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Modern bohemian decor: Locals say it's more than just interior design

Elisabeth Eden mixes textures in her kitchen to create a bohemian vibe. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Eden Photography / Special to The Forum1 / 5
Mid-century chairs are featured at the White House Co. retail space at 14 Roberts Street North. Photo courtesy of the White House Co. / Special to The Forum2 / 5
Eden styled her "piano room" with a large rug and wicker wall art. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Eden Photography / Special to The Forum 3 / 5
Eden's 1960s TV stand doubles as storage space. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Eden Photography / Special to The Forum4 / 5
Katie Schiltz use 1970s macrame and wicker chairs to style bohemian vignettes. Photo courtesy of Two Pines Photography / Special to The Forum5 / 5

FARGO — Once thought of as loud, over-the-top colors paired with intricate Moroccan rugs — modern bohemian decor is now thought of as minimal, intentional and eclectic. Area designers share how this once-boisterous style has organically evolved into playful and vintage-inspired interior design .

Leanne Seibold, owner of The Green Room, a full-service interior and event design firm, describes bohemian home decor as comfortable, yet stylish.

"Bohemian (decor) is not necessarily feng shui, but it does utilize some of those elements whether it's greenery or the scale of furniture, while keeping a good balance with overall space," she says.

Katie Schiltz, who co-owns The White House Co., a retail and vintage rental company, agrees.

"It's very minimal and it uses lots of light," Schiltz says. "The furniture usually features clean lines and tapered legs."

Besides the natural elements like light and hanging or potted plants, bohemian style plays with texture and complementary color palettes. Dating back to the 1700s, bohemians were thought to live a minimalist lifestyle and valued their individuality, according to Glamourshots.com.

"The bohemian style is a romantic that uses textures to create that ambiance," Seibold explains.

Schiltz says during the '70s, the boho style flourished throughout the home, featuring macrame hanging planters. Now, accents like these are back in fashion, Schiltz says.

If you're not a fan of the macrame, Seibold says you can add texture by hanging a rug.

"I have used a rug as small as 3 by 4 inches for a wall hanging before," Seibold says.

Because of its antique roots, boho style often features vintage furniture and home decor. Modern bohemian homes often use mid-century furniture with boho elements. Although, Seibold says if a person uses mid-century pieces, it doesn't necessarily mean their style is completely boho.

"When I think of mid-century modern, I don't always think of it as 'bohemian' unless it uses different textures," she says.

Add texture to any room by using offbeat wall art. Photo courtesy of White House Co. / Special to The Forum

Style fits the space

Although bohemian decor shares similar attributes, each home reflects its inhabitants' personal flair.

"Well, we don't really know if our style is considered 'bohemian' but when you think about it, bohemiam is a very broad term that can really work with any place that has a lot of light, colors or a certain energy," says Emily Erickson, 26, of Fargo.

Erickson cultivates bohemian decor with her partner Oscar De Leon, in their two-bedroom apartment in Fargo.

"We play with light a lot. We just like clean, open spaces," De Leon says. "We are adorning the room with vintage items but then we just play off those vibes."

De Leon uses unconventional items like an old reel-to-reel projector for wall art by his record player. The couple enjoys intentionally crafting each room with specific colors, matching the color to each room's purpose, like the cool colors in the bedroom.

Seibold recognizes the varying aspects of boho home decor and color.

"There are two different ways you can go when using a bohemian style these days," she says. "First, you can use a lot of white, browns, soft pinks or oranges, but sometimes I've seen the use of softer colors with navy blues, playing off the complimentary color scheme."

Elisabeth Eden, a 29-year-old photographer, strays from the traditional eclectic, loud colors used in some boho decor. Her home in south Fargo is more of a "hodge-podge of boho and mid-century modern with neutral tones and natural elements," she says.

In her kitchen, Eden chose deep green mid-century chairs paired with a light brown, naturally stained table built by her husband.

"I had lot of bohemian stuff, but I very carefully selected the items I brought into this house since it's about 100 years newer than our previous home," Eden says.

Although Erickson and De Leon's apartment is very different in size than Eden's house, all three say their bohemian-styled home is deliberately crafted with an affinity for vintage items.

"We just happen to think some of the most beautiful and comfortable things have been previously used and loved by others," Erickson says.

5 boho strategies for home

De Leon, Eden and Erickson all share tips for creating a boho-styled home — advice that can be applied to both home decor and life. Consider these five bohemian strategies.

1. Look for the light.

"If you're looking for a place, then you should look for lots of light," Erickson says. "That's the main reason we are in the apartment we have now. The windows are enormous."

2. Don't rush the process.

Eden says the decor in her new home didn't come together right away when she moved in this summer. "Everything didn't exactly fit when I first moved in," she says. "But I know and tell friends to just enjoy the decorating process, let things to come together naturally."

3. Find items that speak to you.

"We will find ways to fit whatever we like into our existing decor," Erickson says.

De Leon and Erickson say their heritage has a strong influence on their taste so they mesh together Scandinavian-influenced furniture with Mexican-inspired decor items. When asked about where they find items for their home, De Leon admits it's sourced from a variety of places. "A lot of the stuff we have found on the curb or somewhere like that," he says.

4. Choose items that will draw attention.

Eden says adding texture into a room is an easy way to create the bohemian look. "I love to use some tasselled pillows or velvet-covered furniture," she says.

5. Nuture living things.

Designers Seibold and Schiltz affirm that plants are needed to make any bohemian home complete. "Having live things around — whether it is a cactus or ivy — makes things feel comfortable," Erickson says.

April Knutson

April Knutson is lifestyle-focused journalist producing stories for the Forum News Service about people, health, community issues, and services. She earned her degree in both English Literature and Mass Communications. After working as a digital marketing specialist and web design consultant for a few years, she joined Forum Communications in 2015. She grew up on a farm near Volga, S.D. Follow her on Twitter @april_knutson.

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