You are not alone in having a fondness for boho small living room ideas. Not just for the artistically talented, bohemian decor is a beautiful and approachable interior design style that does not need a lot of physical square footage to be stylish either.
I have been a big fan of boho interiors for a long time, house plants, natural materials, and items I’ve collected on travels all feature in my space. As someone who has rented my whole adult life — with the restrict of a small living room — I know getting the boho look right is a balancing act. You want to keep nature, escapism, and soul at the heart of this style in a way that looks authentic, effortless, and a little modern.
Whether you know that boho is the way you want to go in your small living room and are looking for inspiration, or if you are curious to see whether this eclectic look appeals to you at all, step right this way for our design experts’ guide to nailing boho chic.
Boho small living room ideas
"Boho is an aesthetic that incorporates different cultures and art, organic and handcrafted materials, and earth tones in a whimsical way," says interior designer Ami McKay. It should look cool and contemporary, without feeling cluttered, or try-hard. Creating a boho vibe in a small living room is within reach, we promise.
Ami McKay founded PURE Design in 2000 on the belief design is found in the art of giving. The work she puts into each project reflects her personal life experiences and she believes they are at the heart of her business. Today, she is proud to be named one of Canada’s Top Five Interior Designers.
1. A touch of leather for texture
We love this space. The slouchy leather seat and pine small space furniture keeps it relaxed-looking and bohemian, yet polished.
"For small space boho, keep materials simple but go for texture. Look at new or vintage linen, cotton, wool, wood, chestnut leather, caning, and several plants also enhance boho style," recommends Ami.
2. Oversize patterned rugs and soft furnishings
Patterns will tell a tale in all spaces, and finding the right one is key to a bohemian home aesthetic. When working with a small space, you don't want to choose a pattern that is too busy. Instead, look for bold colors and forms to add charm and charisma.
"Oversized geometric patterns in tiles, art, and rugs work well. Look for Beni and Moroccan rugs, which are iconically boho as they are lush, fun, and visual," says Ami. "They will make your space cozy. You can find vintage ones on Etsy."
3. Keep furniture interesting but simple
"Simple, well-made furniture in natural finishes that can also work as storage," is what Ami recommends. The key is to keep a boho small living room interesting, but functional and uncluttered so it doesn't accumulate dust and come across as dated or feel like a thrift shop. "Work with the space you have, and don’t try to cram in too much."
Use wall space where you can. We love this rattan wall shelf which is perfect for creating a curated display. Choosing multi-functional furniture will be more efficient in a small space. Think storage ottomans and lift-top coffee tables in cool rattan or cozier finishes.
4. Bring earth vibes and artistic charisma
Staying bold with pattern choices, art is at the heart of boho interiors so display your favorite pieces with pride.
Give a nod in your fabric choices to the organic items you‘re keeping in the space for the best boho vibe, especially in small living rooms that want to pack a design punch. Floral and leaf patterns can help achieve this.
5. Curate coziness with color
To bring out the real bohemian spirit of your small space, tap into the color wheel. Throw pillows are your friend here, Wayfair has a particularly big selection of throw pillows which are just as useful for styling a couch in a small space, as they are for adding extra last-minute seating to the floor.
"Your color scheme should be light, neutral, earthy, and cohesive as a base while you can also be fearless with colors and tones in your accent pieces," Ami says. This works as the rest of the space is soft and natural-feeling, with the jute area rug, plant, and soft materials balancing the room as a whole.
6. Look lively with greenery
You’ve probably noticed indoor plants are very much present in small boho living rooms. For height in a small space, you want to focus on drawing the eye up too.
"Add greenery with hanging plants to liven up the room," says Artem Kropovinsky, an interior design expert and founder of Arsight. We like how there is a plant on every level here — including in the woven seagrass basket (easily found on Amazon) — as it adds dimension and makes this reading nook feel cozy in all the right ways.
Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.
7. Balance with color
Brights can definitely feature in a boho space, but the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed. With a small living room, keep a neutral base and add pops of more pigmented color.
The natural, cozy hues here — not to mention the Yin-Yang cushion — prove you can bring a boho vibe in a relaxed and non-commital way, using a few key components, including flowers.
"Acquire earthy tones and lively shades by adding pillows, rugs, or pictures," Artem says. By layering neutrals with just a couple of brighter pops of color, it adds dimension and nods to the style, without feeling OTT.
8. Layer lighting to enhance coziness
Alongside natural light, ambient lighting is the way to go with boho small living room ideas. "To create a lovely ambiance with lighting, we often use oversized pendants made of woven grasses, rattan, and paper maché," says Ami.
You want to choose fixtures and shades in materials that feel close to nature for more warmth. Don't be afraid to layer rattan and cane finishes too.
"Include ambient light with lamps and warm bulbs, and to achieve a warm glow, go for Moroccan lanterns," Artem recommends. Etsy is a good spot to find Moroccan lanterns and more unique lighting options too.
What are the best colors for a bohemian living room?
Neutrals, including creams, and grays will form the base of boho small living rooms. Start with a lofty base, then you can add flair with brighter colors for more vibrancy.
Remember too that color may also come naturally in plants and accessories like travel souvenirs or thrifted objects: "Add character with handmade items or flea market finds," suggests Artem. Be mindful of how many strong hues you add. A red throw pillow will add a nice quirk but too many might be a little strong in a small space, so use your design eye wisely.
What is the quickest way to add boho decor?
The quickest way to make an impact in a small space to add a boho area rug, like one of our favorite Target rugs. Look for for distressed details, interesting patterns, and earthy colors.
There is room to be bold and playful in a small boho living room. It's all about balance and not overwhelming the space while being authentic to your true artistic self. You’ve got this.