Sunday, April 11, 2021

Break the rules with ‘Bohemiana’

How bohemian decor is less about the rules and more about what pleases you

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Practicing unconventional lifestyle with no strings attached derives its roots from Bohemianism. Always revolving around artistic influences, Bohemianism has had many impacts around the world, from the Romani people first termed bohémiens in French to the 40s and 60s hippies of the West. And this impact has left a sizeable imprint in artistic styles, music, literature and décor.

Heena Jain, WoodenStreet’s interior designer and consultant, shares vibrant ideas to help you adopt the expressive freedom and wild matching of Bohemian décor.

 1. There are no rules

Chalking back to history, one can find that the Bohemians, the Gypsies and the Hippies never really followed the lifestyle of their contemporaries. That’s why the concept of Bohemiana is all about sticking not to what others say, but to what you love, and how it makes you different. So, when you begin a decorating spree, get what you love first.

However, just like any other art form, bohemian décor also has some rule of thumb so that you don’t stray far away and end up with something far more eccentric than what you planned.

2. Colours of comfort

This is a department where you can go loud, subtle or an interesting combination of both. Think of your primary and secondary colours, two favourites that not only look good together but describe the kind of person you are. And when it comes to accents, go wild. Layer pastel colours for depth, or keep separate saturated tones to create an eye-catching pop that anchors everyone’s attention. Mix in textures of various forms, both prints and plains, or go for that used feeling through slightly-fading-yet-lively pieces. 

Patterns from around the world, such as mud-cloths from Africa, complex geometric prints from Morocco and Middle-East or tropical colours of various beach-paradises, are great for staging individually or layering with subtle palettes. The choice, of course, is yours.

3. Freedom with furniture

Perhaps the greatest strength of Bohemiana is selection of eclectic, often contrasting, pieces that usually don’t go together. Take an average sofa set in any living room: a three-seater paired with two- or one-seaters. Now throw this rule away for good.

Pair a three-seater with a wingback chair, bring in two pouffes for extra-versatile seating. Why not bring prints and colours on each and every one of them? Florals, bird prints or geometric patterns, you’re good to go! Neutral three-seater English sofas with a poppy lounge chair, why not? Introduce a metallic coffee table, or get some distressed or antique pieces that dramatically alter your home. 

4. What matters is materials (and where they go)

With colours and furniture underway, it is high time to add a character. And that comes through decoration. Colour always plays an important role, of course, but so do materials. All you have to do is mix and match. 

You’ve got walls, floors, windows and doors as your canvas. Express your love through rugs, doilies or mats made from natural fibres, bring out an artistic vibe with vintage items and moody oil-on-canvas paintings, or choose regional clay or ceramic handicrafts to saturate your home with happiness. And finally, bind it all with plants and unorthodox lighting solutions (rustic, industrial chandeliers or metallic light fixtures).

Come what may, Bohemiana is a wild spirit and it won’t fade away, especially when it allows freedom of expression. And if you want to express your interiors on your own terms, Bohemian décor is totally meant for you.

READ ALSO: Home for a moment – Airbnb’s most wish-listed homes of the decade

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Review: The Big Bull

Forget comparisons. Even if you willingly dismiss the idea of sizing up The Big Bull against Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Abhishek Bachchan's...

The living art of India

  Immerse yourself in the colourful, vibrant and transformative arts of India. Over three weeks we will dive into a world where art is not...
man taking selfie

Selfie culture: what your choice of camera angle says about you

  Over the past decade, selfies have become a mainstay of popular culture. If the #selfie hashtag first appeared in 2004, it was the release of...
joji amazon prime

Review: Joji (Amazon Prime)

  Just when you'd think another fresh take on William Shakespeare's Macbeth couldn't possibly be done, comes Joji. Fahadh Faasil's new collaboration with director Dileesh...

An artistic feminist protest by Rakini Devi

  Born and raised in Kolkata, Rakini Devi has spent most of her artistic journey engaging with feminist issues, be it dowry deaths in India...