4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

Have you come across Contemporary Bohemian Style?  I would hazard a guess that the majority of us have introduced a little bit of Bohemian style into our homes without even realising it.  Remember there are no new ideas, just reinvented ones.  I am happy to say though that these are usually improved upon versions.  The hippy days of the late 60s and early 70s are back with a vengeance.  Combi vans are much sought after and are being lovingly restored and the idea of taking life at a slower and happier rate is all the rage.

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What is Contemporary Bohemian Style?

You only need to put Boho style into a search engine and you will see gorgeous fashion that is individual and relaxed.  I just hope though that the power days of the 80s with their shoulder pads are not going to follow!

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image – Amber Interior Design

Looking at Bohemian  interiors, you see a vast range of styles from beautiful Moroccan inspired schemes that are bursting with colour and pattern, interiors that are inspired by the gorgeous rich and colourful textiles of the Sub Continent.  There is a Mexican flavour too, depending upon the part of the world you happen to be in.

I have noticed lately though that Boho style is getting a makeover and although the beautiful flashes of colour are still apparent, the look is a little more pared back.  I call this Contemporary Bohemian Style.

4 key elements to get this look in your home

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image – Harpers Bazaar

Contemporary Bohemian Furniture

A Bohemian style interior is not complete without a statement piece of Mid-Century style furniture. This could be a sideboard, dining table and chairs or even just some accent pieces – a coffee and side table.  I partner these with comfortable contemporary sofas and non-matching occasional chairs and incorporate relaxed style items like floor cushions, rattan stools and foot rests.

Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image: April & Oak

The right colours

This is an essential ingredient in a Bohemian style scheme.  The thing about contemporary Bohemian interiors is that you introduce colour from cushions, rugs, kilims and artworks but you pare it back slightly.  Rather than the full on jumble of colour that a traditional Boho style commands, a modern version relies more on varying levels of white.  In fact pretty similar to Scandi style.  These two really do crossover and I often find that people like both and often start with a Scandi look but add interesting pieces to make it more of a Bohemian look.

Contemporary Bohemian colour palette

You need rugs

Rugs in one form or another are also an essential for a Bohemian style.  The more traditional look with strong colour and pattern works really well but you can also rely on simple geometric patterns and textured rugs to make an impact.  The main point is to avoid traditional wall to wall carpets as this really doesn't suit this style.  I've noticed a recent trend of layering rugs with a large simple rug filling the space and a smaller accent rug on top.  This is a great idea to bring interest to a scheme, particularly if you are using a lot of white as these looks rely heavily on layers of texture for their success.

The finishing touches

The finishing touch though really brings this all together and a contemporary Bohemian style would not be complete without some greenery, preferably in large rattan baskets or in braided macramé ceiling hangers.  You should include some interesting artefacts collected from your travels, beautiful vintage colourful porcelain and pottery and of course, the ubiquitous guitar.  Even if you don't play, pick one up from a vintage store as your look is incomplete without one!

Related: How to incorporate the Greenery Trend

Some of my favourite imagery for a Contemporary Bohemian Style

I have put together some of my favourite images of Contemporary Bohemian Style below which demonstrate my 4 key elements.  I hope this gives you some inspiration for your home.

4 key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image – The Glitter Guide

I love this cosy room with some Mid-Century chairs, geometric rug, fresh white paint, greenery and the guitar!  A classic Contemporary Bohemian room with personality and style.

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

Related: How to find the right white

4 Key elements of Bohemian Style
Image – Camille Styles

Here is a great example of some layered rugs which I think makes the room interesting and cosy.  It would be great to hear your feedback on this design element as it will be interesting to see whether it takes off.

Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image: Miss Amara

Related: How to choose the right rug

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style
Image – Carleypageinteriors.com

Beautiful colour introduced with cushions and interesting artefacts makes this a very personal and individual space.

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

Do you love this style?  I would love to hear if you have used this in your home and whether you have incorporated any beautiful pieces from your travels.

Contemporary Bohemian Style - 4 steps to achieve this look

This style really lends itself to displaying all of these beautiful items which often can end up tucked away in cupboards.  The beauty too of this look is that nothing has to be too perfect.  Pieces don't have to match or be expensive and this is therefore an excellent style to introduce into your home if you want to project your personality into your interior schemes.

Something I think we should all be doing more of to make our homes happy and comfortable.

Related: Classic Boho home accessories you can't do without

4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

I have talked about Scandi style in this post and how it is similar to this Bohemian look.  You may want to read up more on this gorgeous style:

Related: 5 key elements of Scandi Style

If you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know how to decide which style is right for you then you should put together a mood board with your decorating ideas.  I have a free e-book for you to download.  Sign up to my FREE Resource Library here.

13 thoughts on “4 Key elements of Contemporary Bohemian Style

  1. Joy says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog post!
    Do you know where/how I can purchase the white/wood wide dresser with brass legs in your first picture (Amber designs).

    Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Joy Amber Design is an amazing US interior designer – I love her work but being based in Australia I don’t know where she gets her furniture from – it would be an American supplier at any rate. Globe West in Australia would have similar pieces – glad you enjoyed the post! Samantha

  2. jeff says:

    Wow thank you so much for your article! I’m a student and struggle looking for this”contemporary bohemian” style throughout the internet! Finally found it and can answer my lecturer bout the design I wish to approach. Really another wonderful and unique design compare to the other contemporary design

  3. Kathy says:

    I really struggle, too, with identifying this style. So does this mean I can fairly safely translate the term “boho” to “hippie” (except maybe in professional design circles)? If extensive white-ness = contemporary, then I’m definitely an “old hippie.” I like my walls blue, or green or teal. My grey bathroom was a special delight to me in my last house. On the other hand, I don’t think I could survive a complete jumble of colors. Linens, pillows and/or art may have dancing colors, but on a solid colored background.

  4. Rochelle Roberts says:

    Hi Samantha, Not sure about the double layered rugs. I don’t mind the way it looks, but, It seems a waste to hind a lovely rug underneath another lovely rug. Also, wouldn’t it be a waste of money if one rug is mostly covered by another. Sorry to be so negative.

  5. Lyn says:

    Thank you for another amazing blog Samantha!
    I’ve noticed the Jumbo Tassel Wall Hanging in the image above with ocean view!
    I recently purchased this piece from The Dharma Door and can’t wait to add this stunning wall hanging to our beach house when it’s built!
    The story behind the Fair Trade Artisans who produce these hand made pieces is inspirational!

  6. Jenny says:

    Thank you, Samantha, for another interesting post.
    Would you have any idea where to find the silver-coloured door pulls in the background of the second last photo, please?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jenny I’m sorry I’m not sure which photo you mean as I can’t for the life of me see the silver door pulls?? Samantha

  7. Jenny says:

    Hi Samantha.
    Thank you for your response.
    On taking another look I see it’s actually a blue and white wall hanging of some sort so they’re not door pulls….more like an over-sized pair of earrings I’d kill for! Perhaps I’ll buy a couple of cabinet silver ring pull handles and see if I can find something else to attach to them so they have a bit more presence, more suited to a pair of full-height, narrow closet doors. Jenny

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