The bohemian design style may be the antithesis of minimalism, but it is just as timeless. Effortlessly combining the modern and the antique, the luxe and the well-loved, it’s a style that brings a sense of antique flair to any home.
When you’re choosing bohemian design pieces for your property, remember the motto of Baz Luhrmann’s band of bohemian artists in Moulin Rouge! “truth, beauty, freedom, love.” The practical and the austere have no place in a bohemian property. The focus should be firmly on creating an impression of over the top luxury and comfort, with romantic colours and fabrics causing a real feast for the senses.
Start by removing any carpets to expose hardwood floors, which should then be polished, repaired if necessary and covered with lavish oriental rugs. When choosing your furniture, don't worry about everything matching. Bohemian style is famed for its eccentricity, so choose couches and lounge chairs that complement each other, but don’t come from the same set. Be as elaborate as you can: Bedsteads with intricate carvings, antique chaise longues, and large wooden chests can all play important parts in creating a bohemian aesthetic.
With furniture, heavy, sturdy pieces will work best, but the opposite is true when it comes to fabrics. Take inspiration from traditional Moroccan style and select light, translucent fabrics that can be elegantly draped around four-poster beds and over windows. Look out for colourful voile, patterned scarves and rich satin, being as creative as you wish when it comes to finding places to hang your favourite materials. Bed linens should be colourful and opulent, with plenty of cushions and pillows in seating areas. Remember that bohemianism is traditionally associated with artists, writers and painters and create welcoming, communal spaces that fire up the imagination.
Don’t be afraid to use colour: the bolder, the better. Jewel tones like emerald, sapphire and amethyst are good choices, as are rich colours like indigo, gold, and scarlet. These colours will look best when contrasted with neutral tones: cream walls, oak surfaces and exposed brickwork can all form a suitable backdrop to a bohemian collection of trinkets and furnishings.
The kitchen of this handsome villa on Marbella’s Golden Mile provides an ideal example of a bohemian colour palette. The ruby, emerald and burnt orange tones add spice and depth, while the muted blonde of the work surface and blue-grey back wall prevent the overall impression from becoming overpowering. No surface is left without a beautiful ornament, and it's this that best encapsulates the bohemian ethos. Remember that many of the most iconic bohemian communities drew travellers from the world over and pick up charming new pieces from each place you visit, displaying each one with pride.
The Engel & Völkers Interiors online shop draws inspiration from international design aesthetics, selecting only the finest pieces for inclusion. Our Antique Look Urn with Lid would look perfectly at home on a bohemian mantelpiece or bookcase, while the Art Deco Tray should take centre stage on a coffee table. For suitably soft and romantic lighting, look no further than our Glass and Brass Wind Light. Complete your aesthetic with some well-chosen soft furnishings: our Kilim Pillows can be scattered liberally across a sofa to introduce a hint of eastern charm and mystery.