Bohemian Decorating Ideas – How to Begin
Who doesn’t like collecting things that they truly love? The operative word here is “truly”…because not all things that we collect truly resonate with us. But that is a discussion about choice and organization…and an idea for another post.
Here’s what I mean – I love dandelions. Always have, always will…because for me, they represent legacy, family, beauty and resilience. These flowers are not weeds to me…and they carry not only this metaphoric connection, but also trigger great memories of my childhood in rural Wisconsin. So much that I wrote a children’s book about it…(stay tuned for more on that). Anyway, seek out the things that warm your soul.
For some, surrounding ourselves with meaningful curios infuses joy and purpose in our lives – for others, it can feel like random clutter…so Bohemian decor is probably not for those folks. It just depends on who you are! It is your space…so if you’re looking for some bohemian decorating ideas, and a strategy to achieve this look, read on!
You May Already Be Boho
Bohemian is global, yet very personal. It speaks of self-expression and adventure. As I mentioned in an earlier post, other international or ethnic styles are sisters. For instance, if you’re a fan of Southwestern, or say, Moroccan styles…you might relate to Boho. It can be an eclectic and even peculiar mix of travel, experiences, textural items and fabrics, colorful things, memories and meaningful symbolism.
Where do you start? When you shop, what are you drawn to? What colors or fabrics? Nothing is off the table, here…anything from fringe, to velvet, to metallics to feathers…really! Not like you’re going to reupholster your couch in pink velvet…but who am I to stop you? Maybe that would be PERFECT!
Take stock of what you already have…chances are, you acquired it for a reason. Make a list and observe what you enjoy. (I always like lists, because my brain goes a mile-a-minute and listing helps me focus!). List the following in a notebook as categories and jot down some personal responses and preferences to each. This will become your “Bohemian Journal”:
- Textural items and fabrics
- Colorful things
- Meaningful symbolism
Then, get on Pinterest and do a search for each of these, saving them to a new board called “Bohemian Journal”. I like to assemble ideas virtually before taking physical action on my projects. It helps channel the flow of ideas and control the budget. Or if you’re more tactile, start an interior decorating style board.
Bohemian Decor – Keywords and Ideas
Beginning research is not difficult with the internet at your disposal. I’ve attached some Boho ideas and keywords to use when embarking on your inspirational journey.
Textiles: Wovens, crochet, macrame, fringe, lace, linen, cotton, velvet, leather, tassels, tapestries, sheers, jute
Ideas for textiles: Jute or textural/woven rugs, white lace sheers, velvet throws, beadwork ottomans, macrame wall hangings or plant hangers, crocheted pillows with tassels.
Elements: Green plants, rocks, gemstones, silver, other metallics (e.g. pewter or copper), wood, crystals, feathers, flowers, beadwork, hand-painted, colored glass
Ideas for elements: Hand-painted rocks, bead curtains, indoor plants, crystal or gemstone collectibles, driftwood pieces, beaded or metallic lanterns, floral or botanical prints, vintage furniture (hand-painted also)
Themes: Nature, ethnic, spiritual, astrological, handmade
Ideas for themes: Anything organic, woven items (crochet, etc) with natural fibers, ethnic wooden sculptures or pieces, plants and flowers, terrariums, astrological collectibles
Patterns: Carving, ethnic, global, mandala, mosaic, wovens, crochet, macrame
Ideas for Patterns: Mosaic or stone-topped furniture, carved or vintage woods, ethnic prints or symbols, woven rugs or colorful tapestries, fabrics with lacy, beaded or intricate weaves
Colors: jewel-tones, natural, earthy hues
Ideas for colors: In my opinion, the best Bohemian rooms have a grounding in natural earthy hues like browns, ecrus…(e.g. furniture), with the colors infused in the textiles, artwork and accessories; the largest/most colorful is the focal point of the room. Use this guide to bring a bit more harmony and strategy to your project.
Connect With People Who Share Your Interests
Expose your mind to inspiration from multiple sources. Open a Google+ account and join like-minded communities. Continue to research, looking at photos of accessories and completed design projects. Take note of textures, looks, furniture, color and fabric combinations that speak to you and have this list with you when you go to garage sales, swap meets, local estate sales, and flea markets. Look for ideas on upcycling (more on this in a future post!). Seek out the eclectic and interesting. If that’s what you are, and that’s what you enjoy…then go after it!
What items are meaningful to you? Do you collect and enjoy these things? Are you connected with your Boho spirit? Share your stories in the comments below…I’d love to hear from you!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”