With just the right amount of Bohemian flavour, you can transform your home into a boho-chic themed heaven.
Bohemian decor is a timeless explosion of textures, colours and patterns. It’s cosy, warm and welcoming – which explains why it never seems to go out of style. This particular design category celebrates individuality and is richly artistic, inspired by the travelling gypsies of the Central-Eastern Europe region of Bohemia.
Broadly speaking, there are no rules when it comes to creating a Bohemian home, but there are some general concepts and tips that will help you achieve the look you’re going for. To incorporate Bohemian decor with Malaysian centric furniture and interior is a lot easier than you think, as traditional as we use batik motifs and rattan to decorate our home.
1. Fill every space
In contrast to the increasingly popular trend of minimalism, the Bohemian style is best captured when every nook and cranny is filled. Stack your shelves with books and souvenirs from your travels, drape your tables with patterned fabrics, hang up mirrors and colourful art on your walls, and layer your floors with different rugs.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about matching anything because it’s not supposed to! The goal here is to create a sort of explosion of your life experiences and personality in your living space. Don’t be afraid to show off your life.
2. Incorporate handmade items
Part of the Bohemian charm is the celebration of the unique which you can easily highlight by incorporating handmade items. Put up a macramé wall hanging, get some knitted throw pillows, and give old terracotta planters a new, colourful life. Beaded embellishments and gnarly driftwood accent pieces will imbue an Eastern European boho essence.
3. Soften the lighting
When you think ‘Bohemian’, think romantic lighting. Change your light bulbs from a cool white to a warm, orange glow and throw a sheer scarf over some lamps to soften up the atmosphere and create a calm, serene mood. For a Moroccan Bohemian vibe, invest in some lanterns that you can randomly place atop flat surfaces or hang from the ceiling.
4. Mix and not-match
A prevailing characteristic of the Bohemian style is the coming together of patterns and textures. Think retro 60s and 70s – that’s when the loud and colourful gypsy Bohemian style adapted into the Western interior design scene. Use a kaleidoscope patterned scarf as a curtain, put a chunky crocheted throw pillow with tassels on rattan chair, pair geometric patterns with florals.
5. Feature nature
Part of the nomadic gypsy life that Bohemian style draws inspiration from is the affinity to nature. Greenery is a great way to bring some relief and brightness to a colourful and packed Bohemian-inspired space. Strategically placed near windows and on shelves, a bright and leafy potted plant will break up the busyness of the textures and patterns by bringing some order to the chaos. Look for plants with lots of big green leaves and creeping tendrils. Fresh if best, of course, but realistic faux plants work just as well.
Bonus tip: Try Scandinavian Boho-chic
If the full-on Bohemian style doesn’t appeal to the Malaysian in you but you still want that warm, cosy feeling, you can always opt for something less ‘cluttered’ with a carefully curated mix of two styles: Bohemian and minimalism. To achieve this, you simply add a couple of handmade, nature-inspired accent pieces into a mostly minimalistic-styled house such as a lone macramé wall hanging, a large piece of driftwood, and a macramé plant hanger. Keep the colours muted and you’re good to go.
Written by Kathleen Fernandez | Edited by Mira Soyza