Shabby Chic: Vintage furniture pimped – decoration, ideas and tips for the romantic shabby look in your room

Shabby Chic furnishings – The Shabby Chic style of furnishing is perfectly imperfect and translates to “shabby chic”. However, Shabby Chic is anything but shabby, but totally on trend. By combining used and new furniture, each Shabby Chic interior is individual and unique. Romantic furniture and decorative items, bright colours and pictures make your home shine in Shabby Chic. How you can implement this style of furnishing in your own four walls, and what actually constitutes Shabby Chic, you can find out here! Back to the overview here: Furnishing Styles.

Shabby Chic: furniture, decoration and tips – romance at home

Shabby chic is not much different from vintage/retro or country style. Here, the focus is on old furniture that is repainted or new furniture that is trimmed to look old. Real wood furniture, which can be given a new coat of paint, is particularly suitable for this.

Why add quirks to new furniture? If you want to implement Shabby Chic in your interior design, that’s exactly what you need to do. Because the wear and tear of the furniture, i.e. the used look, is exactly what gives Shabby Chic its charm.

Where does Shabby Chic come from: Origin of the romantic interior style

The Shabby Chic style originated in the 1980s in the UK and was used to revive the flair and charm of old country homes. Restoring old furniture or downcycling mint condition furniture was a great way to avoid having to purchase expensive Victorian style furniture.

Through the English stylist Rachel Ashwell, the style got more attention. In California, she opened a store that specialized in flea market items. While dealing with the original flea market items, she founded the brand Shabby Chic. Her brand makes furniture and accessories herself and pursues the ideal: projecting the aesthetic of a pair of jeans onto furniture.

Most important pieces in a Shabby Chic interior according to interior designer Rachel Ashwell:

  • Chandelier: it looks romantic and glamorous at the same time
  • Pastel coloured vintage sofa with cosy cushions
  • Fresh cut flowers: immediately bring something alive into any room

Materials and colours: cream tones, pastel colours & natural materials

As with the Scandinavian or country house style, here too much revolves around nude tones. Strong or flashy colors do not find their way into a Shabby Chic interior. White, beige, light grey or pastel tones are what you need to bring the Shabby style home. To give your home that glamorous touch, combine the soft colours with decorations in silver tones, with crystals or sequins.

Natural materials are especially important for Shabby Chic. For example, you can sand down old real wood furniture and give them a new color. New wooden furniture can be further trimmed next to the vintage furniture, specifically to the used look. In addition to wooden furniture, materials such as leather or linen, which already show signs of wear, are also popular. In order to preserve the tradition of Shabby Chic, a lot of value is placed on materials that have been produced by craftsmanship. Here we are talking about materials such as lace, crochet, knitted, etc..

Implementation: Shabby chic furnishings – heirlooms, flea markets, upcycling & Co.

When you talk about Shabby Chic, you’re talking about attention to detail. In every corner you can find cute, handmade parts that make up the Shabby Chic. In a Shabby Chic interior, there is usually a lot of work, because the people who want to decorate their home in this style, usually put a lot of emphasis on DIY or handmade things.

A typical piece of furniture in Shabby Chic is a chest of drawers, which is in country style and made of real wood. This chest of drawers is then first thoroughly sanded and then painted in the appropriate color. Here you then choose white, cream tones or powdery soft pastel tones. The paint doesn’t have to be perfectly applied either, it’s exactly the imperfect that makes the style, as it’s all about the beauty of the imperfect. After the paint has dried, you can decide whether to leave the furniture as it is or add a few artificial quirks to make it look as if it has been around for decades.

Wallpapers & patterns: Traditional patterns in delicate pastel & cream tones

Can the pattern you use tell a story or do you associate something traditional with the pattern? If yes, then you have chosen exactly the right pattern for Shabby Chic. With Shabby Chic it is always important that something can tell a story and that they remind of the interior design of yesteryear. Especially “cute” and feminine motifs and patterns are popular in Shabby Chic. So dots, floral wallpaper, but also checks and stripes fit perfectly into a Shabby Chic interior.

Not only the typical patterned wallpapers fit to Shabby Chic, but also oriental patterns that embody a lot of tradition, such as paisley patterns or Persian rugs in vintage style. The controversial oriental patterns ensure that the interior is loosened up a little. The only important thing is that the patterns all match in terms of color. So they should all be in Aude or pastel tones to fit the overall concept.

Furnish a room: Living room & bedroom – Shabby Chic design

To furnish the apartment in Shabby Chic you need a good sense of vintage and the style of times gone by. The mixture of old lovers’ pieces and new, romantic furniture is especially important. The interior must create a harmonious interplay and should not look restless, but cozy and romantic. You should feel as if you are in the footsteps of the 19th and early 20th century. The interior should be reminiscent of the interior of a dreamy country house, as you know it from the stories.

Living room: Dreamy with embroidered cushions, sofas & pastel tones

Here again, the classic colors of Shabby Chic are taken up. A couch in cream or delicate pastel shades fits perfectly into the interior of the living room in Shabby Chic style. With the sofa, however, it is not so important whether traces of use can be seen. The part will take over other components in the living room. On the sofa you should put pillows in pastel shades or with print (see the typical patterns listed above) – as you can see in the picture.

You can also gladly add a cotton blanket. The interplay of the sofa with cushions in powdery pastel colors and cozy blanket, creates a romantic and feminine image. Add to this a living room table, which should preferably be in a typical Shabby Chic look. So a wooden or metal table with traces of use. On the table you should arrange beautiful decorations. Flowers with a beautiful vase in a matching look, or decoration with pearls or natural materials are always welcome. A country cabinet or a chest of drawers in Shabby Chic look is also essential for a living room with Shabby Chic flair.

Special accents are set with a chandelier, which embodies the “chic” component in Shabby Chic and brings splendor into the interior. In addition to a chandelier as an eye-catcher, a Persian rug or a carpet with a matching, romantic pattern provides the right look.

Bedroom: wooden bed, with flounce bedding, lamp & candlelight

Sleep like a 19th century estate owner. This is exactly how one imagines the magnificent sleeping quarters of past times. To be able to sleep in such a bedroom yourself, you don’t need a lot of hand movements but only the right feeling for a Shabby Chic interior.

A wooden bed that exudes warmth and, in the best case scenario, has cute patterns or details is just the thing. You have 2 options:

  • Buy a wooden bed made of real wood and paint it in the color you want and trim it to old (usually the cheaper option).
  • Or buy a new bed, which is already in Shabby Chic look, but could be high priced

Besides the bed, accessories are especially important. Again, a chandelier is suitable for the right atmosphere. In combination with candlelight you achieve the romantic flair in the bedroom. An imposing top bed with sweet details is also important, as this is exactly what you used to find in the bedrooms of well-heeled people. A vintage look rug is not only important in the living room but also m bedroom. This not only ensures that you do not get cold feet, but also brings the right flair in the room. If you now add matching pictures, flowers and candles, you have the perfect bedroom in Shabby Chic look.

Dining room: Dining with Shabby Chic flair with vintage table and chairs

Besides the living room and the bedroom, the dining room is also an important room in a Shabby Chic interior. Here you come together with the whole family and enjoy a good dinner or play games. Therefore, it is also particularly important to stay true to the style in the dining room.

The dining table should be a classic dining table in shabby chic, so made of wood or metal and traces of use. The legs of the dining table can be squiggly, because that’s what gives the whole thing a romantic flair. The chairs should be typical vintage chairs: either completely made of wood, with a woven seat or a mixture of fabric and wood. Again, traces of use on the wood are welcome, which give the whole the Shabby Chic look.

If you now also place matching flowers in pastel or cream tones on the table and add a few small accessories, such as candles, you have a dining room in the trendy Shabby Chic look.

Decoration with romance: lace cushions, crystals, chandeliers & Co.

Especially a matching decoration is important when you talk about Shabby Chic. A lot of attention to detail is required here and each decoration gives the interior in Shabby Chic, its very own, playful and romantic charm. A great emphasis is placed on natural materials, as the interior should be reminiscent of a country house from the 19th and early 20th century. That’s why they decorate a lot with flowers and pastel tones or cream colours. In the past, everything was handmade, so lace or crocheted decorations are a must. Self-blown glass flower vases are also a real eye-catcher in the interior.

To consider the chic in shabby, a lot of emphasis is placed on pomp and elegance in addition to homemade decoration. This can be achieved by putting in chandeliers that are studded with glass or crystals. You can also make these on your own in a DIY process. Beautiful tableware is also super important when talking about Shabby Chic decor. The tableware should be silver or gold in color to make it look classy and precious. An ornate and romantic shape is also important.