Building & Renovating

Design School: Making the Bohemian Look Work

There’s a boho style for everyone, whether you like it classy or cozy


How do you make the Bohemian look work for your space? What is Bohemian exactly? 

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “bohemian” is: “A native of Bohemia (a historical reference to a Central European area which includes the Czech Republic—Ed.),” or  “having informal or unconventional social habits.” The latter description of a nonconformist way of life has evolved into a specific style—which could also relate to fashion or decoration—that is full of multi-cultural references, avant-garde, and free-spirited.

Here are two Bohemian inspirations that you may want to consider for your space.

Picks and Styling by Tala Singson and Paula de Guzman. Photographed by Dairy Darilag. Sitting Editor: Issa Villar.

Read the original article ("Bohemian Rhapsody") in the May 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

The Look: Luxe Bohemian

Try it if you have: A glamorous, classic home

How to get the look:

Bohemian doesn’t always have to be about Indian quilts and mirrored cushions. This style is traditional boho but with more restraint in the colors and pieces. Start with a neutral base like a beige-colored sofa, add onto it different textured pillows—you can mix patterns but tie it all together with a solid color palette (in this case, blues and violets). Add hints of lovely gold accessories, and finish it up with a floaty silk pendant lamp to make it look like a snug Bedouin tent. 

Color Palette: 

Rich jewel tones like amethyst, turquoise, lapiz lazuli; warm metallics like gold

Products used in this space:

Medallion Blue Carpet, P34,415, Decoliving Manila; Broaryd Pendant Lamp, P2,500, Mobler; Veroya White Curtains, P999.75/panel, Yucatan Pillow, P399.75, and Goat Skin Bench, P15,599.75, ARQ Curtains; Majalengka Side Table, P5,400, Pong Ottoman (part of a set), price available upon request, Mandaue Foam and Furniture; Silver Aluminum Bowls, P229.75, Gold Accessories, P999.75 (candlesticks) P1,499.75 (bowl), L’Indochine; Topiary, Pxx, Sifra Interiors and Objects; Slippers, P490, AC+632; Columbus Acacia Storage, P1,299.75 (big), P1,199.75 (medium), Super Soft Blanket, P1,449.75, Pillows, P299.75, 349.75, SM Homeworld; Box with Metal Embroidery, P10,500, and Lilac Stems, P2,500 each, KISH

The Look: Industrial-Boho

Try it if you have: A modern pad

How to get the look:

Sometimes a bohemian look can seem out of place in a minimalist-modern condo—especially if it’s owned by a bachelor! Go for a boho-style that’s more gender-neutral. Start with a backdrop that’s raw and unfinished, such as brick, metal, wood with a distressed surface. Add contemporary but edgy furniture in smooth leather or woven hemp. The boho touch here comes out in the soft furnishings and accessories—in this case, rugs, an ikat-print runner used as a throw, and Inca-style pillows. 

Color Palette:

White, black, and gray, with deep, dark color accents such as navy blue, teal, and burgundy

Products used in this space:

Mama Bear Chair, P34,500, Space Encounters; Scriba Round Side Table, P20,000, Maron Table Lamp, P9,603, and Twig Coat Hanger, P9,950, Triboa Bay Living; Selendang Halus Table Runner, P999.75, Batik Pillow Case, P699.75, Lanna Thai Woven Pillow, P599.75, L'indochine; Lanterns, P999.75 (large), P699.75 (small), SM Homeworld; Indian Pouf, P10,500, KISH; Leather Rug, P34,500, Casa Ligna

Real Tip: Internationally renowned Filipino designer Inigo Elizalde makes pillows and rugs that are perfect for this look. Check them out on

*Prices are subject to change.

To view a list of stores and suppliers, click here.


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