical for everyday living, whether you're looking for comfortable seating options, functional storage solutions, or durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear.
💡KEY TAKEAWAY: Bohemian design style isn't just for hippies or young people – it's a versatile and practical aesthetic that can be adapted to suit any age and lifestyle. By embracing the mix-and-match approach to colour, texture, and pattern, you can create a unique and personalised space that reflects your personality and taste.
Miss Amara has a team of expert stylists who are dedicated to helping you find the perfect rug that perfectly encapsulates your unique style and vision.