Picture life in the 1960s and 1970s, when vibrant shades, textures, and designs cascaded across the furniture, clothes, and decor. This free-spirited time embodies bohemian fashion. You can add splashes of the colorful style with gems adorning lampshades, quirky prints, natural woods, and weaving or macramé.
The great thing about boho decor is that it can be quite affordable if you have a bit of savvy. If you want to add this aesthetic to your home but don’t want to break the bank, there are plenty of ways to create beautiful bohemian decor on a budget.
Ideas for Vibrant and Cheap Bohemian Decor
Modern bohemian decor is filled with layered and rich colors, textures, and patterns. And while it has a free-spirited vibe, that doesn't mean it has to be cluttered or messy (unless you're going for a maximalist approach). You can add any level of intensity with this design. And using inexpensive decor items gives you more boho bang for the buck.
Use Clashing Colors and Patterns
Color is the key to a great bohemian decor scheme. Don't be timid about splashing color throughout your rooms. Add a free-spirited mix of colors or patterns — be as bold or as subtle as your heart desires.
- Stencils: Add pattern and colors to walls, fabrics, and even stair treads using fun stencils with various patterns, such as a bold Moroccan pattern, a fun mandala, or a colorful batik.
- Tablecloths: Add bright floral or patterned tablecloths in vivid colors.
- Pillows: Find inexpensive pillow covers for your existing pillows in colorful batik patterns or macramé.
Add Cheap Window Treatments
There's no need for fancy or formal curtains and tailored shades with boho design. Instead, try hanging simple cloth panels. You can even use tablecloths, strings of beads, and sheets. If it has a pattern or color you love, go ahead and use it!
- Bamboo: If you can find some inexpensive bamboo roll-up shades, their natural texture is a perfect fit for boho design.
- Beaded curtains: You can buy affordable beaded curtains or make some from old jewelry, belts, and loose beads.
Embellishments and Trimmings Add Depth
Great boho design engages your senses, so fabrics with tactile appeal, such as silk, velvet, and brocade, are on-trend. Embellishments and trimmings on fabrics and accessories will add a heightened sense of design while giving greater depth.
- Beads and crystals: The more things you can dangle strands of beads and crystals from, the more fun your design. Drape them over lampshades, around planters, and from door handles or curtain rods. Or use them to tie back curtains. It's a great way to upcycle old or broken jewelry and give it new life.
- Lampshades: Give old lampshades new life by hot gluing trim along the bottom or drape a colorful fabric, like a sheer scarf, over the shade.
- Costume jewelry and fabrics: Use costume jewelry as a décor accessory. Hang a bunch of necklaces, scarves, and scarves on a decorative ladder leaned against the wall. Display bracelets in a bowl on the coffee table or dresser.
- Tassels: Hang colorful tassels on doorknobs and cabinet hardware.
Making tassels is super easy. Buy embroidery floss and wrap it around a piece of cardboard cut to any length, adding more wraps for thicker tassels. Cut the bottom ends of the loop and tie a piece of contrasting floss towards the top to make the ball end. Boom - instant tassel.
Upcycle Old Furniture
Head to your local flea market, garage sales, and thrift shops for cheap vintage furniture you can upcycle or use as-is. Old furniture and flea market finds can be the bohemian decorator's best friends, and they can be super affordable. Pieces with wear and tear are great. Ornate woodwork is a plus. If they're a little more run-down than you like, even better. Paint them with bold colors and patterns, or even leve them "as is" for an authentic bohemian look.
- Revive furniture: Paint an old chest of drawers or nightstand. You can even adhere strips of peel-and-stick wallpaper onto drawer fronts and apply a sealant or decoupage images or fabric onto the drawers or tops.
- Canopy beds: Add to the mystique with gauzy fabrics streaming from tall posts or draped over the bed canopy.
Make Your Own Art
When creating your own art projects, you can use stencils, decoupage, and even glue faux jewels onto pieces.
- Colorful wall art: Use watercolors or acrylics on a blank canvas (or buy a cheap painting at the thrift store and reuse the canvas by priming it first). Add colorful collage elements, torn paper, decoupage, 3-D objects, dried flowers, or anything that pleases your boho heart for colorful custom wall art.
- Lamps and lighting: Paint old lamps for a fun look. Mix and match lamp styles and materials. Moroccan lanterns would also be a great option if you can find them at flea markets or thrift shops.
- Paint frames: Repurpose old frames with vibrant spray paint colors. Decorate plain frames with resin motifs, then paint.
- Add metallic objects: Include a metal lamp or bowl for a shiny reflective surface. Paint a side table with a metallic color.
- Throw rugs: Use several throw rugs in colorful patterns for an authentic bohemian look. Braided rugs are a great, inexpensive option.
- Quilt, bedspread, or throw tablecloth: Repurpose an old quilt, lightweight bedspread, or throw for a tablecloth. Use more than one for a layered effect.
- Candlesticks: Paint candlesticks of varying heights and then glue faux jewels and dangling beads to them for a fun look.
How to Combine Ideas Into a Cohesive Boho Look
Select a few of the above ideas to decorate your home in a boho design. As with any interior design project, you want to create a color scheme, a theme, and a plan for how much of each you incorporate into your space.
Select Your Colors
Start with three main colors. You can add lots of other colors, but these three will carry your design theme throughout your home from one room to the next to keep your design cohesive instead of a jumble of colors and items.
Find a Theme
While boho is a mixture of all things, you still want to have a theme. This can be an emphasis on a metal or motif. For example, you may select silver as a theme and choose silver-colored objects to place throughout your home. You may decide that your motif will be birds and go with bird lamps, a few bird-patterned fabrics, bird ceramic figurines, and a few other bird objects.
Add Your Colors to Your Pieces
Once you've decided on the treatment for the floors and walls, focus on the main pieces of furniture. If you're painting, stenciling, and embellishing existing furniture, be sure to include your three main colors, as well as adding other colors.
Add Window Treatments:
Your choice for window treatment will be dictated by some of the textures, patterns, and colors you've used in your wall, floor, and furniture choices. Don't be afraid to go with a patterned curtain since bohemian goes against much of the design grain about mixing patterns and colors. If you don't feel confident in going with another pattern, opt for several solid-colored sheers to keep the color palette alive.
Layer Design for Depth & Interest
You're now ready to start layering your room framework with various eclectic art, objects, paintings, and other accessories. Think of everything already in your room as canvases that need shadows of darker and lighter colors to add depth and dimension. Remember, this is bohemian style, so you can never have too much depth or too many objects.
Timeless Bohemian Style
If you focus on colors, patterns, and textures by layering these as often as you can, your bohemian style will be something you can enjoy for decades. Swap out accessories, but leave your walls, floors, and treatments to keep changes inexpensive.