If you think Boho means a bright ethnic blanket and macrame wall hanging, well, you’d be right. But those elements are just the tip of the proverbial boho-iceberg. Boho is much more than just bright colors, mixed styles, and macrame, and this week on the site we are breaking it all down and showing you how to get the look in your own home.
As part of our ongoing series breaking down all Interior Design Styles, today we’re sharing our insight on Boho style and its roots. (Trust us, they go deeper than what you are seeing all over your instagram feed and in stores).
Boho (short for Bohemian) design as we know it today is all about mixing together elements from lots of different styles, locations and cultures. From tropical to exotic to desert, it’s about creating a layered and eclectic space that doesn’t play by any design rules. It’s the most unconventional and freeform design style, and therefore boho spaces are as diverse as the elements that inspire them.
We’ll start by giving you the low down on the history of the “Boho Style” (don’t worry it’s brief!) and the visual elements that define it. It’s going to be a big design filled week for us here on the site, so be sure to check back every day this week for more info and our picks for Boho furniture, lighting, accessories and textiles.
A BRIEF BOHO HISTORY
Boho began not as a style at all, but as a way to describe people. “Bohemian” was originally a term given to the Roma community from central Europe. The name took on a new connotation in 19th Century France, where Bohemians were a class of artists and writers who lead free, unconventional lives and dressed in loose-fitting and threadbare clothing. Creativity and beauty were the most important ideals for Bohemians. Sounds like quite the lifestyle choice, right?
The design style as we know it today really developed in the 1960s and 70s, when interior designers started embracing laid back and worldly elements, incorporating natural materials, fiber art, bright colors and tapestries in their designs. And just like that, Boho design took off everywhere from Los Angeles to London, Marrakech to Paris.
Boho is all about a confluence of lots of different styles. From Moroccan and Middle Eastern elements, like brass lanterns, ceramics and low slung furniture to tribal and ethnic textiles and pillows in a multitude of prints and patterns. Nature also plays a major part, with woven baskets, carved wood furniture and lighting made from natural fibers. Colors can range from earthy tones like beige, rust and brown to jewel tones and bright, saturated reds, greens and yellows. It’s really all about a collected mix with LOTS of layers and items coming together to form a relaxed, bright, and inviting design style. It’s playful, it’s vibrant and it’s always fun.
When creating a boho interior, it’s important to keep in mind the people and stories behind the objects you use. Acknowledging and crediting the creators and cultural traditions behind the art and textiles you love shows your appreciation and respect for others, without appropriating their work.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Well, this week we are breaking down every single aspect of Boho. So come back tomorrow for an introduction to boho furniture and our favorite pieces to get the look in your own home. And in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite books that are filled with Boho inspiration.
Let us know if you have any questions and we will see you back here tomorrow to dive into furniture.