Photo credit: all interior photographs on this page are used with the permission of Brandi via her Instagram feed @the.hectic.eclectic | Please note that this post contains affiliate links
Boho interiors are downright beautiful. Vibrant colours, busy patterns and natural textures make it a style that embraces a nomadic, free-spirited side of our personalities - a far cry from the structured and rule driven styles of classic or mid-century interiors, for example.
And, they're pretty cool too. After all, you couldn't go far without finding someone who hasn't got a boho-themed board of some sort on Pinterest, and there's a good reason all those cool girls look like boho fairies when they're attending festivals, right?!
So, I'm all for the layering and the 'more is more' attitude a boho interior requires. I spoke to Brandi (@the.hectic.eclectic) - the proud owner of one of the most gorgeous boho homes I've ever seen - to find out what she thinks you need to make a boho home.
So, if you're up for going boho, here are the key things Brandi (and I) think you'll need if you want to nail the look in your home...
Boho interiors look the most rich and permanent when they're underpinned by some long-lasting pieces with plenty of history. An old coffee table, an antique chest of drawers or even just some vintage ceramics will help to give some gravitas to your space and feel a bit like 'solid roots' while the rest of your room is more interchangeable and carefree. Mix up various woods and natural textures if you want to have fun with it.
Plenty of pattern
Tribal, Moroccan, folk - there are so many patterns to draw inspiration from right the way across the world, and the great thing with boho interiors is that you can have it all if you want.
The key is just to pick out the boldest, most eye-catching pattern, then sandwich it between slightly more subdued patterns or neutrals. Play with it and be prepared to 'edit' your space. But if this sounds too much like hard work, then be guided by the rule of thirds:
- 1/3rd bright, bold and beautiful patterns
- 1/3rd subdued, mellow and 'less obvious' patterns
- 1/3rd plain or neutral
Or - throw the rule book out. Play with pattern and see if you surprise yourself with how much you love the clash. Brandi says "I like ramping it up with some vintage textiles like Moroccan rugs, vintage kilims and African mud cloths" - so see if you do too.
It probably goes without saying, but boho just doesn't look right unless you're fully embracing mother earth - which means introducing living, breathing greenery into your space.
"Introduce nature" says Brandi, "...whether that be indoor plants, wooden planters or even natural timber furniture. They can all give you that boho, rustic feel".
So, begin by treating yourself to some indoor plants and let them do some of the heavy lifting on the interior design front - a huge leafy plant can draw the eye upwards to create the illusion of a higher ceiling, and a trailing plant down a bookcase will lend texture, interest and depth to your room that you perhaps wouldn't otherwise have.
A mix of high & low
The great thing about boho interiors is that there are often so many places for the eye to settle in a room. Like the kind of buffet, you want to keep digging into. So step it up a gear by remembering to diversify the height of your furniture too.
Low sofas and beds look fabulous with a ginormous piece of art or tye-dye hung above it, while low coffee tables are practically begging for a squishy beanbag or pile of cushions on the floor. Or how about delighting your kids by suspending a hammock from the ceiling?
The great thing about mixing high & low is that isn't so much a rule as something that will inevitably happen if you're embracing the eclectic, free-spirited, 'anything goes' attitude boho interiors require. Snapping up second hand furniture and being guided by what you love (rather than what 'works') will inevitably mean you end up introducing furniture and accessories of varying heights.
The right mindset
Finally, for all that there are key pieces of furniture and particular accessories that can help to achieve the boho look, boho interiors really are about having the right state of mind than anything else. It's all about being creative, being bold enough to show your passions, and throwing caution to the wind about interior design rules and fashionable trends for things like minimalism.
"The best thing about boho" says Brandi "is that it's so diverse. Think traveller, think free spirit and think gypsies. Think about creating a home that is a reflection of you".
Ultimately, if you're going to go boho, you need to be driven by what you like. Take influence from the cultures you've learned about let where you've travelled to steer your choices of colour, pattern and texture.
If you think you could get on board with the boho look, check out Brandi's hashtag on Instagram: #MacrameMakesIt
Other great hashtags for inspiration include #ShowMeYourBoho and #FiddleFigsFriday - but there are plenty more to unearth if you spend some time on Instagram.
Thank you so much for your expert advice, Brandi! And for letting me show off your incredibly gorgeous home - I'm off to buy a Moroccan rug and a ton of plants now...
p.s If you liked this 'everything you need to know' post about boho interiors, check out this post on mid-century interiors.
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Thanks for the help, I am in the process of converting to the “Boho look” from a more traditional look and appreciating all the advice. 🥰