Bohemian style emerged from the travels of artists and others to exotic locales. These travellers were able to collect an eclectic group of furnishings and decorative pieces, clothing and accessories. Today, Bohemian style is easy to achieve as long as you understand the attitude behind it: free thinking, creative expression and nonconformity. Bohemian style is a great clothing choice for women and men, and you can even decorate your home in Boho style.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Unique accessories
- Flowing skirts, tunics, interesting shoes, and distressed denim touches
- Eclectic furniture
- Warm colours for walls
- Ethnic accessories and decorative items
For a woman, dressing Bohemian means choosing from among three styles: the layered peasant look, rugged Boho or the dressier super chic style called Boho luxe. Peasant style is known for feminine details such as lace and embroidery, flowing long skirts, and light colours and floral patterns. Rugged Boho often includes cowboy boots, a tunic and distressed denim, especially cutoffs. Luxe is for dressy occasions and is characterised by darker colours, maxi dresses and more modern accessories and heels.
Include headbands and accessories such as bracelets, necklaces or pendants. Bangle bracelets and interesting shoes such as cowboy boots, gladiator sandals and fringed heels are great choices. Even more modern pieces, such as skinny jeans, can be part of a Bohemian look by slightly rolling up the legs and adding a tunic, gladiator sandals, a scarf, oversized sunglasses and a few bangle bracelets.
Men have the option of going romantic, vintage, hippie-chic or earthy. Generally, limit an outfit to no more than two of these styles. Do not throw out old sandals, jeans with holes in them or faded superhero T-shirts. Recycle them for your new Boho look. Think artistic rebel. If you favour an era, like the 1940s, incorporate elements of that time. Seashell cufflinks, a tiny bit of embroidery or interesting faded socks are great accessories for Boho men.
For the home, choose funky, casual pieces. Bohemian style is a distant cousin of Victorian-era decor, but it is more ethnic and global in nature, offering more freedom for the decorator. A Bohemian-style living room mixes round frames with rectangles and squares along with antique accessories, especially from foreign lands. Think Oriental pieces.
When looking for items to start your new wardrobe or home decor, check your home's storage area or attic first. For the home, consider how to use eclectic items like baby shoes, empty picture frames and old photographs. When you use what you already have, you can save your money to buy an interesting or unusual chair, rugs that you can layer and just the right coffee table. Antique books, trays and ethnic accessories can often be found at antique or consignment stores, as can furniture.
Mix it up and be daring. With Boho living, it's fine to blend a Queen Anne chair with a velvet, Victorian-era sofa and rattan pieces. Wood styles and colours do not have to match. Walls can be painted in colours such as burnt orange to create a warm look. Velvet curtain panels add to the look.
Tips and warnings
- With peasant-style clothing, don't add too many layers or you can end up looking messy. Aim for casual but still put-together.
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