February 1, 2016
By Amani Alaali. Amani holds an MA in Design from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK. She is currently an Interior Design lecturer at Al-Ahlia University

The last few years have seen a comeback of retro elements in both the fashion and interior design worlds. This includes the spread of the ’60s style, which is quickly making a comeback. Bohemianism is once again becoming globally popular this season.

In modern usage, the term ‘Bohemian’ is applied to people who live unconventional, usually artistic, lives. The original ‘Bohemians’ were travellers or refugees from central Europe. The word ‘Bohemian’ comes from the French word for ‘gypsy’, and it applies to those who live unconventional lives. Although it embraces a sense of flowing liberty in décor choices and can be associated with eclectic style, Bohemian style is more than that.

 Creating a boho chic living room means creating an absolutely different space as it is your personalised atmosphere. Actually, the best feature of this style is that you can use any art pieces, your own works and mix colours as you wish.


Bohemian style often resembles some cool Eastern interiors – for example Moroccan, so enjoy bright colours and patterns if you like them. If you are looking for something calmer, make a white bohemian interior– it makes it look a little bit more elegant. Wood, fur, different fabrics, patterns and plants–enjoy the variety you may use. Bohemian style typically evokes a picture of travellers, hippies, artists, gypsies and other ‘free spirits’. Individuality is expressed, which means that the style is as diverse as the individuals themselves.

If you enjoy structure and order, you might want to give this style a pass. However if you are inherently drawn to free expression, unconventional displays and colourful collections, this is most definitely the place where your own personal style and aesthetic can shine.

Taking a cue from the world of fashion, interior designers and homeowners are now turning towards this decorating style, which places emphasis on accepting the world around you and delighting in the process of hunting for interesting finds! Of course, the bohemian style has been tweaked considerably to suit the many needs of a contemporary, urban lifestyle. Yet, here are some inspirations of various ways you can create a Bohemian chic style; get inspired!

  • One of the tips is that you need to embrace the handmade. Just as the entire style itself is focused on the sense of unique individuality, handmade items are a perfect component. Really, no two handmade items are alike. Whether the handmade comes in the form of textiles, a sculpture, or an oil painting on the wall, it does not matter. The important thing is that is evokes the feeling of individuality.
  • Go bold. Be it bold furniture or patterns; bring in things that you love! Throw in photos of your family or favourite vacation spots. For daily reminders of your most memorable journeys, you can curate an enchanting collection of far-flung souvenirs. You do not need to edit your life in a Bohemian space – the style itself embraces it all.

  • Blending contemporary chic and bohemian style is obviously the best way forward for many of us who already have a certain theme going around the house. This mix is far easier to achieve than the classic bohemian style and also keeps the interior far more relevant in its appeal. Instead of giving the living room or bedroom a complete makeover, just add a few colourful rugs, some plush ottomans with plenty of pattern and décor that brings together different textures. At times, a smart addition of accent pillows with a Moroccan print and a colourful accent sofa can also add a touch of bohemianism to the room without giving it a drastic overhaul.


  • Mixing intense colours and patterns, with piles of cushions, low-level seating and layered rugs will create an urban living room. Bright colourful throw pillows are great accents in any decor but here they also create the atmosphere of the Moroccan style. Create a vibrant look with patterned or bold throw pillows.

  • Whimsical items such as this reclaimed-wood swing are instant conversation pieces.

  • Add low maintenance  plants. They need very little water and do just fine in low light.

  • Vintage rugs will instantly add the colour, pattern and liveliness that belongs in a boho-style home. Do not be afraid to layer them to cover an entire floor. It does not get much cosier than that!

  • Cover chairs, sofas benches and areas on the floor with cosy vintage sheepskin rugs.

  • Throw in as many textures as possible to a room. The more texture in a room, the better. It does not necessarily have to be overly cluttered, but light reflects differently off different materials and with more textures in a room, it adds a beauty and depth to the overall look that manages to stay casual.


  • Whether it is a pouf on the floor or a low bench with cushions next to a pillow-filled couch, low level seating is inviting. It does not have to be dramatic either. Replace a simple side table with a pouf and it becomes inviting seating when it is not used for an open book.

  • Strip, paint or restrain pieces white and light. Bounce off as much natural light as possible with light, bright woods. Blonde and white provide a neutral, bright background for the colour and texture in the rest of the room.

  • In addition to amplifying textural elements, plants bring colour and intensify a wild, unpredictable, vibrant feel. The Bohemian Chic home blurs the line between inside and outside as much as possible. The Bohemian Chic look concerns itself more with having a good time than it does with being ‘finished’.The right amount of rugged and unfinished furniture transforms a room into a comfortable nesting.

  • The Bohemian chic home often has what people call a ‘Moroccan’ look but it is really not restricted to any one cultural approach. It is whatever you want it to be! Use home decorating to show off all the art collected on your travel adventures. Stack painted art next to sculptures and textiles from around the world in a happy pile. Regardless of where it came from, a collection of artwork is sure to spark conversation.


The sky is the limit, here – think art, books, furniture, fabrics, pillows, sculptures, plants, lamps or whatever else makes you happy. Remember, you are trying to create a cosy space full of life and a sense of the well-travelled, well-lived person. Lastly, if you are going to remember any rule about Bohemian style, remember this: there are no rules. You can certainly dabble in the Bohemian style, but then veer off in ways that make you happy.

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