Starving artists, poets, and musicians channel the muse when it comes to designing their homes. Bohemian design, the result of these efforts, has made a name for itself when it comes to effortless style, affordability, and comfort. Boho rugs, furniture, and artwork invite themselves into your design and make themselves at home immediately.
Boho style isn’t one specific pattern or design — it’s a lifestyle filled with expressions of creativity. It relies on eye-catching colors, themes, and vibes to make a person feel as if they live inside a painting or a short story. These rooms are where people like Jack Kerouac and Oscar Wilde found inspiration. You can use the tools of the trade, like boho rugs, to write your own story in your home.
Boho rugs charm the eye of the beholder with their vibrant patterns and quaint styles. Warm colors, like the ones found in a Picasso painting, meld with bold lines and abstract ideas to act as a centerpiece in a room full of centerpieces. Boho rugs bring comfortable drama to any room, using cultural patterns and soft textures to help guide your thoughts into manifestations of personality and independence.
How Bohemian Style Came to Be
Boho rugs have deep stylistic roots. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cities like Paris, London, and New York became havens for young artists and writers who wanted to break free from the traditional ways to live on farms and in their family businesses. They chose to live for art instead of profit and comfort. While they could only afford to live in poorer areas, often in old buildings that had seen better days, their surroundings and budget didn’t stop them from bringing style into their apartments and studios.
The name bohemian came from a mischaracterization of the Romani people. The French and English believed that these people had come from Bohemia, now known as the Czech Republic. Surrounded by people from other cultures who often lived in poorer parts of the city, artists adopted some of their patterns and styles, borrowing from the Romani, the eastern European families, and Middle Eastern families.
These residents made their own pieces as well. They would provide hand-crafted furniture, paintings, sculptures, and other furnishings to their fellow creatives who lived nearby, often in exchange for goods or services. Any other form of luxury would often be an inherited piece or a flawed piece (think overdyed rugs or plates with the wrong designs).
The pre-Raphaelites, an artistic movement, lived dedicated bohemian lifestyles, often seen through their art. These paintings romanticized stories and history, displayed dramatic colors and textures, and highlighted human emotions and feelings, much to the dismay of the traditional critics. Their influence carried over from these paintings into interior design as well, allowing for emotional bursts of color and texture in living spaces.
In the 1920s, a new version of bohemian style burst onto the scene. Artists and painters shifted to more abstract patterns. Jazz and freeform poetry came from this era. While one noted bohemian, author Malcolm Crowley, declared that “Bohemia is always yesterday,” other bohemian artists and musicians wanted to break free from the past and marry the old with the new. Modern, abstract patterns and shapes worked their way into bohemian interior design.
The Beatniks came about in the 1950s with yet another interpretation of bohemian design. More eccentric patterns and a heavy Asian influence came about, with the introduction of Buddhism and Asian philosophies, as well as African American culture and styles. Bohemian style became more and more inclusive, encouraging different philosophies and lifestyles.
Eventually, this kind of design morphed into what is popularly known as hippie culture in the 1960s and 1970s. Greenery, plants, and all-natural designs slowly grew into the idea of bohemian culture.
This reliance on art, feeling, and multiple cultures and philosophies shape what we know as boho style today. Boho rugs like this Gray Mottled Abstract Area Rug pair drama, plush comfort, and affordability into one piece, making any room a statement without isolating it from functionality.
A Rainbow of Bohemian Choices: Incorporating Boho Rugs in Your Home
Where does a bohemian rug belong? In your home, of course! Whether you want to shake things up with a traditional rug surrounded by mid-century modern furniture, or want to introduce natural fiber into your contemporary space, boho rugs find the best ways to integrate into your room.
A hallmark of bohemian style includes thinking outside the box when it comes to decorating. Rugs can lay on the floor, but they can also be displayed in a unique variety of other ways, including hanging on the wall like a work of art or draped across an end table to create a look like no other. The plush texture, oriental pattern, or vibrant colors deserve their own frame or spotlight on your home stage.
Overdyed Persian rugs, faded fringe, and thick, chunky tassels all belong in the same room when you’re looking to decorate in a Bohemian style. Consider surrounding your furniture with real or faux plants to give your room an overgrown, jungle aesthetic that incorporates natural beauty and man-made beauty in the same space.
Boho’s eclectic tastes in patterns and colors make it perfect for other rooms, not just rooms designed to look bohemian. Faded or overdyed boho rugs with Moroccan, Persian, or Scandinavian patterns can dress up a mid-century modern room as well. The abstract patterns and splashes of color found on some boho rugs match with a contemporary, minimalist style. Meanwhile, the vintage boho styles can even make themselves at home in a traditional, classical room. Good taste belongs anywhere.
Modern boho style reflects all the different eras, including the origin. Boho rugs like this Nordic Medallion Area Rug in orange place the emphasis on all-natural, organic materials, and vibrant colors. Boho style is fluid and relies on the person designing the room to define it as an expression. What could you bring to a boho style that no one else could?
Boho Rugs (and Style) Are Perfect for the Budget-Minded
One of the greatest elements of boho style is that it takes affordability into account. Starving artists certainly couldn’t buy multiple rooms of brand new furniture. They thrifted pieces out of necessity but sought durable items that wouldn’t break. These materials didn’t need high maintenance or constant repair but still looked stylish even after a few years of hard living. Vintage styles often play leading roles in a boho style.
One doesn’t simply buy or design a boho room–it’s created after years of collecting pieces and finding the perfect arrangements for a functional space. The style is made to match your habits. Do you often sit by the window to catch the last few rays of sunlight? Add a boho rug and an antique rocking chair you found at a garage sale to make your daily tradition more comfortable. Do you eat breakfast often in the living room while watching TV? Grab a small end table and a little circular rug to dress up the space where you eat.
Thrift stores and flea markets are the boho decorator’s best friend. Bulky garden vases and chandelier lamps fit beautifully with a small shag rug for a textural contrast. Nature’s art, plants, and flowers can be grown in your home for free while embellishing your space with beauty and character. Affordable, washable rugs can be found at Rugs USA, allowing you to enjoy that bohemian look you desire without breaking your budget. With a washable rug, you won’t have to pay to have a vintage style professionally cleaned. Simply roll it up and put it in the wash.
Is your grandma getting rid of some of her old furniture? Snap up that old hutch no one wants and put this Multi Modern Moroccan Shag Tassel Area Rug in front of it to use in the dining room to serve meals.
Find Boho Rugs at Rugs USA!
If you want a little corner of your space to capture the bohemian spirit, or if you need the perfect floor cover for your artistic loft where you do all your best creating, look no further than Rugs USA! Hundreds of boho rugs in all sorts of colors, styles, and shapes can help you find your voice in your home’s interior design. Check out our selection!