Let’s get real for a minute…When we’re drawn to luxe bohemian interior design—especially when it involves fabric by the yard — there are two things that are important to us: whether it’s got a consciously non-coherent, mismatched look, and whether it gives us those intangible, feel-good boho vibes.
This applies to fashion, to jewelry, to rooms – and to designer upholstery fabrics, too. Sure, we want to curl up into a comfy bed after a long day, but can it please be in this haute bohemian room instead of something ordinary?
We adore this seemingly simple room. But can simple really be boho? We say luxe bohemian decor is not about hodge podge. It may look easy and laid-back and maybe even thrown together, but it takes research and design savvy to get it right.
So throw out your previous notions of boho.
This elegant take on the aesthetic changes everything. Scroll down for tips on choosing the perfect fabric by the yard to enhance luxe bohemian interior design.
1. Get Comfortable with Organized Chaos
This is step one, and it goes back to the maximalist tenet of being “consciously non-coherent”. We’re definitely not talking about match-y, match-y! We want to mix it up – whether that’s cultures, eras, colors or pattern.
Add a splash (or two!) of patterned fabric to upholstered furniture. You can dress up existing furniture with a bold fabric by the yard – or go thrifting for some new (old) items that tickle your fancy. Turn a plain couch into a fresh, bohemian piece by dressing it up with gypsy-inspired fabric by the yard. Then add a cacophony of decorative throw pillows, like the ones in the photo below.
SmithHönig’s Bryony Storm Fabric by the Yard is a moody but elegant print that’s ideal for a boho-luxe look – this more modern and refined take on the boho trend. The dreamy colors make a good backdrop for the mix of cushions.
See how nothing actually goes together – but it all works??? That Eastlake love seat. That acrylic coffee table. Those antique furniture legs painted green. (Be still my chaotic heart!)
Curtains are a great way to tie a look together (if you feel you must).
The curtain below in Neela Blue fabric by the yard has been made into a bespoke drapery. The fabric is reminiscent of paisleys and Indian saris. What could be better for luxe bohemian interior design? And of course a tasseled tie-back doesn’t hurt!
2. Choose Unexpected Color Combinations & Patterns
An area rug with character and color is a great place to start your boho design. Notice the colors and personality of the rug below, and the mismatched throw blanket above it? We love that! Purple with yellow and pink and blue and rust. Why not?
How about adding a safari touch with a throw pillow? The bold graphic stripe in the zebra pillow compliments the color blocking that is seen throughout the entire room! This space looks super chill but we’re guessing a lot of thought went into it.
Here, the key is the dramatic hues and the simplicity of the repeating graphic shapes and patterns.
3. Imagine Fabrics – & Patterns – in Three Scales
When it comes to mixing patterns, we advocate playing on three different scales. One large scale, one half the size of the first, and one small. This gradation in weight creates harmony, even if the patterns don’t match!
Another way to think about choosing complimentary fabrics is to see your room as three separate elements: an envelope—(the biggest things in the room like in the glam wall decor here), the contents—(the chair in Navajo road fabric), and the decorative details—like the variety of luxe vases on the coffee table in this store display at Gump’s San Francisco. Still boho – and definitely luxe!
4. Consider Surface Textures
In the big city boho living room below, the “redness” of the brick wall is matched by little streaks of red in the rug. It would be overwhelming if the rug was ALL red. Other prints are kept to a minimum here, but textures are not. The rug does a great job of holding down the print fort, so to speak, so everything else can be a neutral or solid. Texture makes the room! There’s soft and shiny, rough and smooth…
If you want to learn about different fabric surface textures, check out our post on Fabric History and Manipulation Techniques.
5. Find a Way to Inject Harmony
In the photo above, we love how the addition of cool hues (like mint green) balanced out the warm brick wall. Also, the chunky knit throw on the white sofa may seem like just another textile, when in fact, it weaves (pun intended) unity into the room by complementing the macrame lamps.
Similarly, but with an entirely different vibe, the boho luxe sanctuary below draws unity from the rug, wall color and upholstery. The lush slipper chairs are accented by SmithHönig’s decorative throw pillows, and grounded by the neutral wall art and furniture, and the matte gold coffee table.
What’s great about this room by Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof is the harmony of unexpected textures, patterns and color. The tiled pattern on the rug contrasts and compliments the Vintage Gypsum velvet suede pillows and the solid colors of the luxurious velvet pillows and chairs.
And that pop of pink-y red on the curtains repeats in the red paint strokes in the pillow pattern.
This room is definitely a more glamorous take on boho – and we love that, too!
To see other ways to max out your space with fabric, check out these tips on decorating with artsy fabrics.
6. Bold Fabric Colors Enliven a Minimalist Boho Interior
If you love boho, but not necessarily maximalism, we’ve got just the design inspo for you. In this case, you’ll want to find a fabric by the yard in a bold color. Make a real statement.
This living room looks gorgeous bathed in light. The designer has played around with textiles and fabrics to get a simplified, almost delicate, minimalist-boho look.
Your eye is caught by the bold, orange upholstery fabric. Then, the turquoise pouf and vases, floating above the woven neutral rug, draw you in. The couch is paired with a single yellow chair, in a woven material, and complimented by colorful throw pillows. Minimalist rattan is the overarching theme of this room, yet it still comes off as bohemian. The tribal patterns on the rug add pizzazz.
7. Match Design with your Personality
If you’re more of a gypsy type, opt for cushions upholstered in a layered mix of travel-inspired, patterned fabrics such as Navajo Road, Shibori, and Ashes of Rose in soulful blues and purples. The destinations evoked don’t need to match. Frankly, we don’t think they should even be on the same continent! Custom-designed tassels add instant lushness to your mix.
On the other hand, if an earthy, organic hippie vibe is more your cup of reishi tea, bring the look home with colors of nature, as seen in the Bryony Storm, African Paint, and Vintage Gypsum patterns, below. Fabrics with a natural hand, like these cotton and linen blends, are ideal for this style.
8. Choose Fabric by the Yard Wisely
Use what you love – but choose wisely. If you’re a print and pattern person (like us!) start with bigger patterns and/or the largest surface areas and finish your look off with smaller items, like decorative throw pillows, lamps, vases and smaller textiles.
If you’re more of a minimalist, just pick your palette (maybe using a particular rug or fabric that you love as a starting point) and find new items that match or complement.
If you want more inspiration for bohemian interior design, you can find 10 amazing ones here. And once you’ve completed your look, don’t forget to consider cleaning and maintenance. You can learn ways to care for your designer upholstery fabrics here.
Oh. And – the tassels.
ALWAYS remember the tassels!
Check out some great boho luxe tassel choices here!
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