Defined by vibrant spaces filled with the energy of colourful textiles, wild patterns, bold posters and paintings, botanicals and multi-cultural motifs, it is little wonder this irreverent style is popular with those raring to live life on their own terms and wanting to leave an imprint
BY MALATI K. VIJAY
If there is one interior design style that allows for free and uninhibited expression of one’s personality, it is the boho. “It’s the style language of the young, arty and happy-go-lucky tribe, who love to give their own creative touch to the spaces they live in. They are often DIY enthusiasts who can create things on their own, thus bringing a very unique and individualistic aesthetic to the space,” say designers Prashant and Anu Chauhan of Zero9.
The boho chic style is full of inspirational ideas that come from every corner of the globe and from the annals of history. It could be restrained and refined, or all-out bold and over the top, all depending on the whim and fancy of the owner. The freedom and flexibility it offers is attractive to those young at heart and artistically-inclined, as they can showcase their hobbies and way of living through their spaces. “Young people have an immense love for travel and exploring new places. The connected world has provided enough flexibility for both travel and work. Today’s digital nomad likes to live in spaces that are just as free-spirited and carefree,” says Minnie Bhatt of Minnie Bhatt Design.
WHAT IS BOHO CHIC AND HOW DOES ONE GET IT RIGHT
An ever-evolving style Boho chic is easy to put together using inexpensive yet enchanting elements such as natural finds, colourful and textural cushions, one-of-a-kind vintage accessories, mementoes and collectibles. It could be a maximalist haven, or follow a more minimal ethos. “Impermanence is the main feature of boho style. From seating to
décor, every element can be shifted and changed from time to time to achieve different looks with ease,” say the Chauhans.
A wild blend A heady mix of disparate elements and mismatched yet oh-so-charming combinations of colours, patterns and textures — there is something immensely enticing and inviting about a well put-together boho space. “Instead of following any rigid rules, boho interiors are creative and carefree. They are characterised by juxtaposing different
patterns, layers and textures to give a warm and welcoming look. The decor mainly comprises of knick-knacks or collectibles from different parts of the world,” says Bhatt. Starting with a neutral base, building an eclectic yet calming mix is the way to go.
Natural materials Since boho style is all about layering of different textures and accents, natural materials are a significant part of the décor. “Incorporate warm earthy tones, use natural materials for decor and furnishings like jute or rattan,” suggests Bhatt. Furniture made of cane and bamboo or wall décor made of woven rattan, wooden and terracotta accessories, textural woven fabrics like cottons and linens are ideal to bring in lived-in charm. Even organic-shaped furniture for accent pieces helps inject a natural allure.
Traditional crafts “The use of traditional crafts in decor forms another highlight of boho interiors,” says Bhatt. Macramé and embroidered wall arts bring the magic of crafts to modern homes. An unexpected carved mirror or an antique wooden box converted into a coffee table adds much character to boho spaces. Also, blue pottery from China, Persian area rugs and home-grown ikats could co-exist to indicate your interest in varied arts and crafts.
Upcycled furniture Casual, low seating ideal for relaxing are a favourite of boho style lovers. “They are not bound by traditional sentiments of owning permanent furniture. They are happy to make do with gaddas, poufs, floor cushions that can be moved around. They don’t mind leaving them behind when they need to move on. There is no great
attachment to things,” share the Chauhans. “Most of them also love DIY, so they may turn a trunk into a coffee table by painting it in a trendy shade, or convert a wooden box into a bench. They are not looking at long-term investment, but are interested in creating the kind of look they want.”
Frills, laces and pompoms When young couple Kautilya Mewawala and Anushka Ahuja was setting up home, they felt the need for hand-crafted boho chic furnishings and hence set up their own home décor company, GharGhar — a name inspired by the childhood game. “Boho chic is a contemporary style that takes inspiration from history, culture, art and architecture. Colours play an important role — trendy hues give it a modern spin. A combination of bright hues and playful designs creates a cheerful aesthetic,” say Mewawala and Ahuja. A touch of embroidery, tassels, pompoms makes their cushions, carpets and throws attractive to their young audience.
Warm and welcoming lighting String lights, hurricane lanterns, table lamps and candles join in with statement pendant lights and chandeliers to infuse the space with a dreamy and warm atmosphere. Curating lights of diverse styles and from different eras can further enhance the boho spirit of the space. “Fairy lights are a must-have in boho interiors. There are solar fairy lights available these days that support the eco-friendly nature of the style,” say the Chauhans.
Indoor greenery From tall, sculptural plants to tabletop ornamental succulents to hanging creepers, a wide range of botanicals creates a lively and relaxed look. Mixing of different sizes and shapes allows you to add dimension to your space. Go creative and natural with the planters — from earthy terracottas to woven cane baskets to textural
ceramics, you can introduce a variety of design and materials.
Easy to create, full of energy and beauty, and above all, eco-friendly, the boho style is always trending.
The writer is a Bengaluru-based freelance journalist and content consultant. Formerly with the Times of India, Economic Times and Livingetc India, she writes primarily on design, art and lifestyle. She also enjoys giving a healthy twist to various cuisines.