how to style, interior design, living room

How To Style :: A Quick Bohemian Living Room Makeover

Since returning from Morocco with lots of treasures, I’ve been wanting to have friends over to put them to good use! But our average living room scene just wouldn’t do these items justice – I wanted to give the space a bohemian makeover so my girls could experience a taste of Morocco themselves! So, together with a little help from Pier1, I did just that!

see how we give a basic living room a boho makeover! | pier1 and coco kelley

Here’s what we started with – the bare bones of my current living room situation (which is still a work in progress at the moment!). 

see how we give a basic living room a boho makeover! | pier1 and coco kelley

The few pillows and the lantern in the corner (still awaiting its light!) were brought home with me from Morocco, but with this quiet palette, they weren’t doing much to set the tone for a bohemian party. So I came up with a plan of action to give this room a boost!

Step 1: PLANTS! 

add major plants to a neutral living room to liven things up | boho makeover via coco kelley

add major plants to a neutral living room to liven things up | boho makeover via coco kelley

So, basically, I rounded up every single plant in my home and put it in this room. Instant boho goodness, especially if you’re going tropical! That lush green garden stool gave my Elephant Ear plant a little boost off the ground for some height which really helped to fill things in!

Step 2: PILLOWS! 

layering pillows and textiles can totally transform even the most formal sofa | a boho makeover via coco kelley

layering pillows and textiles can totally transform even the most formal sofa | a boho makeover via coco kelley

I mean, c’mon you guys. You didn’t think three pillows was enough, right?  I placed a few large scale pillows that double as seating for the floor, then I swapped out those neutral pillows for two new ones on the loveseat that added a bit more color to the scheme! When deciding which pillows to select, I stuck with a mostly blue palette, and then snuck in the gold medallions for a little pop and warmth, and got lucky finding this moroccan style one too!

Along with pillows, add in any extra textiles to that list! I covered the loveseat in a vintage mudcloth, and I love that it lightened up our more traditional nubby grey upholstery.

Step 3: Mix in Vintage & Travel Treasures

mix in vintage pieces with your newer ones to create a unique look for entertaining guests | a boho makeover with coco kelley

mix in vintage pieces with your newer ones to create a unique look for entertaining guests | a boho makeover with coco kelley

This is the part where you pull those travel treasures out of the closet and mix them in with all the new stuff to create a nice balance between all your gorgeous goodies! The glass and porcelain cups were items brought back with my from Morocco, so I obviously wanted to use them to set the table with. If you have special items from travels, or even vintage heirlooms or finds, this is where you start when it comes to designing the table. Then…

Step 4: Thoughtful Details

reuse a charger as a textural tray for food and flowers | a boho makeover from coco kelley

use a pretty basket for extra floor cushions and pillows for guests to sit on! | coco kelley

You guys know that we’re allllll about the details here at coco kelley, so this is the part of the party where you stop to think through what’s going to make things a little more _________ (comforatable, easy, memorable, you fill in the blank) for your guests. Here, we did two things that I love. First – we repurposed that thick woven placemat as a spot to place small florals and food on the table, rather than a tray. It provides a nice surface to place items on and it adds a nice texture to the table!

Second, we filled that beautiful gold and natural woven basket full of pillows for guests to grab as they take a seat! It makes them part of the process and ensure that they’re comfortable!

Step 5: Finishing Touches

add finishing touches to every table - like candles for ambience | a boho makeover with  pier1 and coco kelley

set the scene by layering up patterns and textures in unexpected ways | a boho makeover with pier1 and coco kelley

And now, the final touches to set the scene! A few moroccan style hurricane lamps (with LED candles so you don’t have to worry about drips!), an exotic beaded runner for some serious color and pattern, and two-tone golden yellow napkins to tie in that accent color.

floating florals add to a bohemian look and act as an easy centerpiece | coco kelley

In Marrakech there are always fountains full of rose petals to greet you in the courtyard, so I did the next best thing and filled this earthenware bowl with fresh flowers from our garden as a minimal centerpiece to our little table.
a bohemian before and after - see how we transformed this basic living room in five easy steps! | coco kelley

I dare you to scroll back up to that first bland photo and see what a total transformation this is! And not that hard to do, right? I might even have to leave some of these elements just as they are, I love them so much!

this post was created in partnership with Pier1 // styling and direction by cassandra lavalle // photography by meghan klein