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Bohemian chic, also known as boho-chic, is a design style that takes its cues from hippie and bohemian inspiration. Popular since the 1990s, its actual roots go back to the 1960s and the counterculture movement of that era. Some trace it even earlier to 19th-century England. Throughout the decades, its popularity has ebbed and flowed, dependent on various celebrities or luminaries to literally carry the style on their backs and remind pop culture every so often about what makes it so unique.

If you’ve ever been to large music gatherings like California’s Coachella or runway fashion shows, you’ve probably seen some form of bohemian chic in action. For anyone else, it’s identifiable by warm earth tones, layered looks, and mixed patterns for a highly eclectic appearance. After all, bohemian is a reference to counterculture: people who reject the establishment's way of doing things and march to the beat of their own drums.

Now that you’re intrigued about this one-of-a-kind design trend, read on to discover everything about it and how you can make this approach to design all your own.

The Etymology of Bohemian

The word itself is a curious one that often causes confusion for some people. Defined as leading an unconventional lifestyle with others of like mind, it has historically been applied to artists, musicians, literary figures, and even those seeking more transcendental, spiritual pursuits. While these bohemians often carried anti-establishment social and political views, they sometimes also expressed their philosophy by committing to reduced consumption.