Most people think the Bohemian style implies an unprecedented attitude against materialism and capitalism while hugging trees. This cannot be further from the truth. Bohemian cultural tastes employ a variety of materialistic elements and jewel tones that brighten up the home while still providing character. Since this style is a jumble of contradicting design elements, you’ll find it challenging to nitpick through major characteristics. Below, we’ve compiled an extensive list of what you can do, what elements you should use, and which half should dominate the palette. Let’s take a look:
Sleek vs. Textured
The biggest contrast between the modern and bohemian styles is that the former is all sleek lines and clean aesthetics while the latter is all about visual clutter and a ton of texture. Therefore, the biggest concern when you’re introducing the Modern Bohemian style is how to balance these juxtaposing ideas.
Since you need to feature the highlighting elements of both styles, it’s best if the undertone of modernism takes center stage in such interior designs. Once you have a base palette, you can easily overlay and accent it with a number of textured bohemian design elements. However, it’s important that the modern aspects be just as prominent as the bold bohemian ones.
A good way to combine both would be to have the base material as sleek while the accessorization can be textured. For example, the floor finishes can be clean and the area rug can have a boho-chic texture. Similarly, the wall finishes can be sleek while the décor and hangings can be boldly textured. You can also include a mid-century planter for additional flair.
The material palette of the Modern Bohemian is another study in contradictions. The modern end of this style is all about featuring neutral and understated materials such as sleek, light-hued wood, plain white walls, chic grey accents, understated concrete textures, etc.
The Bohemian side of the material palette also has a neutral base, but it is more texture-oriented. For example, sisal, jute, and hemp are the materials that take focus. A wooden floor with a herringbone pattern can make this style totally unique. Just choose warm, cozy, slightly distressed and earthy materials to reinforce the boho-chic palette. They’re then accented with bold and colorful accents to complete the look.
The combined effect of the Modern Bohemian style can be achieved by merging the best of both material palettes. The smartest way you can do that is by creating visual harmony between the two. For example, sleek vinyl floors can be patterned out in the boho-chic herringbone style. Raw concrete accents can be paired with naturally cozy sisal or jute for the best harmonization. You can pick furniture that utilizes various materials and textures, such as the classic Wishbone Chair. The final look can be accentuated with bold highlights to complete the look.
Neutral vs. Colorful
The color palette used in the Modern Bohemian style is more apparently contradicting than the material scheme. On the whole, you simply need to create a rhythm between the neutral and bold shades to get the best impact.
You can do that by creating a base layer out of natural colors like brown, taupe, white, etc. They are essentially the backdrop and you’ll need to stick with the cool, dark, and muted colors on the neutral palette to make this work. Then comes the accentuation and you can have a lot of fun with it. You can pick floor cushions, accent chair fabrics, throws, paintings, art, and accessories in bright, vibrant hues and place them strategically over the neutral hued base. This is one of the best ways to articulate your Modern Bohemian color scheme.
Clean furniture vs. Vintage accents
The clear juxtaposition of the furniture selection in the Modern Bohemian interior design theme is challenging to accomplish. The clearest way to do is by choosing all the big stuff (i.e., the statement furniture pieces like the sofa, dining table, etc.) to be stylishly modern while the accent pieces (like the coffee table, end table, wing chair, etc.) be bohemian. There’s a distinctly apparent use of mid-century modern furniture in this interior design theme. From stylish sideboards to leather-clad sofas and eclectic accent chairs, you can easily furnish such spaces by browsing through some major mid-century furniture outlets. Doing so would elevate the combined aesthetic of this theme.
Modern Bohemian is all about mixing and matching, but since the bold parts always have a more apparent presence, you need to highlight the understated, chic, modern elements by using them in a much bigger ratio than the bolder ones. This is why all the large furniture elements are modern while the smaller accent pieces are vintage boho-chic.
Retro vs. Minimalist
The Modern Bohemian theme is an artful combination of retro vs. minimalist possibilities. This means that all the décor, furnishing, and accessorizing that takes place in this theme must be an amalgamation of these two aesthetics.
As always, the minimalist part is relegated to the backdrop so that you can have a clear, concise, and sophisticated canvas to highlight your carefully curated and strategically placed retro findings, be it an artwork, a mid-century planter, or something else entirely.
Lush green nature
Plants are a great way to bring a bit more bohemian style into any space, particularly some of the more 1970s reminiscent ones such as ferns or succulents. Speaking of succulents, terrariums are also a fun option. They work in almost any glass container, and you can easily make one yourself.Another thing that both the modern and bohemian styles individually agree on is the avid use of nature in interior designs. While modernism is more subtle and understated about it, the boho-chic style likes to be bold with its connection with nature.Your Modern Bohemian interior designs have to be a careful combination of both, in order to promise the best looks.
You can create a great visual harmony between plans and your Modern Bohemian by bridging the distance between outdoors and indoors through oversized picture windows that provide a nice view of the front yard, an indoor patio, etc. Of course, you also need to be literal about emulating plants within the Modern Bohemian ambiance. The best way to do so is by placing a large statement planter in a focused area of your interior design. You can also feature a cluster of tiny indoor planters on top of the coffee table or other central surface. You can also go with a single hanging indoor planter vine for a more artistic effect.
Plain vs. Pattern
Once again, the sheer contradiction between the modern and bohemian styles takes center stage in this point. While the former is very simple and only uses textures, the latter is all about eclectic patterns. So, how exactly can you merge the two? Easy: by creating an equilibrium between the plain and patterned surfaces. As a general rule, it’s best to remember that the patterned items should be only used and introduced in small amounts because even a tiny bit of them can overwhelm the plain surfaces.
So, for two patterned floor cushions, the area rug, floor, and backdrop furniture has to be plain for the Modern Bohemian theme to come across well. Similarly, a single patterned wall hanging or statement art is able to balance an otherwise neutral themed interior in full force. It’s important to use moderation in this regard, or you’ll end up disturbing the balance of your ambiance.
Metal and wood accents
If there are two materials that the modern and bohemian style can agree on, they’re metal and wood. However, you should only use them in an accent capacity. If you use them in large-scale installations, you’ll up undermining the importance of the modern end of this theme.
So, for a successful Modern Bohemian look, you need to figure out how to emulate metal and wood accents throughout your interior design. If you need some examples or inspiration, here are some ideas. Distressed wood accent furniture like coffee and end tables always make a huge impact. A wicker bench can also double as a small coffee table or extra seating. Metal rimmed decorative mirrors are a great way to successfully accent such interior designs with a sleek, sophisticated look. You can also find unique metal accessories and feature them on a small wooden bookcase or cabinet to combine these two finishes!
Clean white backdrop
It’s imperative to understand that the only way to highlight the modern part of the Modern Bohemian aesthetic is by ensuring that your interior designs have clean white walls. This is not only because this color is like a blank canvas that can make all the bohemian aspects pop out beautifully.
The main reason actually is that a clean white backdrop is the most obvious way that you can reinforce the modernist style in this hybrid theme. If you choose any other color – even from the neutral palette – it’s going to end up enhancing the cluttery look of the bohemian side instead of balancing it out. With a white backdrop, you’ll end up with a austere and minimalist look that the bohemian side of the palette can feed off of.
Bohemian Décor and Furniture
This might sound a bit outlandish, but sometimes your furniture speaks to you. We are not saying that it will tell you where it wants to go or how it should be colored, but each piece of furniture has an appeal to certain people. For instance, you might prefer furniture with clean edges or a minimalist design. Or you may like Moroccan-themed ones with intricate patterns. Either way, a certain style will always appeal to you. Go with it.
Bohemian décor is all about finding what makes you feel comfortable, therefore, if a second-hand piece of furniture calls out to you, then get it. You can also choose to incorporate personal DIY touches to customize the piece. Since the Boho décor is somewhat inclined towards comfort, you can install chaises and poufs around the bohemian living room. A low coffee table, some throw pillows, and some table cloths with layering might pull together your design ideas effortlessly.
When it comes to lighting, the Bohemian style is more inclined towards grounded materials rather than overhead lighting. This is an opportunity to purchase some exquisite table lamps with hand-crafted designs or learn how to create DIY sconces with beautiful patterns and reflective work. Not only do these lighting ideas generate shadowy effects in your living space, but they also create a 19th-century rustic feel in your home.
You can place these table or floor lamps to brighten up the focal points of your interior design or use sweet-smelling candles and earthen lamps for a cozier, country-side Boho chic look.
A Statement Wall Hanging
Macrame and weaving are having a big moment right now, and these pieces fit in perfectly with the boho decor scheme.
Bohemian style is all about mixing colors, patterns and textures, and a bold Turkish or Moroccan overdyed rug is the perfect embodiment of this. Again, you can choose to go vintage or go with a more updated interpretation of this style, but choose a rug that will help anchor your space and bring all the elements of this style together.
Vintage or vintage-inspired throws, blankets, bedspreads and even larger pieces of fabric are all great options for bringing some additional texture and warmth to your space. Having a variety of linens will also give you the option to switch things up and change the look of your space. Try to find pieces, like Kantha quilts, with varying textures and materials to help create a more collected look, and use them as throws at the end of your bed or over the back of a chair.
A uniquely shaped mirror, or one that incorporates interesting etchings or carvings, is another boho must-have.Try grouping several vintage mirrors together for even more impact. Bonus points if you find a mirror with shelves that you can use to showcase other decorative items.