A Bohemian style reflects the culture of the Bohemian: a creative person living a carefree life among other creative people. The opera La Boheme and it's modern cousin the musical Rent both celebrate this lifestyle of decadence and abandon. Bohemians rarely have money, however their surroundings do not suffer because they have talent. They use their artistic capabilities to elevate the mundane to the sublime. You can do this in your apartment and use Bohemian creativity to overcome any budgetary limitations.
Feather One's Nest
The Bohemian nest is dependent on color and pattern to give it style. To begin, you must determine your color palette. The easiest way to do this is to find a colorful fabric or printed graphic to use as a template. Select a template with multiple contrasting colors. Great places to look for your pattern include: tablecloths, place mats, sheets, saris, scarves, wrapping paper and vintage clothing. The beauty of this approach is that when you find a piece that you love, you know that the colors work together and complement each other. Once you have your template, find items with similar colors.
Fabric of Bohemian Society
The budget decorator's greatest friends are paints and fabrics. This is especially true when working with Bohemian style. Bohemians are not restrained by any traditional rules of color use or style. In fact, their environments are defined by bold color and freedom of expression. In an apartment however, you might not be able to paint your walls. If not, find cheap vintage pieces of furniture at thrift stores or garage sales and paint them with bold colors. To bring color to your walls, hang or drape colorful curtains. You can also create wall decorations by framing fabrics or covering canvasses with fabric. If sofas and chairs are lacking style or are just plain run down, buy king-size flat sheets in a bold pattern and throw them over your furnishings.
The Bohemians embraced all cultures and embraced the delicate and colorful patterns of the Middle East, India and Asia. Keeping your color palette in mind, purchase furniture and accessories for your apartment with global influences. Mix them regardless of their origin. A wonderful piece to add exoticism to your room is a Persian rug. Persian rugs can be very expensive, but second-hand originals and knock-offs will cost you less money. Add some original art. Either paint it yourself or find inexpensive pieces on eBay.com or Etsy.com, or at thrift stores or garage sales.
Bohemian Rhapsody of Accessories
A few items should shine amidst the decadent chaos of your Bohemian abode. Try adding metallic pieces like lanterns and bowls, or paint items like headboards or side tables bronze, pewter or gold. Glass beads and crystals are also classic accessories in Bohemian style. String beads and hang them as garland, or dangle crystals from lampshades or doorways. Light sources should help create a glow in your room and help your metallic and glass items to shine, however, bright task lighting is not a feature of Bohemian style. Find fixtures with three-way settings that can be set at lower levels when task lighting is not needed.