3 Tips to Transform Your Space into a Bohemian Retreat

bohemian room

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Bohemian style is anything but ordinary.

The term “bohemian” comes from the French word “bohemien,” which referred to travelers. Traditionally, someone classified as bohemian was nontraditional, artistic or creative, and incorporated global styles.

Bohemian décor is still a bit unconventional, but it’s also on trend. Retailers like Anthropologie, Target and Urban Outfitters are selling these pieces like hotcakes! From fringe pillows to macramé wall hangings, boho and global styles are taking over stores, magazines and homes across the country.

Want to jump on the bohemian bandwagon but not sure where to start? Try these tips from interior design professionals.

Getting Cozy

Ana Cummings, designer at ANA Interiors, defines bohemian style as “décor based on artisanal and crafted items, accompanied by jungle chic.”

She often uses elements like woven baskets, hand-knit chunky blankets, macramé planters and wall hangings, greenery, cacti and large leafy motifs to bring a bohemian style to life.

These warm and natural elements lend themselves to a cozy, homey feel. This could be part of the reason we’ve seen a surge in boho décor recently: People want a warm cozy place they can relax after a long, hard day at work.

To enhance that cozy feel, add some candles and Persian or patchwork rugs to make your space feel even more homey. When selecting candle scents, try to stick to the more natural scents or ones that use essential oils. Smell is a powerful sense and can totally transform how you perceive a space. Choosing scents that complement your bohemian style will add to the overall natural and cozy feel.

Keep It Natural

Natural elements are big in bohemian décor. Utilize natural textiles like linen, cotton and wool in your upholstered furniture and rugs.

When looking at non-upholstered furniture, and even things like dinnerware, stay away from plastics. Instead, choose natural elements like wood, bamboo, marble, slate and ceramics.

Erin Perez of Bodhi Beach, a bohemian home décor retailer, loves bringing natural elements in with plants.

“Contrast plants by varying the size, shape and texture. Use a few large potted palms or a tall cactus to anchor the room,” suggests Perez. “You can also incorporate feathery ferns with a spiky cactus or succulent blooms in pots and planters of varying heights.”

If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of house plants that are easy to take care of. If you’re still not up for the maintenance, there are some good quality faux plants available – though Perez has some words of wisdom for those.

“Always keep faux greenery placed up higher or in a hanging planter so it’s out of reach,” says Perez. “My rule of thumb: If you can touch it, it should be real.”

Go Global

“Bohemian décor is an intensely individual style that’s born from a variety of different trends but owes most of its success to hippy and global styles,” says Perez.

Think of these global elements as mixing in items that feel like you got them on a trip abroad – items like ornate carved wood elements, hand-woven art or rugs and brass accent pieces. Some of Perez’s favorite are Navajo textiles, Thai woodwork and African Tikar masks.

Cummings also notes the global influences in bohemian décor.

“The trends I am seeing in bohemian décor are shag rugs, poufs and lots of relaxed pillows that lend to a Moroccan Kasbah feeling,” says Cummings. “Motifs from Mexico or Aboriginal patterns also work really well in bohemian designs.”

These patterns and styles are easy to find at stores like World Market, but if you want something a little more authentic without the cost of an overseas airline ticket, try your local flea market, antique stores or thrift store. You may be able to find some unique pieces.

Get the Look

Feeling inspired? Get the bohemian look with these 10 boho finds:

collage image with bohemian decor items

  1. Ojai Fringed Wall Art
  2. Gray Dorsa Area Rug
  3. Indra Wooden Platform Daybed
  4. Earthenware Small Cream/Red Vase
  5. Ikram Design Round Moroccan Leather Pouf
  6. Aldalora Throw Blanket
  7. Adesso Gala Arc Floor Lamp
  8. Scallop Arch Candle Holder Gold
  9. Espresso Papasan Stool Frame
  10. Amira Carved Wood Nightstand