Home Decorating The Annie Selke Guide to Decorating a Boho Bungalow

The Annie Selke Guide to Decorating a Boho Bungalow

How to put your own unique spin on the cool-and-collected lifestyle.
Decorating your boho home is a big undertaking with a lot to keep in mind, and we’re here to help. The boho style can range from a grounded, neutral house to an eclectic and colorful bungalow. But at its core, the boho aesthetic is about a modern, relaxed space full of global inspiration that makes you feel at ease the moment you walk through the door. Though two spaces will never be alike, here are all the elements you’ll need to create a carefree, boho home.

Go beyond neutrals for your color palette

When looking at Boho Chic design aesthetics, there’s a main theme—everything isn’t white! By combining bright patterns with organic textures, you’ll find a warm and welcoming palette to set the tone in your room.
If you’re scared to start throwing orange paint onto your walls—don’t worry! There are so many ways to bring in color without it being overwhelming. “I usually start with a fairly blank slate of white walls, white trim, and a natural floor – and then layer in color for contrast,” says Rebekkah Higgs of DIY Mom. Using warm neutrals as a base is a perfect way to bring in rich colors through rugs, upholstery, pillows, throws, and more decor accents. 
And sometimes, you only need one colorful piece that can take your room from plain to boho-chic. “People always think my house is bright and colorful, but it’s really that Rhapsody runner,” says Higgs, who used the stair runner that sits in the entrance of her open-floor home. “Almost everything else is white, but people remember that rug.”

Layer patterns and prints of all shapes and sizes

Claire Brody says it best: “I layer and layer until I feel like I can’t lay anymore!” Layers create that cozy, lived-in boho environment. It can be as simple as layering pillows and throws of different patterns and textures until you get the right formula—and don’t be afraid to try something bold!

If you’re new to the ever-popular layering game, the easiest way to master this look is through rugs. When decorating Odette Annabelle’s bright and cozy Austin bungalow, Erin Featherston used this trick. “I used a custom-size wave sisal rug, and to add depth and warmth I love layering a higher pile rug—like the Zilah rug—on top,” she says. The use of a subtle texture like sisal with the depth of the hand-knotted wool rug creates the perfect combination of function and relaxation. Plus,  Featherston says, “It feels amazing underfoot!”

Rich textures are your best friend

And speaking of feeling great, that’s what a combination of rich textures will make your home look like. Supple leather, luscious velvet, and natural textures like jute and sisal will set the Boho scene.

More popular than ever, many designers find that grasscloth wallpaper is an easy way to add texture to a room. “Grasscloth is the perfect way to add dimension and texture to a space! I love how warm and inviting it feels,” says Autumn Hachey. Claire Brody agrees, “I was obsessed with doing a grasscloth in a rich color, like terracotta. The texture just instantly elevates the whole room.”

Vintage-inspired pieces = a must

A main element of the Boho look is that it’s expressive, and this can be done by your own collectibles. Whether they’re from your travels around the globe or down the street at your nearby vintage store, they tell a story. “And typically, a vintage piece is going to feel just rich and soulful,” says Brody.
Express your free spirit with eclectic art, vintage mirrors, and lighting—really whatever you love. As designer Ashley Gilbreath says, “Look for small international finds. Something that brings me back to a memory. I love a well-lived, curated look.”

Plants, plants, and more plants

What better way to bring earthy, calming tones to your home than with some greenery? Not only beneficial for your health, but these organic elements also add life to your space. “Whether it’s a few stems of greenery picked from the backyard, a potted plant, or a large tree, greenery instantly gives life to a room,” says Bobby Berk. “Plantlife balances all the lines and angles of a room’s architecture. And, don’t turn up your nose to faux greenery if you don’t have a green thumb. Faux greenery has come a long way – there are some really great options out there.”
Kate Sullivan of The Pretty Domesticated agrees. “I will cut branches and flowers from our yard and sprinkle them throughout the house; in the winter, that might be sticks. These materials that are earthy tie the indoors to the outside,” she says.
No green thumb? No problem! We break down the easiest plants to keep alive, here.

You *need* a rattan hanging chair

Sorry, we don’t make the rules! There’s just something about a hanging rattan chair—with a sheepskin blanket—that is so carefree and Boho.

Your Boho Bungalow Checklist:

Every boho home needs these items:

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