Never is a design movement based on a free-spirited approach to decorating more relevant than now in the age of surfer chic, #vanlife, and a desire to escape to spaces that exude laid-back vibes. The beauty of boho style is that it can mean different things to different people, and it’s evolved over the last decade from a love of macrame to encompass a whole lifestyle.
Interior designers like Justina Blakeney and Heather Tierney have been champions of the aesthetic, each pursuing their own rendition of what bohemian design looks like, with a desert color-fueled, plant-filled oasis for one and a subdued, neutral space with earthy accents for the other.
“The trend [is] reflective of those who want a style that they can make completely their own,” says Decorist celebrity designer Jessica McCarthy. “There are no rules when it comes to combining textures, patterns, and materials, allowing for true self-expression, which I think society is craving.”
The ever-growing desire to create a relaxed atmosphere at home is another driving force of the trend’s popularity. “Less formality and more reality. The ease of a Boho-inspired aesthetic certainly supports the lifestyle,” notes designer Cortney Bishop.
The new bohemian is all about versatility and keeping an open mind. According to Decorist elite designer Becky Leu: “For the longest time, ‘modern’ meant nothing but clean lines and simplicity. But I think consumers today are getting bored with an overly straight aesthetic and want an updated style that allows for more natural forms, colors, and textures. The rise of our current ‘boho’ movement is a cultural request for more free-spirited design.” The spaces ahead prove just that.
If you’re into vintage with modern vibes
In Garance Doré’s LA home, saturated pops of color add visual interest to the otherwise neutral palette that could be pulled straight from the surrounding desert at dusk. Vintage lovers take note: A hanging rattan chair feels fresh and less serious when paired with standout pieces by Milo Baughman and Herman Miller.
If you’re all about the drama and color
Keeping in line with the style’s versatility, Manchester’s newly minted Whitworth Locke hotel is proof that Boho is not all about whitewashed spaces and lots of pattern. While the property’s interiors skew toward Scandi-chic with splashes of trendy hues—millennial pink, mustard yellow, and matte black—there are also a handful of boho-inspired moments in the form of hanging greenery, terra-otta pendant lights, and palm-print wallpaper.
If you want to keep it classic but fresh
Sara Toufali’s serene LA home may hint at a traditional bohemian design scheme (complete with macrame curtain), but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice subtle hints of modern glam. An IKEA sofa lends itself to the subdued features of the room that’s void of color save for the handful of greenery that dots the space.
If you like the eclectic feel
In textile designer Aelfie Oudghiri’s Long Island home, the style gets infused with bold color and pattern. The open-layout dining area showcases a sleek dining table surrounded by woven bistro chairs (a modern update to grandma’s rattan), while the living room is a lesson in layering (think: jungle-print wallpaper, lots of layered textiles, and vibrant prints).
If you still prefer the (almost) all-white minimalist look
An ultra-streamlined space can still have elements of the carefree aesthetic—just take note from Heather Tierney’s Cali-based retreat. Shibori-style poufs, vintage leather seats, and industrial side tables are a few of the thoughtful decorative details channeling nouveau boho.