A guide to achieving a shabby chic look


Shabby chic is always a chic look and while this style of décor is a relaxed one, there are a few guidelines to follow if you want to really achieve a genuinely unique and appealing shabby chic look. The overall feel of shabby chic is laid back, soft, romantic and feminine and the look is achieved by using old fashioned furniture and homeware that is new but that has the look of an antique. Quality shabby chic furniture can add a lot of character to a home and it is great to use in private homes as well as in bed and breakfasts and hotels looking to create a unique and welcoming ambience.

Shabby chic can be achieved on a limited budget and it is a good way to give a home a charming look. The colours used in a shabby chic home are soft, with white and pastels used for everything from the bed linen to the paintwork.

Here are some of the rules to follow when creating a shabby chic look:

  • Furniture should look worn but not be broken
  • The beds should have intricate detailing on the head and foot boards
  • The tables and chairs will need to look old fashioned but not badly damaged
  • Faded and bleached hues work great
  • Everything should look comfortable, from the sofas to the dining room chairs
  • The entire house should boast a soft and warm ambience

Artwork looks great on the walls of a shabby chic home and paintings should be floral or feature a romantic image and should always be bordered by antique-looking frames.

shabby chic

Shabby chic isn’t limited to the interior or your home and it can also be used outside in any of the following ways:

  • A rose garden is synonymous with shabby chic
  • Garden furniture should be white
  • Garden furniture should be made of metal
  • The shed should be painted in a pastel colour
  • White trellis’s can be used to decorate a seating area

A natural look is important with shabby chic and flowers are often used, whether as images on bed linen, on paintings and curtains or in vases as a centrepiece on a table.

Dressing tables are often used in shabby chic-styled bedrooms, along with bedside tables that feature metal knobs. The bed itself can have intricate detailing on it to give it an interesting appearance and it will have a grand yet worn look. The same goes for the dining room table that should be accompanied by old fashioned cutlery and crockery to achieve a completely shabby chic look.

Finally, remember to think about every detail from the furniture through to the accessories. Shabby chic should have a worn look as though everything in the room has its very own story to tell but while it should look old, it shouldn’t be badly damaged as you will quickly go from shabby chic to simply shabby.

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