The 5 Basic Elements of Boho Style

24 March
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I love the bohemian home decor style that is becoming so popular, it just feels right to me. It combines vintage and new, different styles such as country and mid-century modern, different eras from early 1900's to 1960's and beyond, and colors and textures with reckless abandon!

It is impulsive, natural and unconstrained, uninhibited and shameless... and I love that!

The dictionary definition of bohemian is a person (often a writer or artist) who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. And when we apply that to home decor... well, it's just a beautiful thing and perfect for someone like me who loves all different decor styles and likes to change things up almost daily!

With the bohemian style, you can go all out in a maximalist fashion with every wall covered with eclectic art and collectibles, rich, dark colors, textures and patterns.

Or you can go more minimalist and neutral with rich textures and statement pieces.

Really, anything goes! And as my blog tagline states... it's your home, don't be afraid to color outside the lines!

I'm sure you've seen some beautiful bohemian homes, one of my favorites is Justina Blakeney's home, find her blog here: The Jungalow. But like me, maybe you're having a hard time figuring out how to get that look at times... it seems like it should be easy right?... just throw a bunch of shit you love together and voila!! Um no... at least not for me! If only!!

To be honest, I still haven't nailed the exact look I'm after so to help (both you and me), I did a little observing and studying (Pinterest style 😁) and I have put together a little guide of five basic elements every boho home has in common... these things can be incorporated in great volumes or small doses, to help get the boho vibe!

I recently finished my bedroom makeover and I do love the look I've achieved in that room but the rest of my home is a work in progress!

The five basic elements of every good bohemian home as I see it are plants, macrame, blankets/throws/pillows, string lights, and rugs!

1. Plants

Every bohemian home you see has plants, lots of plants! Not only do they look awesome but they have health benefits as well. They help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being and isn’t that what the boho style (both in home décor and clothing) all about… a stress-free, carefree life?

Not only that, but I just read that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that our indoor environments are anywhere from 2 to 5 times more toxic than our outdoor environments and sometimes have been found to be up to 100 times more polluted(1)

What?! No Bueno!!

But guess what one of the ways to reduce these indoor toxins is? Yep, house plants!

Plants improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide levels, increasing humidity, reducing pollutant levels, reducing airborne dust, and helping keep temperatures down(2)!

2. Macramé

Macramé is another staple in the bohemian style. I found it interesting to learn that it originates from a 13th Century Arabic weavers’ word “Migrama” which means “Fringe”. The decorative fringes were used on camels and horses to help keep the flies off them in the hot desert(3). I think a lot of people assume is started in the hippie 1970’s era, I know I did!

The Macramé that you see in today’s Bohemian home is purely decorative. It adds warmth, visual interest, and texture to a room.

I am drooling over the macrame wall hangings at The Dope Rope😍!

Source: The Dope Rope
And you'll need a few plant hangers for all those plants you'll be getting! These from Teddy and Wool are beautiful!

Source: Teddy and Wool
Or how about an awesome hanging chair from Ateliertricot?!

Source: Ateliertricot
3. Blankets, Throws, and Pillows

Layering is big in bohemian style and blankets, throws, and pillows (Oh My! ... sorry, I couldn't resist!) all add additional layers and interest to your décor. You’ll notice throws and blankets layered over furniture, either in slip cover fashion or just draped over the back or arm and LOTS of pillows!

Check out this couch from Christina (@meneses5).

Source: @meneses5
Or this bed from Sara (@sadies_lovely_life).

Source: @sadies_lovely_life
And how about this couch styled by Mandi at Vintage Revivals. Be sure to check out the living room makeover she did too, it's awesome!

Source: Vintage Revivals
4. String Lights

Another staple in every bohemian home is string lighting. Just an inexpensive strand of white Christmas lights draped in a room does the trick! Here they have used a combination of larger lights and fairy lights.

Source: Urban Outfitters
Or how about creating something like this with globe string lights and "found" tiny shades?

Source: BrittaNickel
5. Rugs

Another addition to the layering discussed above. Throw rugs and area rugs are your best friends when trying to get the laid back, casual style of a bohemian home. Put them on top of hardwood floors, tile, linoleum, even carpeted floors. Better yet put two or three of them layered over the top of each other like this example from Gravity Home.

Source: Gravity Home
Layering rugs is also a perfect solution for rugs that are too small for the area. Layer 2 or 3 and you have the feel of a large rug but with added interest and texture! Or when you love more than one rug and can’t make up your mind (that's me!)

So there you have it, the five basic elements to get the boho vibe in your home... plants, macrame, blankets/throws/pillows, string lights, and rugs.

You can see from the examples I've shown here that I lean toward a more monochromatic boho style with lots of textures and layers but there are a lot of beautiful examples full of color as well. Here are a couple more colorful examples I love.

Source: The Wishing Trees
Source: The Jungalow


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  1. I would like to congratulate the work presented on the site besides helping us give us great ideas thank you very much.

  2. Amanda WallaceMarch 25, 2017

    Amazing post! Thank you for the information. I have always felt like a décor misfit because I never had the current style in my home. I have always had the boho style, yet without realizing it. Now I am finally hip, woop woop!

  3. Yay! I love this style, it's perfect for misfits like you and I :o) I have tried over the years to decorate with the trending style but it just never felt completely ME, I'm glad now that this style has become trending but even when it isn't I think it'll still be me.


  4. Amazing! Love the Mini shades with the globe lights, however visited that sight and no How-to's, Question, do you know how the globe lights are attached inside the mini shades >? Thanks for any info you can provide

  5. Hi Geri! Yah, I know there weren't any instructions but still gotta give the original source credit you know? :o)

    I actually think that one in the picture was made using a bunch of pendant light kits bundled together but I thought using a string of lights with the larger bulbs or round globes would work just as well. Like these:

    I'm not exactly sure how you would attach the shade now that I think about it, since they usually clip onto the bulb... it would be upside down... hmmm... now I'm on a mission to make this work! Once I figure that part out, it could be hung draped like you usually hang those kinds of lights or bunched up all together similar to the one in the inspiration picture.

    I'm kind of just thinking out loud here... I gotta try this!


  6. Loved this post--especially all the plants and the cute lampshades lights! Guess I'm bohemian after all. Thanks for all the good information too.

  7. Thanks Vikki! There are just so many different ways with the bohemian style like I said... extreme maximal, minimalist, etc.

  8. Marion CollinsMarch 25, 2017

    So lovely and elegant.

  9. Aren't they though?! Thank you for stopping by Marion!



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