I once asked Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan to define her sense of style and she said “boho chic”. While this is a term one mainly associates with people’s sense of fashion, today, there is a trend towards creating that kind of a feel in homes as well.
Your home can reflect your attitude as, after all, it is an extension of your personality. Priya Vasudevan, owner of Collage Shop India explains: “Boho chic is way of life. It is loving non-fussy, but tasteful things, which have great aesthetic value, appeal and sensibility.”
Creating a stylish bohemian home means putting together a crazy mix of various elements like rugs, wallpapers and a little bit of modern art in a fun and colourful manner.
“The recipe for the perfect boho style is a pinch of indie and a dash of gypsy, followed by a sprinkling of free-spirited nature and a topping of plenty of charm. You can go for an eclectic scheme that adds a lot of positive vibrancy in your living space; however, make sure your decor doesn’t overpower chic. Let your decor tell a tale,” says Vishakha Singh, founder and CEO, Redpolka.com.
“The first and the most important aspect of adding a boho chic element to your home decor is to think out of the box — something unique that embraces exotic fabrics, abundance of greenery, antiques, knick-knacks, plants and handmade collectibles,” says Thomas, COO, EVOK.
There are plenty of other ways too, to bring bohemia into your personal space. “The easiest way to turn your bedroom into a breathtaking bohemian retreat is to create an artistic atmosphere using bold hues, pretty patterns, organic elements and vintage furniture,” says Sneha Samtani, founder and lifestyle designer, Sneha Samtani Interior Design.
Do it right
There is only one rule to follow – there are no rules. “Natural fibres, wood, linen, cotton and splashes of colour are must-haves. A big couch made of wood or a comfortable armchair with canework is a classical element for Boho decoration. Any element or accessory that is unconventional is bohemian. “Though there are no set rules for a bohemian decor, it’s also important to be sure of what you’re doing”, says Sanjiv Mehra, founder of Trivie Interiors. According to Shruti Choudhari, principal architect, Chrysalis Design Studio, “Colourful, patterned glass lights and paper lanterns can be used to add bohemia to an outdoor space. Ikat prints of different kinds in the same setting can be used as rugs, cushions and table linen.”
Nimrita Genomal, co-founder, Eazelly.com advices, “Playing with soft furnishings and linings is the simplest way to get the boho chic feel in a space — patchworked rugs, colourful cushion covers, an eye catching throw, bright curtains, cotton table cloths etc.
Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colours, if you like it use it.” Seek local inspiration. As Sheetal Srivastava, manager, home textiles team, XSTOK.com, says: “Bedsheets inspired by Gujarati or Rajasthani culture are bright and patterned and sometimes also have glasswork, thereby giving out a bohemian feel.”
A simple window treatment can be given a boho look by using valances instead of curtains. “Valances with scalloped Indian prints, even on the shawl kind of fabric, looks great. Sheer curtains are a casual way to add the bohemian look too,” says Vaibhav Jain, CEO, Deco Window. Mansi and Suhani Mahajan from House of Kapaali add, “Use a lot of fairy lights to ignite your inner hippie. Hit the Sunday flea market and grab accent lights, quirky decor pieces and vintage posters. Find yourself an old pedestal fan or re-rope in a good-old-charpoy.”
Creating a stylish bohemian home means a little bit of eclectic and a little bit of modern, but always colourful. “Natural elements, such as big potted plants, fabric wall hangings, wooden surfaces and vibrant colours such as turmeric yellow, magenta, teal, cobalt blue, forest green etc., are some of the tricks to give a bohemian feel to a home,” says Pummy Kaur, Solitairian Group.
Experiment with dreamy textiles and adopt a calming Buddha or elephant figurine for your bookshelf or bedside table. “With free-spirited bohemian furnishings, your home will be as unique as you are. Adding a bit of texture with woven planters and pouffes and brightening things up with white credenzas and rug help,” says Abhishek Kathuria, co-founder, Marigold Furnishers.
Take a risk with colours, there is no such thing as a wrong colour. Hues of purple and pink are great to bring in that bohemian feel — they could be in forms of rugs, bedspreads, feathers or cushions. You can put together random art pieces, mix vintage with contemporary and colours with patterns. Floor tiles and wall tiles also play a very important role.
“Brick walls and a wallpaper can go very well and can add a favourable ambience to a bohemian-style room. With colourful prints on the bed and up the wall, this expression of art is perfect and can quickly turn a room into a hippie haven,” avers Monika Doshi, creative director, Anna Simona. If you’re designing a bohemian room, mismatched furniture are definitely your best friends.
“Shop at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales for distinct vintage pieces – coffee tables, chests, shelves or sideboards – that can later be reborn, repainted or just left with their original wear and tear,” says Aditya Gupta, founder, The Furniture Republic.
You can also give a shot at some stunning DIYs (Do It Yourself, for the lesser informed) methods. “For instance, you can change the look of an old mirror you have, by turning it into a fantastic showpiece with a little tint, a cloth and vintage jewellery pieces.
Not only this, you can make your own see-through patchwork curtains with just doily and handkerchiefs,” says Saahil Goel, co-founder and CEO, Kraftly.
Deepak Whorra, director and creative head, Episode, adds, “Products in the natural brass/country look casual and yet, are reflective of the concept of boho chic.”
While boho is a quintessentially diverse style and can be created in a variety of ways, do not for one moment think of it as random pieces thrown into a room in a haphazard fashion. Srishti Kapur, owner, Floral Art, advices, “While at first glance it may appear that bohemian designs are all about abundance and mismatching stuff, somehow there’s this miraculous synergy that holds a boho room together.
Making the whole look seem effortless, yet well-balanced, might be a challenge that calls for a good deal of imagination and flair for creativity. Minnie Bhatt, design director, Minnie Bhatt Design, opines, “To ensure the space comes together nicely, it is important not to go overboard with the theme. Some simple and plainer pieces of furniture are required to balance the bohemian style elements.”
Sonali Arora, founder and owner at Tresorie adds, “Maintaining the core of your interior space and just layering it with elements like, say, a few Moroccan patterned colourful cushions, an antique metal decorative jug, that odd stool picked up at the flea market should do the trick of adding the right zing of the carefree spirit. But don’t overdo the theme, or it might turn into a visual mess.” So, get set go – here is to a bohemian home!