Bored of traditional or temporary trends? Turn your living room into an artsy and uplifting area with the right mix of bohemian and modern interiors.
If you're known for being unconventional and quirky, you shouldn't settle for anything less than a decor style that showcases it, and we bet that modern boho is the right fit.
Whether you've heard of it by this name, boho chic, or urban boho, the core idea is the same: blending bold and unusual items - especially with a hippie, beatnik, or exotic feel - with the more streamlined and relaxed feel of modern decor.
Modern boho living rooms are full of color, natural elements, textures, ethnic patterns, and eclectic vibes, but it's all about finding the right balance for your taste.
To help you get there, our interior design experts have compiled a list of tips and tricks to experiment with.
1. Aim for pieces that are (or look as if they were) one of a kind
Forget about the trendiest and most contemporary mass-produced furniture!
In a modern boho living room, you want to focus on pieces that look as if they had been found in the most exotic or quirkiest markets or boutiques.
Even better? On pieces that actually are one of a kind, perhaps because they’re hand-made or preloved.
2. Include a traditionally ‘boho’ chair
When it comes to the ‘boho’ side of things, there are several seating solutions that you can consider.
Obviously, anything quirky, exotic, and with a unique vibe will work wonders, but there are certain models that are especially popular with this style: Papasan chairs, princess chairs, and hanging designs.
Adding one—or more!—of these chairs will instantly inspire some boho vibes in your seating area.
3. Decorate with macrame
Macrame is a must in modern boho living rooms! These expert knotting techniques result in artsy masterpieces that will help you reinforce the spontaneous and crafty feel of this style.
There are several ways to incorporate macrame into your living room: for example, through hanging pots, small decorative items, or even larger and bolder artwork, much like in this charming room.
4. Try versatile modern furniture…
While some boho accent chairs are never a bad idea, you could also use modern or mid-century modern furniture as a base in your seating area.
Some strategic options involve dark wood finishes, tapered legs, leather or warm-colored upholstery, and short but long designs that emphasize their horizontal feel (especially for sofas or console tables).
5. … and bold bohemian accent pieces
If modern furniture is a wise starting point to create the base of your living room decor, boho accent pieces are what can really bring it to life.
For example, you could add some electric cushions to your neutral-colored modern sofa, some eye-catching artwork above your wooden end table, or a large rug with a colorful print or an ethnic pattern to tie your seating area together.
6. Find the right blend of modern and bohemian furniture for your taste
Because it’s a mixture of two decor styles (one of which is known for its spontaneous approach), modern boho leaves you more flexibility than other interior trends.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to blend the clean lines and warm hues of modern decor with the eclectic splash of color of bohemian interiors: focus on what you love the most about them rather than aiming for a 50-50 split.
7. Go crazy with pillows
We’re not (necessarily) suggesting a pillow fight: just keep in mind that cushions are key in modern boho homes.
They’re ideal to showcase natural materials, textures, ethnic patterns, and bold colors. Plus, because they’re small, you can even create multiple rows.
So, be sure to add quite a few, from your sofa to that accent chair, and try to achieve some contrast against their background to help them pop.
8. Embrace white as your primary color
Even though modern boho living rooms thrive on a combination of colors, there’s a reason why you’ll often see an abundance of white: it helps maintain a relaxed and airy feel while allowing the rest of your eclectic items and patterns to pop!
As well as white walls, you could consider furniture pieces in the same color, which you can then decorate with cushions and throws in accent hues.
9. Pair up some contrasting colors
A hypnotizing trick to create a balanced contrast when adding hues to your bohemian palette is to experiment with shades on the opposite sides of the color wheel.
As you can see in this example, a white background will still help you maintain a relaxing feel when different colors are involved.
10. Add some bold accent hues
While modern palettes tend to prioritize warm, neutral, and earthy shades, some of the most popular bohemian colors are green, purple, blue, and red.
Because they’re bolder and more vibrant, they’re especially ideal as accent hues in modern boho living rooms, from your cushions to the quirkiest decorative items.
11. Create a harmonious palette
If a clash of colors doesn’t resonate with you, don’t worry: you don’t need to give up on your modern boho dream!
Instead, stick to a simple and cohesive palette, like this boho chic living room with white as a primary color, a versatile shade of pink as its secondary hue, and green as an accent.
The right furniture pieces, decorative items, and textures will still embody your modern boho inspiration.
12. There’s no such thing as too many plants in modern boho living rooms!
The line between ‘modern boho living rooms’ and ‘urban jungle’ can be finer than a macrame thread!
While an abundance of house plants might not be a signature element of modern interiors, it goes leaf in hand with the boho side of things.
Some popular choices are monsteras, succulents, ferns, and yuccas, but anything particularly leafy and green will look divine (why not use green as your room’s accent color?).
13. Try iconic modern lighting fixtures…
When it comes to lighting, a bright idea would be to consider the most immediately recognizable modern designs.
This could involve the starburst overhead lights that characterize mid-century modern interiors or other retro models experimenting with geometric shapes such as circles or straight lines.
14. … and exotic, bohemian ideas
From your main overhead light to tall floor lamps, get creative with eclectic boho designs, too.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, think textures, layers, and unpredictable shapes: fringes, beads, woven materials, rope, rustic wood, aged metal…
Basically, anything that looks as if it had been picked up from a market on the other side of the world.
15. Include some modern geometric patterns
Another way to homage the modern side of your living room inspiration is to add some of the geometric patterns that were so popular with 20th-century trends.
For example, trapezoidal and semi-circles for some art deco vibes, a blend of straight and rounded lines for a mid-century modern twist, or some chevrons for a more generic modern feel.
Some strategic spots for them are your cushions, wallpaper, and rugs.
16. Display the most creative artworks
With creativity being such an important element in boho interiors, it’s no wonder that large pictures and artwork can help you reinforce them.
Rather than mass-produced pieces, showcase your favorite unique designs and put them right in the spotlight by turning one of them into your main focal point.
You could make the most of some strategic accent lighting, too.
17. Create the right setup for friendly conversations
Casual, carefree, and spontaneous vibes: since they’re all part of the charm behind boho interiors, you could reinforce them even further by facilitating catchups with friends and family.
Taking the size and shape of your living room into consideration, plan a seating area that includes a modern sofa and some bohemian chairs around a central coffee table.
18. Modern boho living rooms usually follow a maximalist approach…
From clashing colors to an abundance of items, boho rooms tend to be vibrant and full of elements, so don’t be afraid to go overboard with your decorative pieces.
Plants, wall decor, books, souvenirs on shelves, cushions, artwork… These can all add to your boho vibes, especially when you focus on quirky and unique pieces that could all be a conversation starter on their own.
19. … but you can stick to minimalism if that’s what makes you happy
Just because something is popular with an interior style, it doesn’t mean that you should force yourself to embrace it if it doesn’t resonate with your idea of decor.
In fact, a minimalist twist for your modern boho living room could even allow you to put a smaller selection of meaningful pieces right in the spotlight while maintaining a more relaxed and less cluttered feel.
20. Consider tapestry as wall decor
With boho decor involving different textures, patterns, and colors, you can’t go wrong by experimenting with large wall tapestry.
Just like a more traditional piece of artwork or a picture, it could become the main focal point in your living room, and you can even use it to tie your palette together by choosing a design that includes your main colors.
21. Decorate with unusual items
By now, you’ve realized that modern boho interiors can really stimulate and bring out your creativity.
This beautiful wall section with straw hats used as decorative items is just one example of what you can achieve when you swap popular trends for quirkier twists: woven plates, terracotta pieces, colorful baskets, textiles…
In modern boho living rooms, you don’t have to be afraid to think outside the box!
22. Add a showstopping rug
Your rug can become the star of your modern boho living room.
For more of a modern focus, choose geometric patterns, lines, and neutral or warm colors. For a boho effect, create some vibrant contrast, experiment with exotic patterns, and opt for noticeable textures.
Or how about a crafty balance between the two, like this colorful boho rug with a bold texture and modern shapes and hues?
23. Opt for a mid-century modern twist
While modern interiors can draw inspiration from different 20th-century decades, mid-century modern decor focuses on the 50s and 60s.
If these are the trends that resonate with you the most, you could complement your boho room with some furniture that includes tapered legs, a horizontal feel, rounded edges, and warmer wood finishes.
24. Add a pouf (or more)
As well as your main seating solutions, you could consider some smaller ones like pouf and ottomans.
Not only are they ideal to reinforce the casual and spontaneous vibes of this style, but they can be a strategic choice in rooms where space isn’t a luxury.
By getting rid of the backrest, they don’t get in the way of your visual flow, making your room appear wider and airier.
25. Rattan and bamboo are your best friends
There are two main reasons why you should consider these materials when it comes to your living room furniture as well as decorative items and accents: they’re natural and result in eye-catching patterns or textures, which is ideal for your boho inspiration.
26. Showcase your books
If you happen to have dozens of books, don’t hide them behind some closed cupboard doors! Instead, make the most of your open storage, from wall shelves to cabinets.
Think of them as decorative pieces when you display them: for example, you could alternate traditional rows of books and vertical piles, turn their spines inward to create a cohesive feel, or include small decorative pieces.
27. Dedicate a corner to your art or creative passions
Do you play the guitar? Do your hobbies include arts and crafts? Have you been experimenting with watercolors, lately? Then make all this a core element of your modern boho living room!
Remember: this style is big on spontaneous and creative vibes, so anything that celebrates arts and helps you feel inspired will always look right with these interiors.
28. Choose eye-catching curtains
Flowy, made of fabric, and perfect to showcase the most attention-grabbing patterns or textures: uh, hello? You didn’t actually forget about curtains in your modern boho living room, did you?
For example, some fringes and bold hues would be ideal for a boho twist, whereas geometric patterns tend to be more popular with modern styles.
29. Scout for the most eclectic pieces
When introducing new furniture pieces or decorative and accent items, be bold: don’t let anything hold you back if you truly want to emphasize your most creative boho inspiration.
For example, doesn’t this peacock-shaped table look divine in between those modern chairs?
30. Think of bigger elements and fixtures, too
Another way to add an exotic or eclectic twist to your modern boho living room is to think of bigger and more permanent elements such as noticeable wooden beams or even decorative columns.
If your room already includes something similar, emphasize them by decorating them with noticeable items, like wrapping fairy lights around them.
If it doesn’t but you like this idea, consider some clever tricks like faux wooden beams.
31. Experiment with symmetry in a creative way
A symmetrical approach to your furniture arrangement and decor can easily complement the clean lines and geometric-based shapes of your modern inspiration.
At the same time, you can use bolder or brighter boho accent pieces to break this symmetry consciously in a few areas, like this pleasant shelf that includes three small frames on the left and two on the right.
32. Consider a creative wallpaper
Most modern boho living rooms tend to rely on white walls that allow you to make a variety of decorative items pop. However, if you prefer patterns, why not experiment with wallpaper?
Sticking to geometric shapes or lines will homage the retro vibes of modern interiors, whereas more exotic patterns (like this rich example) will emphasize the boho side of things.
33. Create an urban jungle
As we’ve already seen, plants are extremely popular with this style, but they aren’t the only element that you can use to achieve an urban jungle feel.
For example, you could include some leafy artwork or even experiment with bold wallpaper or an evocative background like in this stunning living room.
Wooden or bamboo elements and rattan furniture will certainly add to your urban jungle vibes, too.
34. Use your bolder accents to create a cohesive feel
That way, you’ll allow them to pop while also maintaining an aesthetically pleasing consistent look.
For example, this living room includes pink and blue hues through the cushions, flower pot, lamp, and artwork.
35. Make your modern boho living room more retro
Are you fascinated by this modern take on bohemian interiors because you have a soft spot for nostalgic retro rooms?
Then embrace this side of modern decor by including curved angles, pastel colors, metal accents like chrome, glass furniture, and geometric patterns, too.