inspiration4 min read

Interior trends: what is the boho chic decor style?

Beige Boho Living Room with white furnishings

WordsMegan Lambert

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We’ve written a lot about boho home decor style in the past—it’s one of our favourite interior trends. From your boho bedrooms to boho living rooms, we love seeing how you style this colourful and eclectic trend in your homes. But something we’ve seen a lot of from our decorating community is more muted tones, a more boho-chic aesthetic if you will. And if you’re currently wondering, “what on earth is the difference?” read on.

What is the boho-chic decor style?

It’s important to differentiate between the two. Originating in 19th century Paris, boho home decor was popularised in the sixties and seventies. It was a subculture trend, a culmination of worldly possessions collected over the years—travel trinkets from the hippie trail. Think of boho home decor as the parent to the boho-chic decor trend. It was rule-breaking, it was steeped in nostalgia, it was here first.

Of course, the two share several of the same basic principles: textured fabrics, natural materials, and indoor plants, but the boho-chic decor trend, on the other hand, is more pared-back, muted, and modern. Yes, it requires a little more curation than its predecessor, but it’s no less self-expressive. In fact, from Malibu and Byron Bay to the Balearics, this much-loved, laidback look has found a home in many a coastal home.

Key characteristics of the boho chic decor style

White paint colours on walls

As opposed to the rich boho paint colours, boho-chic is a less saturated version of its predecessor. Its colour palette is whites or neutrals as a backdrop. Think breezy Ibizan fincas or coastal Californian living. That’s not to say it’s boring. What it lacks in colour, it makes up for with a curated, textured, and layered look.

Neutral coloured furnishings

In a boho-chic home, you want your furnishing to replicate the colours of the natural world. So when choosing a sofa or bedspread, for example, go for terracottas, browns or beiges if you’re looking for a bit of colour. Otherwise, you can stick to white neutral and make sure you amp up the texture with natural finishes like wool, shearling or jute. Take a look at our guide to understanding the different neutral colour palettes for a more in-depth explanation of the colours you should be looking for.

Beige Boho Living Room with white furnishings

Natural woods and exposed wooden floors

Wood is a great way to inject colour and texture into your decor, not to mention bringing a bit of the natural world in. In a boho-chic home, go for organic shapes like a live edge coffee or side table. Teak is a really popular choice, or there’s always rattan. In fact, the boho-chic decor trend and rattan are a match made in boho heaven. From peacock thrones to headboards, side tables to plant stands, if you can imagine it, you can probably find it in rattan. 

Exposed wood floorboards are also a big part of the boho-chic decor trend and can be paired with an enormous, shaggy rug for contrast. This will add some softness to the room, make it feel warmer, and give you something to sink your toes into.

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