Friday, October 4, 2013

Pattern Mixing for Bohemian Decorating

Love that Bohemian mixed pattern look, it is so uncontrived and spontaneous. Right? Well, yes and no. It is a spontaneous look when you want the result carefree but mostly cohesive like the fab example shown below: 

Lovely nook via Pinterest

That relaxed, lived-in feeling is probably the result of years of collecting things they loved and re-used family furniture. 
But it can also take careful planning and execution for that uncontrived, carefree feel.  
Check out the example below:  

Perfect pattern mixing via Pinterest

The rug is the foundation and starting point. We've discussed that before in previous posts and here it is in practice. The common ground is the fresh red pulled into several disparate patterns. Other colors are added in from those patterns, so we ended up with red, yellow, sharp and soft turquoise and tiny amounts of green all against a neutral background. Here's another:

Formal, Sophisticated Pattern Mixing via Pinterest 
Again the starting point was the rug, the wall color was chosen to increase the volume. The gorgeous screen picks up black from the rug border and adds additional color choices. The sofa and chair were selected to complement this new introduction. The sharper purple Ikat patterned pillows are a mixture of red and purple probably a nod to the red in the screen and the ceramic pot on the table. So how easy is this to do at the fabric store? Well, I went to one and look what I've come up with:

Soft Boho look via author

Let's assume you have a black/beige oriental rug on the floor (after all it's the most common oriental I've seen in client's homes) and that you have a pretty patterned sofa in the pale turquoise/gray shown. Loads of options here for adding additional color. Would love some beige or brown leather chairs with this!
Next I took the same floral and switched it to:

Beige Bohemian via author

This type of beigey velvet is in sooo many homes I go to! Well, here is that same floral with additional patterns leaning towards red. Love the idea of turquoise and red with the beige!
Lastly, I took the diamond pattern to:

Stunning Black & Red via author

A basic black pin striped sofa that is probably the second most frequently seen in my client's homes. That same diamond print sure changes with the darker background! I love the pops of red on black and the cheeky animal print.

So, can you see how it's done? Start with your rug, add some fabric choices with a common color threaded through and your whole room comes together easily. I can hardly wait to use some of these fabrics and add in the accessories to finish that Bohemian room.

Please write a comment on how you got to your color choices in your room, I'd love to hear from you!  


  1. New reader here ..... and I love your posts so far! Re the Beige Bohemian, the colors are a close match to those I use in a big portion of my home, i.e., red, turquoise/teal, gold. My question is, what color would you paint the walls for the Beige Bohemian room using your swatches if one wanted to use a color, rather than some variation of white?

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