How do you add style and warmth when your entire house is gray? This is so common for new construction, and while many of us with brown finishes on everything would love to have this problem, it brings its own set of challenges.
Katie, a wedding planner who is about to get married herself, recently reached out with this question. She wanted her new home to feel cozy and cute, but the overwhelming bachelor pad gray was not giving her much inspiration. She liked bright, white, and sage colors.
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Here is the existing living room:
For starters, let’s note the positives: gorgeous hardwood floors, crown molding, and neutral paint colors.
Here is where we went for inspiration.
Katie gave me two great examples of spaces she loved:
I immediately noticed the white walls, plants, warm woods, and natural textures. These are all big indicators of bohemian style.
What is Bohemian Style?
Bohemian style (or boho style) is relaxed, lived-in, and looks like it was collected over time. Some examples can include a mix of bright colors and interesting patterns. I think Katie’s style tends to be more of a modern bohemian look.
Here are the three main elements every bohemian space needs:
To achieve the warm, relaxed look, make sure to add in light wood tones, baskets, and textured pillows. You’ll also see rich velvets, textured linens, macrame, woven materials, seagrass rugs and bamboo shades.
Even the more neutral boho spaces layer patterned rugs, pillows and many include wallpaper. To keep a more neutral space, limit the color palette, but don’t skip the details, it adds to the layered, collected feeling.
Every bohemian room I’ve seen includes plants. Some of my favorites are snake plants and trailing vines.
I’ve added a few examples of boho style below. Want more inspo? Check out this article. She includes some great tips on adding boho touches to your home.
The Design Plan
I created two design boards for Katie. One feels a little more traditional than the other, but both give her tons of ideas for warming up the space. Keep in mind that this post contains affiliate links. If you shop with one of these links still active in your browser, I might receive a small commission (thank you)!
For starters, I recommend adding a neutral wallpaper (or even a wall stencil) to the wall behind the couch. It would add some pattern and texture. I’d paint the existing walls a light creamy gray, something like Sherwin Williams White Heron. For the windows and doors, I’d add bamboo shades that still give some privacy but let in a lot of light.
I used a gray sofa similar to Katie’s in the plans, but I love the idea of a colored sofa too. Her existing furniture looks pretty new, so the gray will work with the rest of the design.
Living Room Design 1
Living Room Design 2
What makes these designs work? For starters, the light wood tones and warm textures make it cozy. The coffee table is a splurge, but I kept the rest of the design budget friendly. I couldn’t find an affordable option with modern, light wood that didn’t look cheap. The geometric print on the rug, complements the solids and smaller patterns on the pillows.
The wallpaper is a beautiful ogee design that adds interest but doesn’t overwhelm the space. It also ties back to the gray sofa and other gray walls in Katie’s house. I adore the tapestry, but if it’s not her thing, a gallery wall with light wood frames would also look great.
I had so much fun creating these designs for Katie. I hope it gives her a inspiration to start decorating as she begins this exciting new phase in life.
Which design is your favorite? Comment below. I love hearing from you!