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dark bohemian living room with tan leather cushions and grey walls

It’s Time to Embrace Dark Bohemian Interior Design

Dark bohemian interior design is one to watch, decorating junkies! Because there’s a distinct move away from that bright, all-white boho look in homes of late. And let’s face facts: you really need to get on board the trend train.

You’ll find loads of inspo online to create that beige-white-coastal style of bohemian design. It’s everywhere. I know it’s gorgeous too, don’t get me wrong. But I feel it’s almost at its peak. In at least a year, it’ll feel overexposed. Done and dusted. Time to hit the hay. You get the idea. It happens to a lot of popular interior design styles. Everyone does it to death and then suddenly… we can’t take it anymore.

Today I wanted to get you to join the dark side with a little help from my friends at Metricon. They have a brand new theme in their interior design LookBook, called Wanderlust, and it’s dark bohemian design done oh so right! I’m beaming from ear to ear over this look, because it takes the best of boho and injects some depth, mood and drama. With a touch of luxe, too.

So let’s take a closer look at this trend and how you can rock it in your own home.

dark bohemian living room with tan leather cushions and macrame wall hanging

The Dark Bohemian Interior Banishes White

You’ll notice straight off the bat that the look doesn’t feature a tonne of white. Personally, I find this super refreshing. The moodier feel of this look is created through the use of neutral tones that are far darker than you’re used to, namely:

  • Chocolate brown shines through materials like timber
  • An array of greys dazzle in wall paint and rugs
  • Tan tones are much-needed in accessories like cushions
  • Black features heavily in curtain rods, table legs and lampshades
  • Pops of brass in lamp bases, ornaments and mirrors are also present
  • Plus cream tones are seen in cushions, wall hangings and other accessories

Sure, there is a little white in this dark bohemian interior design, but it’s oh-so-sparingly. You know us Aussies are so fond of white in our homes that it probably scares you to head in this dark a direction. But trust me when I say white is not right. The moment you change your mindset around an interior needing to be bright and crisp, the richer and more layered your home will feel. Word!

marble coffee table with black mesh legs dark bohemian interior design

Everyone’s gone mad for jewel-toned decor, armchairs and headboards of late. The good news: you can use them in this look. Nothing better than homewares and furniture that evolve!

dark bohemian interior design animal head ornament on black side table

It Brings in the Bling

One of the other things I love about this look is that it encourages bling. Now, I’m by no means a flashy, gold-everywhere, chandelier kinda guy. But it’s nice to merge the luxe trend with this darker bohemian one.

Brass plays a major part here, but in small doses. Think less brass on table or chair legs, and more in one ornament on the coffee table. Some brass in a lamp base on a side table. Or perhaps a brass trim around the mirror in your entryway. Introduce this metallic in small doses and it’ll keep the look feeling high-end, but earthy (which is one of the main draw-cards here!)

I’m also all too aware that everyone’s gone mad for the jewel-toned velvet decor, armchairs, and headboards of late. The good news: you can keep all of those and use them in this look. It’s nice to have an interior scheme that evolves, and this one truly does. All you need to do is bring in more darker tones and more organic textures and you’re onto a winning new interior.

I’d steer clear of silver and copper in this look. The silver is too cold and the copper is too industrial.

dark bohemian interior design macrame cushion and tan cushion in boho living room

This look is the perfect coming together of two worlds: global hotel meets relaxed boho escape. If you get the balance right, you’ll end up with a home that feels sophisticated, exotic, and yet not overly laboured.

dark entryway furniture brown timber entry table with rectangle mirror

Displaying Travel Keepsakes is a Must with this Look

What’s going to keep this look from feeling too forced is the addition of your personal mementoes. Namely travel ornaments and artwork. This dark bohemian interior trend takes a lot of its cues from the global traveller trend, so don’t be afraid to display some keepsakes (ideas for displaying your memories are in this post).

You’ll notice in the imagery here that animal head ornaments are showcased, along with juju hats, ornaments with feathers, and macrame wall hangings. It’s not only global in look and feel, but handmade too. It’s the perfect coming together of two worlds: global hotel meets relaxed boho escape. If you get the balance right (don’t display too many handmade Etsy finds), you’ll end up with a home that feels sophisticated, exotic, and yet relaxed and not too laboured.

When going through your box of mementoes and travel keepsakes, do keep the colour palette in mind. You want pieces that are black, white, grey, beige, gold etc. This look is not a bright one, so keep it subdued and you’re onto a winner.

bohemian living room with tan leather cushions and juju hat on grey wall

Texture is of Course Absolutely Essential

A classic bohemian look is all about texture. That’s what makes it so amazing! And in this darker take on the traditional it’s still there. All of your throws with tassels can stay. All of your cushions with embellishments are good too. Macrame wall hangings are a go! Even your fluffy diamond-pattern rugs are going to work in this darker scheme. That’s what I call re-decorating without a huge new homewares spend.

It’s wise to look outside of just smaller homewares pieces though. For example, textured paint effects work really well in this look. A satin effect would be divine. You could also look into VJ timber panelling (so easy to install). Or, as the clever cookies at Metricon have done here, you can cover walls in a gorgeous cloth paper (do it, please – it always looks so phenomenal).

Lastly, don’t forget lots of greenery in the dark bohemian interior. It brings texture, it brings life, and it looks so lush up against those charcoal grey and brown tones (I always kill greenery so if you need fake plant varieties, here’s where to get them).

Dark Bohemian Interior Design Ideas black cloth wallpaper in living room with grey sofa and tan cushions

Are you Loving this Look?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What are your thoughts on a bohemian look that goes in a darker direction? Let me know if you’re digging it or think it’s dire!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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11 Responses

  1. I would describe this as leaning towards British Colonial, a look I adore… think India Hicks Island style. I do prefer the use of very dark browns, like wenge and chocolate, to a stark black when it comes to furniture and trimmings. Another great blog Chris!

  2. Finally a description of how our new build will be designed . Really dislike all the white but this is perfect for what I’m trying to achieve . This blog is now my go to ! THANK YOU !! I’m going to start collecting 🙂

  3. Love this look. I have never been a fan of grey, preferring colors like hog bristle, but you may have changed my mind.

  4. This is soooo my style! I never knew what to call it and have been going with the term “global bohemian” for the last few years. I love the mix of bohemian with the dark richness of industrial leather, timbers and black metal. Hopefully it doesn’t become too trendy as I quite liked being slightly different with my decor, haha.

  5. Hi Chris, love receiving your newsletters, thanks for sharing. Just wondering whether the look can achieved with a chocolate leather lounge? With young boys a light coloured lounge is a no go for me!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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