Decor 101: Bohemian Living Room


As a serial procrastinator, designing a bohemian mood board felt like writing a surprise multiple choices test, where the possibilities were endless and the indecisiveness relentless. After much stalling, I strangely and aptly realized that, true bohemian design is indeed a product of time and patience.It is an organic process that cultivates as you accumulate collections of vintage pieces, stories of family heirlooms and tons of experiences of travel. So, in a nutshell, let it marinate and it will taste heavenly.

The key is to find your inspiration piece/s and then build the look around it. A vintage find, an ancestral heirloom, an antique splurge, a designer piece or a flea market score, anything that has a story to tell will inevitably find it’s way in first. Next, you get experimental with color and patterns, though with a careful and restrained eye. A good rule of thumb, as long as it does not look like a color wheel barfed on your mood board, you will be good.

I have a personal cheat code for decoding bohemian design. The concept of inspiration and the showstopper. The inspiration (for color scheme or patterns) might be a rug or a pillow or a piece of art but the ultimate showstopper (where you apply the inspiration) could be a couch or a bookshelf or a wall treatment, any element which was a blank canvas. Confused..??!! You will see what I am talking about in the rest of the post, as I share some guidelines that can help you go from boho to chic.

Organic Pattern and Textiles

Organic asymmetrical patterns and naturally imperfect textures are the way to go. Vintage, worn and aged textiles look amazing in bohemian decor. Shag or jute rugs, floral patterns or woven accessories add the right kind of whimsy.


Above, the leaf pattern is the inspiration, derived from the surrounding plants and is then applied at a bigger scale on the couch, which gravitates the eye towards it and makes it the center of initial attention. So, Inspiration = Plants, Showstopper = Couch.

Causally Eclectic

Bohemian living rooms seem hard to decode, open to numerous interpretations and comprise of myriad variables because often the elements from other styles are mixed to evolve a bohemian vibe. In the living room below, a primarily black and white Scandinavian minimalist decor is transformed with careful inclusion of some oriental tapestry, kilim pillows and throws, hand painted pottery and a barrage of colors and shapes on the otherwise pristine white couch.


Inspiration = Art + Kilim Pillows, Showstopper = Couch. The pillows on the couch are not just causally thrown in, if you see closely the pink and blue are borrowed from the throw, the green from wall tapestry, the tan from the chair and mustard from the kilim pillows.

Nomads Land

A true self designed bohemian living room will showcase your nomadic spirit with all the little treasures you have collected on your travels. A Moroccan rug, Tibetan wall tapestry, a Nordic throw or an African wood carving will come together to liven up the space and your memories.

Jungalow | Justina Blakeney

Inspiration = Travel, Showstopper = All Textiles and/or Couch

Quirky Furniture

Adding distinct furniture, specially woven and carved pieces, will bring in handmade uniqueness to any boho look and increase the quirk factor. Peacock chairs are my new furniture crush that I have been stalking and gawking mercilessly. Look look, how pretty…..!!!

The Color Theory

Bohemian design does not shy away from saturated hues, it actually utilizes adjacent color combinations on the color wheel like blue-pink, pink-red, orange-red, orange-yellow to augment the boho factor. The various shades of pink and blue in the picture below are a testimony to that.


Inspiration = Rug and/or Art with Tree, Showstopper = Gallery Wall + Sideboard Vignette.


Layering up those textiles, rugs and art will definitely up the ante in bohemian decor, as it creates leveled interest in every nook and cranny. It has to be done carefully though, layering can get easily overwhelming.


Inspiration = Rugs, Showstopper = Wall treatment of layered textiles

 Hyphenated – Boho 

Combining another design style with bohemian decor might be the most ingenious way of bringing controlled eclecticism in your space. Scandi-boho, industrial-boho, vintage-boho or mid century-boho are everywhere, google away to check out these amazing fusion decor styles. The living room below, carefully combines vintage and industrial furniture pieces in a black and tan color scheme with bohemian regulars like layered art, hammock chair and a Persian rug. 

☆ lovelylife:

Inspiration = Furniture, Showstopper = Rug + Styling over the Rug


If you are a little color shy, it is possible to achieve a boho look in monochrome. Just use different patterns and textures in the same color palate with intricate pieces to add interest. Like the living space below, has that ornate pendant lamp and the beautiful patterned floor offsetting minimally adorned walls and furniture with a subtle balance of grey and white.

Inspiring Bohemain Living Room Designs:

Inspiration = White Grey Color Palate, Showstopper = Floor + Ceiling

Enough with the theory, let’s move on to the demo. I created this mood board/ product board using the decor cheat sheet from above. I went for an Earthy-boho look and mixed carved furniture (bookshelf, console table) with more natural pieces (side table, coffee table) while keeping the color palate limited to blues, pinks and beige with tiny splashes of yellows, reds and greens. I layered up two rugs one in organic sisal pattern and a woven dhurrie as textured textiles and chose wall art with framed fabrics, macrame tapestry and himmeli inspired animal sculpture to add a more eclectic vibe.


  Inspiration = Multi Color Accent Chair, Showstopper = Wall or Couch

Oh boy!! I went crazy with cushion choices in this mood board. I feel bohemian decor always has a very strong cushion game and putting them in endless combinations can be either fun or give you a serious designer’s block. To spare you some headache, I am also sharing some paring options for all the featured cushions. Just keep the scale and type of pattern (geometric, floral, paisley or kilim) varied and handpick the final favorites.


I kept catching the multiple-choices-bug all the time through this post and let that creep into my rug choices too. There are some graphic heavy and subtle options that might suit this color palate as well. So, I made a GIF to show you other possibilities and let you decide your own perfect boho pick.


Hand Tufted Kilim Rug | Indigo Loha Rug

Here are the links to the products used in creating this mood board. Happy decorating…


1.Zufolo-Spring Spectrum Wall Art | 2. Zufolo-3 Doors Wall Art | 3. Zufolo-Floral Pattern Wall Art | 4. Macrame Wall Hanging | 5. Zufolo-Indigo Earth Cushion | 6. Nappa Dori Pink Tray | 7. Moratarra Indigo Cushion Cover | 8. Indelust Ombre Cushion Cover | 9. Wicker Willow Square Lamp Shade | 10. Planet Decor-Clara Sofa in Beige | 11. Indelust-Prakrit Red Eucalyptus Stool | 12. Bohemiana Cher Bookshelf | 13. Not Available | 14. Nautical Rope Floor Lamp | 15. Aurea Plant Container | 16. Zufolo-Abstract Wood Bowl | 17. Bohemiana Chantay Console Table | 18. Gulmohar Lane-Bali Armchair | 19. Indelust Hand Kantha Cushion Cover | 20. Embroidered Blue and Orange Cushion Cover | 21. Gulmohar Lane Geometric Peaks | 22. Indelust White Grid Cushion Cover | 23. Bohemiana Crimson Bench | 24. Madhubani Terracota Pots | 25. Peacock Chair | 26. Indelust-Prakrit Mahogany Coffee Table | 27. Safomasi-Blue Crane Dhurrie | 28. Imperial Knots Jute Rug


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