Think Boho Bedrooms Are Tacky? Think Again

a bed with pillows and linens in indigo hues
25 Boho Bedroom Design IdeasVictoria Pearson

If you’ve ever stepped into an Anthropologie, you know exactly what we mean when we say “bohemian.” This aesthetic is bright, often (but not always) maximalist, shamelessly combines the vintage with the contemporary, and has tons of fun in the pattern-layering department. In fact, fun is at the core of boho interiors, but this stylistic choice doesn’t have to be exclusive to beachside pieds-à-terre owned by tortured poets with trust funds.

While there is no single right way to make one of the most intimate spaces in your home—the bedroom—adhere to bohemian sensibilities, you can take a few key steps to help it start resembling the dreamy lair of someone with a worn-out suitcase and stamp-filled passport. To get those juices flowing, think about focusing on earthy tones in your paint selections; embracing classic bohemian “suspects” (macramé, tufted throw pillows, woven indoor hammocks) without overdoing it to the point of a Pinterest board circa 2014; and stocking up on lots of plants.

Interior and textile designer Schuyler Samperton—known for her fearless use of vibrant patterns and colors—thinks an aura of relaxation is indispensable to the bohemian vibe at large. “It doesn’t look contrived or too intentional, and there are a lot of unexpected elements,” she tells us. “I feel like that comes through a combination of textures and patterns.”

ELLE DECOR A-List designer Kathryn M. Ireland (who released her book A Life in Design: Celebrating 30 Years of Interiors last year) believes a synonym for “bohemian” is unorthodox—which is how many people describe her own style. “You can mix anything with anything,” Ireland says of the liberating looseness of this aesthetic. “You can let down your guard.” For her, true bohemia is also displayed in items collected over years of travel (“whether it be through Africa or through the Portobello Road, the English countryside or India”) that convey a sense of the extraordinary.

For a dose of inspiration, here are 25 bedroom interiors that absolutely nailed the unorthodox, “let your guard down” bohemian vibe—no harem pants required.

Hammock Haven

Though this is a kids’ bedroom from our 2017 house tour of a Dallas midcentury gem designed by Erika Yeaman, nothing about it is dated or unfit for replicating in an adult bedroom. Here, Scandi style is effortlessly blended with homey light-heartedness, thanks to the room’s striped rug, wool pillows, and indoor hanging chair. The latter is a foolproof option for channeling a sense of playfulness via bedroom interiors. After all, what is a bohemian aesthetic if not one that prioritizes spontaneity and whimsy?

a bohemian style bedroom with a hanging egg chair and a canopy bed
Cody Ulrich

Cali Cool Bedroom

Designer Schuyler Samperton’s idée fixe for her client’s Santa Barbara coastal home? “Creating a house for a gentleman professor from the English countryside who had tried a hallucinogenic drug and woke up in Big Sur, circa 1974,” according to what Samperton told us last year. That sentence is clearly boho-coded, and so is the home’s updated primary bedroom—a study in contrast with its mismatched indigo bedding, teal-and-white wallpaper, Merlot headboard, and pop of green provided by bird of paradise leaves. Counteracting the notion that bohemian things are, by definition, New Agey, Samperton infused the space with some French heritage by way of an illustrated 1964 Roger Soubie movie poster. “That was something [the client] already had,” Samperton says. “I've done so many projects with him, so we've been kind of reimagining all of these elements in the different houses that he's had. It's interesting how they take on a new life every time you move.”

a bed with pillows and linens in indigo hues
Victoria Pearson

Travel-Inspired Boho Bedroom

Our 2016 house tour of Fabrizio Rollo’s duplex revamp in São Paulo is a full-on cultural melting pot. Asian elements make themselves at home here, including the Indonesian ikat coverlet; Indian paisley wallcovering; straight-from-Istanbul pillows; Chinese fretwork headboard; and Kurdish rug in this guest bedroom. When you’re ready to transition your bedroom into the realm of the bohemian, we encourage just this kind of commingling of unique, handmade pieces from around the world. Even better if you bring them back from your own adventures across the seven seas!

a brightly patterned bedroom with paisley wallpaper and bed with pink textile coverlet
Ricardo Labougle

Madcap Color Fantasy

While chartreuse-colored bedroom walls with equally bright pillows and wall prints to match might feel like a headache in the making, textile designer John Robshaw (featured in our July/August 2017 issue) would have you know that he doesn’t believe in “balancing vivid furniture with less colorful art” or subduing bold room aesthetics with bland, underperforming window dressings. This guest bedroom in his Connecticut country house flaunts Robshaw-created curtain fabrics that don’t shy away from a little pattern action just because the neighboring headboard and bedding—also crafted by the designer—are already on it. As long the line between “bold” and “clashy” isn’t crossed, curtains can be a brilliant and subtle (or perhaps completely not-so-subtle) way to bring a little bohemian impulsivity to your bedchamber.

connecticut country house bedroom with chartreuse walls and vivid textiles as well as wall prints
Richard Powers

Gauzy Curtain Oasis

Canapés may evoke elevated finger food or 18th-century French couches—items that can potentially feel stuffy or old fashioned. Not canopies, however, which evokes feelings of flight, freedom, and dynamism. ELLE DECOR A-List designer Kathryn M. Ireland, who created a self-described boho “mishmash” in her Santa Monica home back in 2018, embraced one in her primary bedroom. The custom, hand-hammered iron bed serves as an anchor and draws the gaze heavenward, while the bed-curtains (in one of Ireland’s own fabrics) provide a dash of elegant levity. “It makes you feel like a princess!” Ireland says. “Something about having fabric around you when you sleep.” We can just imagine her bed-curtains gently fluttering in the Californian breeze—the ideal setup for every homebody with globetrotter aspirations.

a canopied four poster bed with bed curtains created by kathryn ireland
Trevor Tondro

Tapestry Boho Bedroom

One of the nine bedrooms at Beit Trad—a guesthouse in the Lebanese mountains, designed by Maria Ousseimi and seen in the April 2020 issue of ELLE DECOR—this charmer’s focal point is undoubtedly the vintage suzani (a Central Asian tribal textile) hanging on the wall. The tapestry, especially in contrast with the crisp bedding and deep rust coverlet, saves the room from an unimaginative “white cube gallery” feeling and instead creates the ultimate location for dreaming, reading, counting sheep, and (of course) planning your next getaway to the Asian steppes.

bohemian guest room with a vintage suzani hanging on the wall
Simon Watson

Art-Filled Sanctuary

Eclectic bohemia in Rome’s Termini neighborhood? Not a common occurrence, but one enjoyed to the max by Carlo Souza: global brand ambassador for the house of Valentino, whose own house in the city is heavily informed by “travels all over Asia and the South Seas” (as reported by Jessica Iredale for ELLE DECOR in 2020). Souza’s status as collector—of both nostalgia-inducing trinkets and seriously Blue Chip pieces from all corners of the world—is instantly evident in the apartment’s primary bedroom. The suzani he purchased in Istanbul, Moroccan rug, stacks of books, and vintage accessories are all signifiers of the room being well-loved and rich with memories. The wall prints (mismatched at first glance, yet ultimately cohesive through their color schemes and subjects) only add to that effect.

bohemian bedroom with a suzani from istanbul and rug from morocco
Simon Watson

“Tintin at the Beach” Chic

It’s only right that a house located in one of Europe’s most stunning seaside destinations—Île de Ré, off the coast of France—is sprinkled with maritime elements here and there. A-List designer Jean-Louis Deniot, however, made sure that his coastal digs’ interiors weren’t marked by the island’s typically old-fashioned style (“with lots of driftwood,” he pointed out in our April 2022 issue). Deniot achieved this by riffing off of one central theme: “Tintin at the beach,” a tribute to the beloved Belgian cartoon character that involved childish touches and lots of blue. This primary bedroom’s macramé canopy, adorable tassel-adorned bedding, and wallpaper from Thibaut are likely to please grown-ups and young ones alike—coming together to make a space that’s unquestionably bohemian.

a bed with a tasseled sheets and a macrame canopy
Stephen Julliard

Wood-Clad Wonder

The first thing that probably comes to mind at the mention of “warm wood tones” is a cabin-style bedroom with a crackling fireplace and candlestick chandelier. Beyond that idyllic, pine-scented tableau, however, tasteful wood touches can also be markers of bohemian sensibilities—especially if paired with textiles in eye-catching colors or patterns. Take this primary bedroom, for instance, in the Venice, California, Frank Gehry–designed home of creative director Florian Marquardt (which we spotlighted in the pages of our March 2023 issue). Peppered with touches that allude to the owner’s personality, all the details are tied together by the abundance of wood: not only in the form of wall paneling or windowpanes but also via the angular bedside chair by Gerrit Rietveld. The ultimate result? A rustic bohemian dream, which Gehry would certainly appreciate.

primary bedroom with many wood elements like wall paneling, windowpanes, and angular bedside chair
Sam Frost

Pretty and Patterned Sleeping Space

ELLE DECOR A-List designer Patrick Mele lives in color and helps his clients do the same. In this guest room, he rebelliously and ebulliently pushed the decor to the max while avoiding any signs of tackiness. The first indication of this being a boho bedroom is the canopy bed; the second is the room’s transparent pattern diversity (seen in the green, spotted wallpaper by Adelphi Paper Hangings, the French club chair’s Schumacher fabric, fanciful bed-curtains with butterflies and branches, as well as the striped Lisa Corti bedcover). This isn’t just a one-off attempt by Mele to immerse the Aspen house’s owner in a daily, bohemian fantasy: Each room here is filled to the brim with open-minded daring, in the form of Egyptian marble tables and 19th-century Moroccan lamps and Batyr elephant curtains. It’s “nomadic circus performer meets intellectual,” and we’ll be dreaming about it for a long time.

boho bedroom with canopy, spotted wallpaper, french club chair, and fanciful bed curtains
Miguel Flores-Vianna

Arts & Crafts Inspired Suite

An easy way to add bohemian flair to your bedroom? incorporate a bold wallpaper. In the case of this bedroom by ELLE DECOR A-List design firm Nickey Kehoe, a lush wallpaper by Lewis & Wood creates an Arts and Crafts inspired backdrop for the velvet-upholstered bed. A paisley-patterned coverlet and a bedside table arrangement fit for a still life painting add to the relaxed elegance. Pro tip: Bohemian rooms are nothing if not warm and inviting, so properly placed lighting (preferably nothing that’s overhead or fluorescent) is always a safe bet.

primary bedroom with sconce illuminated bedside table
Amy Neunsinger

Pillow Perfection Bedroom

As long as you don’t turn your otherwise mature looking bedroom into the hideaway of a teenager in the early aughts, a little pillow moment will do wonders to your bohemian aesthetic-in-the-making. This living room and sleeping area hybrid from the quaint Greenwich Village apartment of designer William Cullum is a certified pillow-palooza, between those on the bed and on the nearby couch. Not just any bland pillows, they’re dressed in fabrics that are taken from dresses by Dries van Noten. This imaginative spin ensures the bed is not only a plush refuge from the monochromatic city outside but also displays some serious character. Cullum's take on the bohemian style? “Seemingly disparate elements all placed together, with their common denominator being the eye that selected them,” he says. “We really didn’t hold back—and every time I look at the photos, I think I could have gone even further!”

boho bedroom designed by william cullum with multicolored pillows in different textiles
Kirk Davis Swinehart

Patterned-Ceiling Stunner

Here at ELLE DECOR, we’re big fans of not-your-average-Joe ceilings. And we’re absolutely saying oui to the hand-stamped ceiling in this bedroom: part of an Eric Allart–designed pad near the Champs-Élysées. The pochoir, stencil-based technique used to make the ceiling resemble a field of delicate flowers is further elevated by its unconventional, beam-supported shape. The pattern is repeated in curtains by Simrane but somehow never overwhelms the eye. In fact, the room’s aura is soothing through and through—sure to please every bohemian at heart.

boho bedroom with ceilings and walls stenciled with pochoir technique
Simon Upton

Vintage Storage Wonder

If you want to display your wanderlust in a very literal way, plopping a vintage trunk at the foot of the bed will certainly do the trick. In this Millbrook, New York, estate—appearing in our September 2019 issue— Gregory Shano helped the new homeowners nail down a look of rustic luxury. The vintage trunks in several of its guest bedrooms certainly convey a very Old World, first-class passengers boarding the Titanic vibe. Like all vintage finds, no two trunks are exactly the same, so incorporating this piece of the decor will certainly make your bedroom one-of-a-kind… to match its owner!

bedroom with toile covered walls and ceiling as well as a vintage trunk at the foot of the bed
Francesco Lagnese

Bookshelf Wealth Bedroom

For those with fond feelings towards the Beat Generation, channeling bohemian-yet-bookish tastes is easily achievable in bedroom design: with the help of a well-placed bookshelf. The custom bookcase in this SoHo loft, by ELLE DECOR A-List designer Richard Mishaan, is made all the more charming by virtue of its accompanying English library ladder—a lifesaver when you need to reach for one of the many foreign books acquired during your lifetime of travels.

On the note of boho travel finds, Mishaan has strong opinions: “People often don't really have a use for them. They're just attracted to them, but then they don't really translate into people's lives,” he says. Whereas, if functional objects (like books!) are readily embraced, they have the potential to “become a piece of artwork.”

boho bedroom with custom bookcase and english library ladder
William Waldron

Screened-In Sanctuary

There are two reasons why someone might lack a traditional headboard: they’re either a twentysomething Wall Street intern who only owns a mattress or a bohemian creative thinker, like designer Carlos Mota, who chose to swap a predictable headboard with a repurposed screen from India. In this bedroom of a coastal Peruvian home, Mota hand-painted the screen white and hung it on the wall behind the bed. The result is a texture-rich setup with a deeply Latin American flair—truly a feast for the eyes.

bedroom with a repurposed screen from india serving as the headboard
Bjorn Wallander

Charming Textiles Bedroom

If you can’t quite commit to using a screen as a headboard, reupholstering one in a unique fabric is the next best thing. In this 1870s Bedford, New York, carriage house, Virginia Tupker (Vogue editor turned interior designer with a firm place on our A-List) blesses the master bedroom’s headboard with a 19th-century Pakistani textile—which pairs quite well with the Venetian bedspread and serves as a boho-inspired focal point in a room otherwise dominated by a toned-down palette.

cozy bedroom with boho reupholstered headboard out of a pakistani textile
Mikkel Vang

Rattan-Accented Nursery

In Natasha Baradaran’s farmhouse-style project for a couple in Santa Monica, the designer’s Persian and Italian background shines bright—and so does her carefully curated mashup of Art Deco and bohemian elements. Those looking to upgrade their bedrooms can take a page from this nursery (particularly, its chandelier by Arteriors). Made of rattan—a tough, climbing plant that many designers love to incorporate into furniture—the light fixture injects some tiki-themed elegance into the room. "Rattan objects have a beautiful duality of strength and fragility," Baradaran tells us, explaining her choice for the material. Bohemians are known to have the warm and fuzzies for everything outdoors-related, so organic decor materials are guaranteed to provide a much-needed hit of nature.

natasha baradaran designed nursery with rattan chandelier
Roger Davies

Chaise Longue Longing

Fashion designer Johanna Ortiz’s Cartagena vacation house is equal parts sultry and sophisticated. She successfully bottled up the city’s free-spirited magic and released it indoors—with rooms like this one for guests, where the dramatic, red chaise longue and Uzbek print pillows from LP Decor serve as a foil to the no-frills, whitewashed walls. Chaise longues usually have a “fancy pants” reputation in the design industry, serving as a kind of modern-day ode to 18th-century Rococo. Yet, Ortiz managed to make this furniture placement walk the fine line between upbeat and stately: easy on the bourgeois, heavy on the boho.

boho bedroom with red chaise longue and uzbek print pillows
Ricardo Labougle

Carved Door Moment

It’s only natural that the heir to a fabric-and-rug empire will have an East Village apartment with interiors to swoon over. With the help of decorator Sasha Bikoff, Chad Stark worked to unify his rooms not only through an overarching blue palette but also objects with deep history. In his bedroom, carved wooden doors from Indonesia (which Stark decided to keep from a previous renovation) practically hum with a storied, global past. Open them and you’ll find an equally alluring bed—upholstered in Sultan velvet by the French brand Leliever.

bedroom with carved wooden doors from indonesia
William Waldron

Crocheted Quarters

Incorporating crochet into a bedroom’s interiors, similar to a macramé moment, is a classic move in the boho playbook. You can do it via a wall hanging, window treatments, or (like in this guest room of a Portuguese property pampered by Argentine interior designer Luis Galliussi) with crocheted-cotton coverlets. The latter will bring breeziness to even the stuffiest of spaces—evoking scenes of long, luxurious holidays spent in seaside B&Bs.

bohemian bedroom with two adjoining beds dressed in crocheted cotton coverlets
Ricardo Labougle

Tiled Retreat

When Amanda Seyfried chooses to spice up the floors of a guest room in her Catskills retreat with cement tiles, you waste no time and do the same. Designer Sarah Zames set these tiles by Commune into the room’s reclaimed-oak flooring, and the final product turned out to be sleeping quarters that might as well be straight out of Marrakech—with the vintage chair and oversized floor mirror playing supporting roles in the understated drama of it all.

amanda seyfried boho bedroom with cement tiles embedded into the floors
Stephen Kent Johnson

Carte Blanche Bedroom

Clearly, bold colors and a loose kind of maximalism are recurring themes in many of the boho bedrooms we’ve spotlighted so far. This primary bedroom in an art dealer’s San Francisco loft (decorated by Stephan Jones) does things a bit differently, however, by giving the owner much-needed breathing room for a bit of daydreaming and inspiration. With a simple bedspread out of antique Belgian linen, walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Super White, and a sparse approach to furnishings, it bestows bohemian dreamers everywhere with the blank page they’re so craving.

simple boho bedroom with white bedding and a sparse approach to furnishings
William Abranowicz

Rustic Bohemian Room

Card-carrying bohemians are quick to preach the merits of eco-conscious living, including the repurposing of old clothes and furniture into new, more useful creations. In the Uruguay home of Eva Claessens and Kris Ghesquière—an artist and an art dealer, respectively—the master bedroom is gently adorned by a bright red, striped rug that used to be a… drumroll please… Bolivian poncho. You’d never guess just by looking at it, but this backstory makes the rug an ideal conversation piece: flaunting its owners’ penchant for sustainability and great tastes both.

boho bed with repurposed rug that used to be a bolivian poncho
Ricardo Labougle

Circus Tent Ceiling Bedroom

ELLE DECOR A-List designer Peter Dunham created a Hollywood Hills home for actress Minnie Driver that’s generously informed by their similarly nomadic upbringing. Cutting across cultures and centuries, the master bedroom’s furniture selections speak a truly bohemian vernacular. Yet, the wall covering and shade by Peter Dunham Textiles are the two details that truly make something unforgettable out of the room. The fact that they blend into each other creates the illusion of a sloping circus tent, and who among boho spirits wouldn’t want to ditch everything and run away with the circus?

boho bedroom with ceiling that resembles a circus tent via its pattern and coloring
William Abranowicz

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