What is modern boho style?
Modern boho interiors take the best of the colourful, characterful bohemian style, and marry it with a more pared back, neutral look. The trend is all about personality and texture, but without going into maximalist territory.
How to get the modern boho look
Start with the boho part. Boho or bohemian style is all about expressing the different facets of your personality, and combining them to create a look that is truly unique. Bold colours, unusual textures, eclectic artwork, mismatched prints, motifs and patterns are all a key part of the look.
Then it’s time to make it modern. The beauty of modern boho decorating is that, far from diluting the bohemian aspect, the modern elements make them sing. A neutral-coloured wall makes vibrant furnishings pop; sleek metal hardware adds a welcome contrast to softer textures. Open spaces make the most of elaborate furniture and beautiful details, rather than crowding them on top of each other.
The elements of bohemian style
What’s great about bohemian style is that there are very few rules. It’s all about mixing and matching the things that you love, whether or not they conform to conventional design rules. It’s also a very easy look to achieve with accessories and soft furnishings, without having to change up any larger pieces of furniture. (If you are planning to get new pieces, vintage is definitely the way to go.)
Modern boho style is great for people who love playing with colour and materials. Bold jewel tones like deep greens, pinks, oranges and purples are bohemian staples – make them contemporary with warm neutrals and natural materials like rattan, sisal and jute. Add dramatic flair with wallpaper, statement curtains or lighting.
It’s all about comfort (and textiles)
No harsh lines. No purely decorative chairs. Everything in a modern boho home should be cosy and slightly lived-in. Classic bohemian elements are vintage rugs, huge tapestry floor cushions and fringey curtains – take what appeals to you and works for your home, and leave what you don’t like. Fabrics should be soft, inviting and not at all precious – we love a brushed cotton for this look, or a washable velvet for extra sheen.
Soft furnishings like cushions, throws, table cloths and runners are perfect for achieving the look. Go for a mix of motifs, prints and textile textures, mixing in handmade elements like knit, crochet, tapestry, embroidery and tassels for extra sensory details.
An easy way to update existing furniture to tie in with a boho design scheme is through the judicious use of textiles. Add cushions to soften the look of dining chairs; try table runners or tablecloths to update tables and surfaces. You can give a sofa an instant new look with a slipcover in a complementary new shade. You’d be surprised how much a pink sofa lifts the room!
Keep it balanced with neutrals
Balance is key here, to avoid sensory overwhelm – you want your favourite pieces to sing, not drown each other out. If you’re worried that a white wall is too harsh, look to earthy tones, browny-pinks or even warm greys to give the eye somewhere to rest.
Use a mix of colourful items and neutrals to zone your living room, so that different areas are distinct. Rugs are a great way of visually separating your lounging area from your dining area, for instance, even if you still want to maintain an open-plan space.
Lighting is key
Keep lighting soft and warm. (Something I often think about: Troye Sivan’s ‘warm soup of light’ in his Architectural Digest home tour.) (Now there’s a modern boho house.)
Add lamps, lanterns and candles to your lighting set-up. These fulfil a dual function – not only do they soften harsh overhead light, they also act as decorative objects. Elaborate lamp shades also work well to soften overhead light, as do chandeliers. Yes, you can have a chandelier if you want one.
If you’re worried about the safety or environmental impact of candles, imitation candles create the same flickering effect and last much longer.
You can never have too many plants
Plants are an essential part of any bohemian home, modern or not. Greenery adds brightness and life to a home, can soften dingy corners and tie together disparate looks. If you’re not confident you can keep plants alive, try these low-maintenance varieties. Or feel free to go faux – Hilton Carter’s collection for Target has some of the chicest faux plants we’ve ever seen.
Take your first step towards a modern boho home by exploring our range of beautiful, vibrant slipcovers! Try out our premium fabrics in the comfort of your own home by ordering samples right to your door.