If you haven't heard about the Boho Chic style, think Byron, in Australia's northern NSW, with it's relaxed, anything-goes, hippie vibe.
There's nothing particularly avant garde about the style's popularity here in Australia - especially in beach suburbs where the culture lends itself to a more natural, laid-back look - nevertheless, it's interesting to watch its popularity soar in urban areas as well.
Stylists are even adopting the look for property styling schemes, in direct competition with the more classic and formal Hamptons style.
I suspect the shift in style reflects our current COVID times, which necessitate softer edges, and a greater level of comfort and flexibility, which this trend facilitates with its combination of natural materials, colour, pattern and texture, and its nod to the past and other cultures.
While Covid remains an ongoing threat to our society, we feel more vulnerable. We are staying at home more, and this style succeeds by creating a less formal vibe (to other more formulaic coastal styles) with its focus on colour and layers, and homewares and antiquities that project warmth, texture, and a sense of timelessness.
The Boho Chic style helps us feather a more welcoming nest in which to seek shelter
Fortunately, there are few rules with the Bohemian style, which means it is relatively easy and inexpensive to achieve. While colour, texture, and greenery are paramount, its use of eclectic (vintage or global) pieces of furniture and decorator items ensure its success - not that anyone really needs justification for trips to flea markets and antique stores. For inspiration and evidence of its versatility, check out Milray Park's Pinterest page and LA-based designer, Justine Blakeney's Jungalow website.
If I had to narrow down 5 essential elements of this style, these are the ones I would prioritise:
1. Antique Rugs: Persian, Moroccan, Turkish, and even Scandinavian rugs work well with this style. The antiquity of these multi-coloured designs give your scheme depth, texture, and an added layer of warmth. Here's a guide to the Different Types of Oriental Rugs. Find them at auctions, antique shops and even Ikea.
2. Macrame: This knotting technique is ideal for plant hangers and wall hangings, and adds another layer of texture to your space. If you're crafty, make your own.
3. Bamboo, rattan and Cane: Where once this environmentally-friendly material was reserved for outside areas, it has now established itself as a popular choice for indoor furniture and decorator items. It is reasonably-priced and hard-wearing, but its true pleasure derives from its association with holidays, and a relaxed, resort style of living.
4. Pattern: This is one of Justine's recommendations and I tend to agree. For a true Bohemian style, you need to be comfortable with pattern and colour. Frankly, the braver you are, the better the result. While I wouldn't recommend you hang a moody, patterned wallpaper on the walls of a property you are about to sell, necessarily, I love a feature wall in any other circumstance. Check out the beautiful range of Boho wallpapers at Graham & Brown.
5. Greenery: Pot plants have been an important component of interior design since the re-emergence of the Scandinavian style a few years back, and with our desire to adopt a more sustainable way of living, it looks like they are here to stay. Here's what Justine had to say about them in an interview with Hunker magazine:
"I think of plants in the home as sort of similar to the way that people think about pets — they're part of the family and they're part of what makes the home alive and warm."
For the past few decades, beach properties have relied on the landscape for inspiration, resulting in an abundance of neutral, minimalist homes, that often don't reflect the personality of the owner. "But times, they are a changing", and while you don't necessarily have to go full bazaar in Marrakesh to achieve this look, the addition of more colour, texture, and a few inspiring, global pieces of furniture can provide that extra layer of warmth and depth that helps us feel safe right now.
Images: 1. Found on Pinterest from Interior Connection | 2. Found on Wix | 3. Jungle Green wallpaper from Graham & Brown