Design + Decor, Design Styles

Boho Chic: A Design Guide

“Blessed are the gypsies, the makers of music, the artists and writers, dreamers of dreams, wanderers and vagabonds, the children and the misfits: for they teach us to see the world through beautiful eyes.”  — Unknown


Bohemian or “Boho Chic” is another of this year’s trending design styles, and I’m a big fan. Derived from the French word for “gypsy,” “Bohemian” refers to those who live unconventional lives…think artists, writers and musicians. And Boho Chic design embraces the ideals of those who dance to the beat of a different drummer. It’s carefree and relaxed, throws caution to the wind and is multi-cultural. This style works with a neutral palette, black and white or a riot of color. Boho Chic is creative but tasteful. It’s all about mixing and layering colors and patterns to create visual interest.

And it works well in any room in the house. It’s as comfortable in the dining room as it is in the bedroom; works equally well in a front entry or kitchen and would make any lower level teen hangout the place to be. But I especially like this look as a “flop on the couch amidst a plethora of pillows” living room. This would most definitely be the style for my beach home or summer cottage.

The Bohemian design style is definitely not for the faint of heart or for those who enjoy minimalism. More is more is more with Boho Chic. The look is definitely indulgent maximalism.

Ready to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with this creative, casual chic style? Here’s how to bring out your inner gypsy and add a little Bohemian Rhapsody to your home.


Bold, bright colors instantly come to mind when we think of Bohemian décor. Jewel tones, such as deep reds, greens, blues, oranges, purples and pinks are obvious choices. Notice all the pattern mixing and global influences in these rooms, too. Wools, velvets, cottons and silks play nicely together and botanical elements, such as live plants, flowers and natural woods are all typical of this eclectic style. And of course, pillows! Lots and lots of pillows!

DID YOU KNOW? At Marcia Moore Design, we love ALL design styles. Check out our portfolio.

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Mixing and matching really defines Boho Chic. The dining room in the first photo is a perfect example. An array of disparate chairs, some painted silver, some natural wood and two comfy upholstered host and hostess chairs surround a rustic table. Colorful patterned Suzani fabric ties the different styles together and is just the pop of color this otherwise neutral room needs.

DID YOU KNOW? Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative textile, either printed or woven, that is based on ethnic motifs from countries such as Indonesia and Uzbekistan. Suzanis were traditionally made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry and were presented to the groom on their wedding day.

Shocking pink is a dramatic backdrop for the fabulous foyer in the second photo. This entry pushes all the Boho Chic buttons: the patterned globally-inspired rug and striped stair runner, the mix of furniture styles, the eclectic art. I’m loving every single “over the top” bit of it.

Summer Thornton Design


DID YOU KNOW? Juju hats, like the ones hanging on the walls in the photos below are often found in Bohemian interiors. Traditionally worn by the royal families and chiefs of Cameroon’s Bamileke, Tikar and Babanki tribes as ceremonial headdresses, juju hats are crafted of dyed chicken feathers, hand sewn to reeds by village artisans and represent a bird’s ability to touch the heavens.

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Some bohemian interiors trade the bright and bold colors for dark and moody hues.

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And some love pops of pastels. Notice the fringed hammock (fringe is big in boho chic style) and Moroccan (so is global) leather poufs in these rooms. Lots of green plants, a mix of furniture styles and eclectic art, too.

DID YOU KNOW? Fringe was originally used on furniture as a way to keep textiles from unraveling. From Victorian lampshades to hippy dippy 1960s curtains, fringe, a design staple from years past is reemerging in both fashion and décor. Hammocks are also quite the craze these days, and their appeal is more than just aesthetic. A study conducted by a team of Swiss researchers has found that a swinging motion synchronizes brain waves, allowing people to drift off faster into a deeper state of sleep. Their results also support the tradition of rocking children to sleep. Kinda cool, huh?

Want to go boho but can’t handle the all the color? Not to worry! Boho Chic has a quiet side, too. Check out these soft, neutral, laid-back spaces that still rock the boho vibe.

The entryway in the first photo is a great example of understated boho. I’m loving the giant pom poms on that throw, the patterned rug, live green plant and simple slatted wooden bench. The oversized gold framed circular mirror is unexpected and pretty amazing.

The second photo shows Boho Chic done in monochromatic tones of gray and taupe. The big silver pendants are amazing, aren’t they? Texture is king here. Loving those fur pillows and sparkly throw. Moroccan style lanterns, a low rustic table and a collection of white candles are the perfect finishing touches. Oh, and there’s that green plant peeking into the picture, too.

DID YOU KNOW? There is a thin line between Moroccan and Bohemian styles. While both embrace pattern and color, Moroccan is a period style that tends to be darker and heavier in feel and has a Moorish influence. Bohemian décor has a lighter vibe and a bit more whimsical, with botanical elements and mixed design styles playing a big part.


These neutral spaces are a bit more modern in feel. Note all the natural elements.

And these spaces are just right in black and white. In the first photo, a heavy tapestry serves as a “headboard” and a petite carved wooden chair is used as a nightstand.

Bedrooms are a great place to go boho.

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And so are kitchens.

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Okay, so who out there has the hutzpah for this style? If a Bohemian Rhapsody is striking a chord with you, please give me a call at 314.395.1114 or CLICK HERE to contact me. I’m dying to do a Boho Chic home!

You can also CLICK HERE to check out our portfolio and CLICK HERE to see what other people have to say about Marcia Moore Design.

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