The bohemian style is carefree and vibrant, and welcomes creativity and uniqueness. Influenced by nomadic tribes and exotic cultures from eastern Europe and north Africa, a bohemian – or boho – aesthetic is eclectic, romantic and inspired by global travel.
A boho garden is a wonderful haven for anyone that embraces whimsy and imperfection. Decks, terraces, balconies and lawns can all be given a relaxed style, transforming them into a cool, casual place to unwind.
Bohemian Garden Ideas for Your Home
When it comes to bohemian styling, there’s an element of truth in the idea that “anything goes”. While that’s cool and convenient if you already have a collection of furniture and tchotchkes to use as inspiration, it’s not always helpful if you’re trying to execute a creative vision from scratch. Here are our top tips for keeping it cohesive.
Curate; don’t hoard
Eclectic styling can feel like a free pass to pick up anything and everything that catches your eye. Resist. Be selective about what decor, furniture and plants you collect for your garden and whether it ties in with your overall aesthetic – do you love a shabby-chic, retro vibe? Or are you more into Middle Eastern design? Choosing pieces that fit together – however loosely – stops your garden looking like a salvage yard.
Mix and match
Both parts of this sentiment are equally important. Decide on the “match” part first; define your vision, then figure out your colour scheme (either by looking at the items you already have, or by using a colour palette tool). From there, you’re free to mix up textures, patterns and fabrics to your heart’s content. As you can see from this little balcony, shades of blue look fresh and fun when they’re contrasted with pops of deep red.
Colours are key
On the subject of colours, the best way to deliver a bohemian kind of vibe is to focus on sun-baked, desert tones. Browns and tans are a good base, with rich golds and ochres on top. Add jewel tones like emerald or amethyst, or brighter pops like aquamarine. This playfully-styled deck is a perfect example of how bright colours can be tied together with splashes of hot pink.
Choose earthy, natural materials
Natural pottery, wood, hemp and cotton – all good choices for a bohemian garden theme. Avoid plastic as much as possible, and go for glass, bamboo, rattan, leather and rough metals. The burnt ochre and deep blue tie the mis-matched furniture together on this balcony, while wood and pottery textures keep the look grounded.
Add some shine
Metallics add intrigue and dazzle to an otherwise relaxed design style. Look for subtle reflective elements, like tiny mirrors sewn into upholstery or silver hardware. These look particularly mystical during golden hour or in the evening surrounded by candles and lanterns.
Literally – choose pieces that are low to the ground if you want to instantly conjure a bohemian feel. Sitting on pouffes or in a low swing seat evokes the feeling of an exotic beach, or sultry bedouin tent. Remember: it looks better if you don’t have a completely matching set of garden furniture.
Layer, layer and layer some more
The more textures and prints, the better (as long as they fit your palette)! Cushions, rugs and throws in highly-tactile fabrics are perfect for building up eclectic layers. Think tassels, fringing, woven materials and pompoms.
Bohemian Garden Furniture Ideas
We take a look at lots of different garden furniture ideas in this article, but right now, let’s focus on some of the more unusual types of furniture that can fit in with bohemian garden ideas.
As we mentioned, cushions and pouffes absolutely bring that boho vibe. They’re also great for temporary seating, as they’re easy to store and clean. Beanbags are a bit bulkier than cushions, but they look fantastic in the right fabric. Plus, they’re super comfy.
Does anything say “chilled out” more than a hammock? String one up between two mature trees, or bolt one into a wall for the ultimate hang spot – see what we did there? Hanging chairs and swing seats are just as fun.
Divans feel much more elegant than a regular sofa, and look incredible underneath draped fabric, like the one pictured.
Upcycled garden furniture
Using upcycled furniture is a great way to create a more eclectic feel in your garden. You can often find pre-loved pieces at flea markets, car boot sales, vintage shops and salvage yards – either already upcycled or ready for you to adapt yourself.
Try print trays and pigeon holes as planters, or an old cabinet as a patio bar. There are about a million ways you can turn old pallets into furniture and shelves, if you’re so inclined. You can get lots of inspiration online if you need creative ways to decorate, rebuild and transform any old piece of furniture.
Incorporate Your Own Crafts
Maybe you’re already a bit crafty with fabric, pottery or metalwork. A bohemian garden is the perfect place to showcase your own handiwork.
Garlands, wreaths and bunting make for exquisite soft touches to a pergola or covered seating area. They also look beautiful strung across a plain wall, or illuminated alongside festoon lighting.
Handmade cushions covers are a way to put your own, completely unique stamp on your garden. They’re pretty easy to make, even if you’ve never sewn before. If you have old clothing or textiles that you think would fit in your bohemian theme, cushion covers are a simple way to incorporate them.
It looks great when no two pots in your garden are the same. Making your own clay pots is a wonderful way to achieve this, as well as practicing your craft. Even if you’re not that crafty, finding unusual, handmade items wherever you travel is the best way to build up an authentic, bohemian scheme in your garden.
Ideas for Decorating Your Bohemian Garden
There are just loads of ways to bring life, colour and comfort into a boho-styled outdoor space, no matter how big of small.
Rugs, throws and cushions look great in layers – you really can’t have too many so long as you can still sit down. Rich colours, intricate embroidery and clashing prints combine to bring the boho chic.
It’s not all about soft furnishings. Hanging decor like windchimes, dream catchers and macrame pennants look lovely under a pergola. With a bit of thoughtful placement, they can work together with low seating to make it feel like you’re stepping into a tropical tent whenever you sit outside.
Stained glass, mirrors and painted tiles are beautiful ways to add colour into your boho back-yard, either on their own as art pieces or incorporated into furniture or ornaments. Try hiding some in flower beds, or along a partially-obscured fence.
Bohemian Garden Lighting Ideas
Great lighting is the key to transforming the ambience of any garden after dark, so it’s really important that you choose your lighting for a boho garden carefully. Depending on the type of bohemian styling you’ve chosen, different kinds of lighting can pull the whole look together.
Fairy lights can be strung across walls or woven around a pergola, imitating a starry sky, or pretty fireflies. They look wonderful in any style of bohemian garden, but especially in romantic, enchanted spaces. The hundreds of tiny bulbs will reflect off of every surface, so make sure they’re captured by the metallic elements you’ve incorporated.
Festoons have a retro feel that’s perfect for a fairground or festival vibe. Plus, they offer a lot more light than fairy lights alone, so they’re a practical choice if you want your garden to be functional in the evenings.
Lanterns are beautiful, especially in Moroccan-inspired styles. You can put real candles in them, or artificial candles (with a remote control) for the same visuals but without the hassle.
The Best Plants for a Bohemian Garden
The beauty of this eclectic aesthetic is that you can really choose whichever plants you like the look of (and are prepared to look after). As with fabrics, furniture and decor, it can be helpful to look for common themes in your plants and then choose a variety of colours or textures.
Tall plants add drama and visual interest to any garden. Delphiniums and lupins are perfect for this reason, as are hollyhocks and foxgloves.
We talked about handmade pots earlier, but a collection of flower pots in all shapes and sizes is always a good look in a boho setting. Remember to keep at least one element of consistency – whether that’s colour, pattern or shape – and then play around with size and texture.
Like bunting and windchimes, hanging baskets help you make the most of the full height of your garden area. Let them overflow with trailing plants for maximum “wow” factor.
Relaxing In Your Boho Space
The best part of a bohemian style garden? It’s okay when it gets a little messy and overgrown. The carefree aesthetic means you don’t need to prune your plants to perfection or maintain impossibly clean lines in your lawn. Once you’ve built your bohemian paradise, just lay back and relax.