This was the birth of boho chic. These distinctive interiors were often characterized by bold, eclectic patterns, a playful mix of textures, and an appreciation for items with history and global influences.
Today, we’re opening the doors to a nostalgic time capsule, as we explore the charm of boho living rooms from this groovy era. Enjoy the tour!
Bandana patchwork print fabric turned a plain space into an inviting, restful spot
From Better Homes (1973)
This small room from the seventies was a cozy spot, with a built-in window seat and decorative boho patterns everywhere.
Most notably, the walls, curtains and shades were bombarded with a gorgeous bandana patchwork print. Pink and red were the dominant colors throughout, so the other patterns — although different in design — followed suit.
Lots of throw pillows softened up the bench corner seating, which was already comfortably covered up with fluffy pink seat cushions. By intriguing the eye with lots of pattern, attention was diverted from the room’s chopped-up walls, due to narrow windows, tight spaces and inset doorways.
Lacy Indian screens were painted white and set into wooden frames to act as ornamental sliding doors for the closet on the far right. A light inside emphasized that storage space emphasized the screen’s intricate cut-out design, and added still another pattern to the room.
Actress Janis Paige’s living room decor with East Indian cushions and a zebra rug (1969)
Wall decor made with vintage bedspreads from India (1970)
Indian fabrics hanging on the walls were the heart of the pattern plot of this room from the early 70s.
Take a peek at this 70s boho living room filled with antique & modern treasures
From House Beautiful (1971)
Traditional treasures combined with modern measures — the measures being interior designer Jay Spectre’s approach to the New York townhouse of a young couple who owned, loved, and lived with museum-caliber furnishings.
In their chic 70s boho living room, the two displayed their collection of art from all eras, be it a 1970 gouache or a 15th-century Indian wood-carved elephant.
In the lofty space, the quality was unquestionably “establishment” — all the furniture was French antiques, there were fabrics of silk and cut velvet, draperies richly fringed, and the cynosure Turkish rug had magnificent, age-paled Ushak Angora with a mix of mellow color.
In the past, such old-line elegance would never have been used in context with a plaster-stripped brick wall, which is clearly so blendable with the color and texture here.
Everything was a gem of its genre, yet all pictures and decor were placed for everyday use and enjoyment. Expressed: The young attitude that treasured connoisseur finds just as much as vintage thrift store discoveries.
1970s boho room covered with bright floral fabrics
Sunny & bright boho living room decor had a hippie feel gone elegant
The feel of the 1970s was expressed in a brilliant range of colors in this bright boho living room decor — citrus and greens, pristine white with touches of clear red — that affirmed the cheerful feel of this home.
Completely extroverted, this vintage party-friendly room leaned into the radiant and the patterned. The choice of every item was made purposely to contribute to the feel of the room.
Color intensity set the free-spirited vibe. Covering the seats of the blue lacquered chairs was a fabric with wide multicolored stripes. An effervescent paisley-style print covered the sofa from top to bottom.
A chartreuse green throw pillow on either side of the couch, while a kaleidoscopic butterfly pillow held a position of importance on the top of the sofa back.
There was a twisted ribbon patterned trim on the outer edges of the tall curtains and their tiebacks, while another side of the room accelerated into red through the use of printed fabrics.
Two short Greek column pedestals in the traditional white were placed in front of the couch and served as small side tables. A golden mirror with a decorative glass frame reflected the colors and added a shiny finish.
Fabric-covered walls and ceiling made this Bohemian-style living area cozy
From House & Garden (1970)
The yards and yards of pleated curtains were stretched between horizontal Kirsch rods to create a shirred tent ceiling and to cover the walls.
The banquettes were foam rubber mattresses with throw bedspreads tucked around them, resting on wicker table-benches. India silk and cotton scarves were tied bandana-style around pillows to introduce dozens of shimmering little prints.
Living room sitting area with vibrant hand-decorated batik fabrics (1971)
With a burst of bright color, a vibrant mandala pattern rug set the tone for this sitting room
From Ladies’ Home Journal (1970)
An exuberant crewel rug with a huge and fantastic floral-inspired mandala pattern in the center was the star of the show in this room from the 1970s, and green leaves from the many live plants offered a cool counterpoint.
The rug’s main design was bursting with orange, but was met by pink and purple flowers within the layout, and bordered with yet more stylized floral designs around the edges. (Although you could really only see it around the edges, beneath the mandala pattern rug was an antique black and white ceramic tile floor that had been laid out like a checkerboard.)
Living room sitting area with colorful fabric decor (1969)
DIY stencils & silkscreened decor revved up this patterned boho living room (1970s)
This retro stencil pattern, called Calico, was used in two colors that were screened on top of a third color.
An easy way to escalate the pattern content in a house is to start with simple furniture, then move along to fabric — enough to make lots of pillows, some to lean on, some to sit on, others to stack on a bed nest in on the floor.
Take the plunge and redo a whole room in a real Moroccan frenzy with ceiling, walls, big cushions, little pillows, cubes, and a variety of low tables.
This “Moroccan fantasy room” was designed by Bill Bell, with the pattern geometrically extended to ceilings, walls, and furniture. We were intrigued to see how different one pattern looked when printed in diverse colors or turned on its side.
Neither overwhelming nor outrageous, all this mix of color and patterns makes a special guest or party room — a cozy spot to have dinner and relax afterward. To do the trick on the walls and ceiling, silkscreen plain wallpaper or wallboard and paste or glue in place.
70s boho-style living room with many patterns
Different patterns covered the furniture and the floor — and even the walls were covered in a bold shirred fabric.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: See 70 beautiful vintage canopy beds from the 1970s
Contrasts of tones & textures gave this 1960s living room boho chic
From American Home (1965)
In one New York apartment back in the 60s, the million-dollar gleam of steel and glass in their decor played against rich woods.
Dramatic contrasts of tones & textures — bright versus dark, smooth versus grainy, sleek versus nubby — gave striking individuality and living room boho chic to the midcentury Scandinavian furniture.
When looking at the decor here from 1965, you will see that all the designs were pleasantly compatible in spite of the varying combinations of materials: glass and steel for the coffee table, rosewood and steel for the armchairs and end table, walnut for the sideboard and ottoman pedestal.
Note that all of the vibrant fabrics — including the floral print on the sofa (and laminated to the window shade) — had the soft texture produced by a partial content of wool or mohair. Another wonderful but affordable thing was the flooring: prefinished 18-inch squares of teak parquet on a flexible backing came ready to install like tile on any smooth hard surface.
With an affordable makeover, this little boho living room got some groovy green personality
From Better Homes (1972)
Before its inexpensive makeover back in the early 1970s, this little living room really lacked personality. Here’s how it looked before and after its decorative remodel!
There’s only one thing to do when you’ve got a sorrowful-looking room like this: Unleash your imagination and discover the joy of transforming an ordinary room into something unique.
Turning this tired room around required lots of color, pattern, and texture. For starters, the walls were painted white to dramatize the abundant greenery and the exciting graphic on the far wall.
The ceiling was given visual impact with green and white light-reflecting geometric vinyl. Then, to balance the skinny string-bean windows, the old bookshelves were removed and some new ones built on the sidewall.
Notice how additional floor space was created by sliding the end of the daybed under the lower shelf. The daybed and chair were covered in practical wide-wale corduroy.
In lieu of draperies, vinyl porch blinds were used to add to the airy mood and provide controlled light for the collection of hanging and potted green plants.
A money-stretching decorating idea: a tablecloth was used to cover the small Victorian chair and several throw pillows. A nylon wool shag carpet contributed more texture interest and invites floor-sitting.
The unframed print over the sofa was the most expensive addition of everything, costing $80 back in 1972 dollars… but worth every penny for the amount of character it added to the room.