Boho nursery ideas – 10 ways to put a whimsical twist on a grown up trend
Boho nursery ideas are a go-to when decorating for a new baby. Discover how to give your design an unexpected twist with these inspiring real spaces
There's a certain style of boho nursery that's got a grip on parents looking to decorate right now. It's a very specific aesthetic. If you find yourself falling into a baby room algorithm on Instagram, undoubtedly your feed will be full of brilliant, scroll-stopping boho nursery ideas.
'Boho nursery designs are all about rich, earthy colors and layering in lots of texture, interesting artworks and pattern into the scheme,' explains interior designer Jade Shone-Sanders of Design and That.
It's a style that works well. It's gender-neutral, has opportunities to introduce a lot of fun elements, and has all the texture you'd want to create a cozy space. The only problem is that some of these nursery ideas have become a little... formulaic. Warm neutrals with flashes of rust and yellow, soft pinks and blues, rattan furniture and macramé wall hangings.
'There should be an element of individuality and playfulness,' says Jade, 'lots of different textures and pattern and having fun with color to create something unique.'
There are ways to take the elements of boho nursery decorating schemes that you love and apply them in a different way. We've pulled together plenty of examples of boho-with-a-twist nurseries to inspire you to take a different path when decorating for a new baby.
9 alternative boho nursery ideas created by interior designers
1. Minimalist boho
Boho-style nurseries have an air of eclectism about them, creating their signature texture with a mass of different natural materials and decorative elements like frills and tassels.
However, you can capture the essence of bohemian style in a pared-back scheme with some clever choices that interpret the theme. This nursery by Orange County interior designer Lindye Galloway is a great example, using a simple patterned wallpaper to create the texture for the room without relying on an excess of decoration. A wool rug, wooden flooring, and wicker basket add the cozy boho textures you'd expect that balance out this sense of minimalist design.
When it comes to getting the most from a neutral nursery scheme, it's important to make the most of the design details you do include. 'Layering with vintage finds, such as a beautiful chest of drawers, a wall shelf or a reupholstered armchair can add so much to a space,' suggests interior designer Rebecca Wakefield of Studio Fortnum.
'In terms of textiles, pick embroidered cushions for a handcrafted feel, while Kantha quilts can really help create a layered and eclectic look,' she continues.
2. Bohemian glamor
Bohemian style traditionally has an earthy, rustic nature, using humble materials. That doesn't always lend itself to a luxurious look, but by switching out a few key textures, patterns and finishes, you can adapt your style to create a more glamorous bedroom idea for your little one.
This nursery by Urbanology Designs perfectly combines the laidback nature of boho nursery ideas with an Art Deco-inspired luxe by introducing velvet, brass, and feathers.
'Velvet is an indulgent texture that elevates boho with luxury and sophistication, like the velvet boards behind this crib,' suggests Ginger Curtis, owner and principal designer of Urbanology Designs. 'Wallpaper is also a great way to add a luxurious element to a boho-style room, like the ceiling wallpaper we used here.'
3. Industrial boho
Industrial style might not be your first thought when it comes to choosing a scheme for a nursery but, with the right additions, the grittiness of this urban style can take the saccharine edge off a boho bedroom for kids.
This scheme, created by New York-based designers OAD Interiors, takes its cue from the exposed industrial features of the pre-war Brooklyn apartment for a modern take on a nursery.
A simple monochrome and yellow palette allows the exposed brick and wood to do all the hard work, while still bringing that sense of bohemian pattern and texture to the space. It's a brilliant example of how industrial and boho styles can intermingle.
4. Faded grandeur
There's something innately bohemian about the idea of a glamorous space, faded over time. For a nursery, it's a way of honoring a room that has grand proportions, without creating a scheme that feels too formal to be a child's space.
This room highlights the interesting contrast that these two styles can create. A metallic, distressed wallpaper coupled with the ornate ceiling, lighting and gloss floor creates a beautiful, old-world grandeur that elevates the humbler nature of the cot and tent. The result is a cool kids' room that even adults will love.
5. Tonal boho
Some parents may be afraid to go overboard with color in a nursery or child's room – fearing that it might be overstimulating. 'It’s all about balance – designing a space that feels playful and fun to play in, but also calm enough to sleep,' suggests interior designer Emma Shone-Sanders of Design & That. 'Getting the color right is key.'
In this child's bedroom designed for a yellow-obsessed client, Design & That created an innovative tonal yellow bedroom color scheme embellished with boho touches.
'We played with different tones to add layers of interest – textures such as a rich cumin velvet for the curtains, and a shaggy yellow and cream Berber rug for the floor, as well as artwork accessories with yellow accents.'
'Yellow is a bright and cheerful color, but a soft yellow can also very soothing,' says Emma. There's even evidence to suggest that drenching your bedroom in yellow can help to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
6. Folksy boho
Boho style already has many of the key elements you'd attribute to a folksy design – artisan crafts, cultural patterns, and natural materials among them. However, playing up this character is a great way to distinguish your space in an endless sea of boho nursery ideas.
This design, created by interior designers Studio Nato for an apartment in New York City, uses the same neutral and natural base of a traditional boho baby room, but then introduces an intricate, folksy wallpaper idea that adds a huge amount of personality to the space. Pick out hues from the wallpaper to use as accents for decorating the nursery for a more colorful scheme while still keeping the cohesive feel.
7. Romantic boho
Combining the signature trappings of a boho nursery with whimsical, pretty elements is an interesting way to interpret the trend. Get it right, and it can also adapt well as your baby grows for a scheme that can transition from nursery to kid's room.
This is what interior designer Marie Flanigan had in mind for her daughter's nursery – a happy, age-appropriate girls' bedroom idea that could grow with her.
'I happened to find this Rebel Walls wallcovering and knew it was perfect for a whimsical space,' says Marie. 'Incorporating natural elements was also imperative to the overall ethereal aesthetic. The cane accents on the daybed, the rope chandelier, layered rugs, and assorted throw pillows achieve this elevated bohemian look, while remaining refined with delicate brass accents and complementary artwork.'
8. Traditional meets boho
It's not uncommon to see traditional details like Shaker panels in a boho nursery. It's a style that can shift wall paneling ideas into a more relaxed design detail, but so can too those classic boho elements adapt to a more formal design.
This nursery by Cherie Lee Interiors combines some of the mainstays of boho nurseries. The rattan light shade, textured textiles, and mango wood furniture, with more formal pieces – pencil pleat curtains, paneling, heritage illustration-style wallpaper et al.
These additions work to soften the look, ensuring the nursery doesn't feel too austere while keeping the traditional spirit of this space alive.
9. Boho brights
With their palette of light neutrals, soft pastels and richer shades of rust and ochre, the classic boho nursery couldn't ever be accused of being too vibrant. However, the eclectic nature of these spaces also lends itself to experimenting with color and pattern too.
The key to this nursery design is balancing the invigorating addition of color with the serene elements of a boho scheme. 'Instead of a typical light-hued space, dive into bold patterns and colors to make your nursery pop,' says Elizabeth Rees, founder of wallpaper brand Chasing Paper. 'To accent the space, add in warm neutral pieces to create balance between the bold dominant colors and enhance the boho aesthetic.'
The patterned wallpaper might make for a bold pink bedroom idea on its own, but tempered with neutral accessories and a rustic cowhide rug, this space holds onto its boho identity. A brilliantly eclectic and exciting space for a baby to grow up in.
10. Boho maximalism
To really make an impact with a boho nursery scheme, why not turn up the volume on your decorating choices? Think bolder choices for paint and wallpaper alongside patterns and textiles that are more decorative. Clashing prints can be effective for a bold nursery scheme. But remember that you'll want to keep this space feeling harmonious, for both you and baby.
There are some incredibly fun choices out there for decorating a nursery, so take advantage of these to bring maximalist style to a baby's room. In this design featuring a Stokke crib, touches like the birdcage pendant light, neon sign, and statement bearskin rug really add to the sense of whimsy, while still interpreting the eclectic nature of a boho nursery scheme.
What are the key elements of a boho nursery?
As these boho nursery ideas go to prove, there doesn't have to be a fixed way to create a bohemian look. 'Boho is a mood more than the style,' explains New York-based interior designer Tyson Ness of Studio Ness. Whatever the type of nursery you're looking to create, there are some easy additions that will instantly take a space to boho territory.
'To get that feeling you want to lean into textures and natural elements to bring an earthy feel to the space,' Tyson continues. 'An element of handcrafted-ness is also critical to the boho feel.'
Whether you choose a neutral design or opt to go colorful, use warm shades of white, taupe, and brown to round out your palette for that cozy, cocooning feel. A bed canopy is a popular choice for a boho nursery, as is a rattan lampshade used for a pendant light.
'Texture mixing is critical,' says Tyson. Textiles with tassels and bobbles will help guide a nursery design into a laidback bohemian style, as will decorative touches such as trims used on curtains and blinds.
Hugh is the Deputy Editor of Livingetc.com. From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2023.
How big should an outdoor dining table be? This size will make entertaining al fresco more comfortable
The right size outdoor dining table is key to making sure your guests aren't sitting on top of each other. Here's the size experts suggest, and the best to buy
By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari • Published
'Instant ambience boosters!' The 6 best plants for an outdoor dining area which all create a relaxing atmosphere
The best plants for an outdoor dining area include scented flowers, aromatic herbs and sweet baby fruit bushes to elevate your alfresco experience
By Sarah Wilson • Published