25 Perfect Paint Colors For Your Bohemian Style Home

A Bohemian home is a bit of an oxymoron. The term Bohemian defines someone who refrains from putting down roots and eschews social conventions. There were the 19th century Bohemians — artists and poets based mostly in Paris, and then New York City's Greenwich Village, who with a bonfire and a new name, declared it The Independent Republic of Bohemia (via Village Preservation). In the 1960s, a rise of counter-culture saw the renewed embrace of the persona and ideology. In recent years, the moniker has been coopted more to describe a type of home décor, and has succumbed to abbreviation (Boho) — a practice made for texting and productivity metrics. The Guardian argues that the concept has lost its substance, but that may be a time-honored lamenting in light of this verse from the 1920s: "Bohemia is always yesterday." 

The current embodiment could very well be a reaction to 21st century politics and value systems, a desire for uniqueness, and a home that encourages the traveling heart and mind. It centers on keepsakes from far-flung places, and natural objects that invite touch and resist mass production: fiber sculpture, nubby rugs, chunky throws, pottery. According to The Spruce, there are no rules, but warm, earthy colors dominate, while bold hues in accessories and artwork enliven the space; they connect it with the meaning of the word, which should be joyful, eclectic, artistic, and stubbornly individual. Let the images and paint suggestions below be a guide for where Bohemian style can take you.

1. Plaster pink

This warm, pinky beige looks like a rich plaster application. It's amazing with light woods and rattan — stalwarts of East Asian decorating, which informs much of the current Bohemian aesthetic. It's also a beautiful color by candlelight.

2. Ink blue

Dark, dramatic walls showcase pale colors. This navy has a touch of black in it — creating an inky shade more neutral than a brighter blue. The textured fabrics of the headboard and drapes add earthiness to a graphic color story, and the painted floor helps to lighten the space.

3. Middle grey

A middle value grey creates similar moodiness to the ink above, with much less intensity. Color and greenery sing against it, as does the warm wood furniture, contrasting with its underlying tones of blue. The classic drapery and molding detail are a foil to an otherwise mid-century modern room, giving it an air of Bohemian eclecticism. 

4. White

White walls allow for any color or style — they're the most adaptable, and best for displaying artwork. Additionally, they'll reflect existing colors in the room. A green blanket adds pop but repeats the fresh and natural theme of the plants throughout, while textural fabrics and organic elements are key to creating a cozy space within a white box.

5. Mud brown

If you're looking to create earthiness, brown is the obvious way to go. Layering wood tones with the paint color adds depth and weight — as in nature, not all soil and wood are the same shade. For a shot of energy, try artwork or fabrics in a graphic black and white pattern, or a rich botanical color.

6. Verdigris green

Verdigris green is the color of aged copper — it's simultaneously historic, earthy, and bold in feel. A favorite for Paris salons, it has Bohemian influence written all over it. Though green is categorized as a cool color (as opposed to yellow or orange), this shade has a warmth that works well with wood tones and neutrals. 

7. Ivory

Ivory possesses most of the characteristics of white, but is warmer — a wonderful contrasting partner to wood tones, as they exist within the same color family yet miles away. Like white, it's important to use texture in an ivory space to create interest and coziness.

8. Ochre yellow

Ochre is another earthy color. It is pleasant warmth — sunny, but shaded. Play it up with additional warm tones like rust, brown, and peach. In this example, a chair rail is simulated with paint application — the white pulls the ochre back, injecting a neutral counterpoint to keep the yellow from feeling too strong in the room.

9. Ocean green

This dark, stormy green is as edgy as black and charcoal. Yet the minimum amount of color imparts both depth and the soothing benefits of green walls. Wood tones help to warm it up, while contrasting nicely.

10. Khaki

Parts green, brown, and grey, khaki is warm and natural in mood, but looks thoroughly modern with black accents. It's an attractive base for medium to dark wood tones and color: plaster pink, periwinkle, lemon yellow ... all manner of hues work against its neutrality.

11. Charcoal grey

Charcoal grey is restful choice for a nursery as it helps to absorb bright light. It's a gender neutral hue that makes other colors pop and buzz, particularly the pastel shades favored in a baby's room. Bohemian interiors aren't only for adults — soft, tactile fabrics and non-toxic greenery are perfect for children's spaces, too.

12. Mahogany brown

Mahogany brown harmonizes with sandy neutrals and white-washed and light woods, as does its close relative terracotta, but it's a more muted and unusual option. It looks fantastic with aged leather, too.

13. Cement grey

Grey has the effect of softening the quality of the light. Paired with natural elements, like wood and pottery, it's modern and reminiscent of stoneware or concrete. 

14. Emerald green

To go bold with a Bohemian theme, try using nature as inspiration — the colors are usually so immersive. This particular green complements the yellow undertones of rattan because it's formulated with a lot of yellow in it, and as a bonus, it makes us feel like we're in a garden.

15. Palest peach

Pale peach accomplishes a similar effect to grey or black, blurring the lines of a room's limits. Perhaps it's the similarity to a barely sun-kissed sky — in the time before morning or evening have come. It's another gorgeous one by candlelight. 

16. Mushroom

Can one get more down-to-earth in decorating than with a grey-brown paint color? Mushroom has analogous qualities to greige, but it contains more green, a reason wood and plants pair so well with it.

17. Slate

This grey-blue is modern and can read a bit cold; adding wood and textural elements like linen and natural foliage help to soften its inherent coolness. Like the pale peach above, it has an expansive feeling.

18. Graphite black

Soft, matte black creates an enveloping space that seems to silence the edges of a room. Contrasting shapes are highlighted against it — like a film negative — focusing interest and pattern. The warmth of wood juxtaposed with an intensely dark wall is undeniably inviting.  

19. Beige

If ivory seems just about right but you're wanting a little more, it's got to be beige. This color's gotten a bad rap for being boring, but we say there are no boring colors — they just give us more room to play! Look for something that shifts with the light, and don't forget to add texture.

20. Pearl grey

With more depth than white, pearl grey adds a level to the interior without adding color or darkness. If there is a lot of warmth in the room already, through wood and flooring, grey walls could be a nice way to balance those components.

21. Teal

Teal green is a fairly bold hue for a bedroom, but it's fine tempered with lots of neutrals, layers of organic bedding, and stacks of creamy books. The jewel tone relates to Bohemian interiors of the past .  

22. Faux plaster

Appreciation for the beauty of well-worn items and spaces, as opposed to the uniform and meticulous, is a Bohemian concept. Antiques and second-hand finds fit the lifestyle perfectly, as do crackling plaster walls — the look can be achieved with a faux-painting technique. 

23. Greige

Grey plus beige equals greige, and it's been one of the most enduring recent paint trends, and for good reason — it matches just about anything. It's both modern and timeless, and pairs well with reclaimed wood, other neutral tones, and shots of bolder color.

24. Bottle green

Certainly a theme in current Bohemian decorating, green connects us to the outdoors and to healthfulness. Rush baskets, caning, and wood furniture pair with it beautifully; add ivory and stone colored linens to provide the space with some air.

25. Faux concrete

This is for the modern Bohemians of lofty and city ideas — a paint treatment like concrete. It's about nothing being too perfect or polished, and it's a great contrast to contemporary furniture lines and patterns.