Shabby Chic Decor

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Shabby chic appears to be a new decor that is popular among various age groups. Although created in the 1980'sa by Rachel Ashwell, we may have had Shabby Chic ldecor long before them.

Shabby Chic History

Shabby chic seems to be a new décor that is showing up all over. However, being Shabby Chic is not exactly a new fad. The term Shabby Chic was created in the 1980's, by English designer Rachel Ashwell, becoming popular in the United States in the 90's. Shabby chic, for the most part, refers to interior decorating and designs from various historical periods including the 1800's.


What Is Shabby Chic?

Being Shabby Chic, a unique home decor, allows you to decorate while using your own style, but combining old with new, rich looking things with a bit of older looking accessories. Rather than using the old handmade through rugs, use softer ones. Cover your tables with some old lace, which is easy to find in antique stores

Furniture is often chosen due to the various characteristics that make them appear used, possibly antiques. One may look at this type of furniture as being “Vintage” furniture, but there is a difference.

Shabby Chic decor has more of a feminine look and appeal to it, which is where the name “chic” enters into the term of Shabby Chic. Another style much similar is the cottage style due to it soft, feminine, and inviting, romantic appeal. It is almost like going to Grandma's house where the aromas from cooking, candles and fresh flowers sitting around.

Shabby Chic-Unique Home Decor

So what do you need for décor and accessories to be Shabby Chic?

Shabby Chic Colors

Bright colors and patterns are not Shabby Chic. Soft colors such as white, muted grays , a soft pink and pale green. Bold colors certainly are not Shabby Chic. Combining colors and various patterns work well with Shabby Chic décor. Shabby chic décor is often painted in white or a pastel color.


Wallpaper was again white or pastel with flower designs. Cottage designs also fit well with Shabby Chic décor and room design. If you don't want the walls papered, soft pastels with borders will certainly fit well with your decorating ideas.

  • Fabrics

Cotton and linen materials are similar to today's jeans that are ripped, and tie dyed to give the appearance of being older than what they really are such as those that have been overly bleached or have faded colors such as the old French linens. Old linens are not sparkling clean. They are faded, stained from coffee and tea. Vintage linens are easily found in consignment shops, antique shops and even second hand stores. Vintage linens may also be found online.


Just search around the home, or even in a second hand shop, for old lace tablecloths, or for end tables. A nice cream, off white color will work well. To age it a bit, soaking in brewed tea should do the trick.

Shabby Chic Draperies/Curtains

Shabby chic curtains or drapes are much like other linens being white, with plenty of flowers. You may find lacy curtains and drapes along with embroidered designs.

•Sheer Curtains

Sheer curtains are usually white with various designs including flowers, embroidered designs and lace.

Shabby Chic Furniture

Old furniture usually has multiple layers of paint, which can be seen under a scratch or other damaged areas. Today, faux painting while using glazes, or using the antiquing method of painting then wiping or sanding away the top layer in order to expose the wood or paint underneath. Wood furniture that is painted white, and a bit scuffed up a bit, such as around the ends of table legs, will certainly be suitable as Shabby Chic decor.

Shabby Chic Decor Accessories

  • Pillows

Rose patterns are definitely a pattern that is popular with Shabby Chick decorating. Vintage barkcloth, often used for pillows is a popular pattern, especially those with rose designs. Barkcloth is soft, yet a thick, textured material.

  • Bed Linen

•Chenille bedspreads

Chenille bedspreads are primarily white, but can be found in pastel colors. They have designs embedded into the spread, with a lot of popcorn patterns. The patterns vary, but also like other shabby chic linens contain flowers.

•Shabby Chic Wall Décor

Wall décor is a lot of flowers, birds and other vintage designs. Wall hangings include scroll designs on wood, along with sconces and other wall décor. The shabby chic wall décor can be simple to elegant looking while being a unique home decor.


Shabby Chic paintings have a soft look and a lot of pastel colors. Some are contemporary looking, yet have a feminine appeal to them from butterflies, scenery to still life.

•Vintage chandeliers

Vintage chandeliers were often decorative and large. Today, home owners are seeking ways to conserve energy. Pendant lights often come in a chandelier style. There are energy saving chandelier lighting today that have a vintage look while provide you with unique home decor.

•Wrought Iron

Wrought iron fencing, railings, and other decorative ornaments were popular. Today, you can still find decorative ornaments, etc in wrought iron. There is a bit of difference in the fact that many wrought iron designs, such as those for the outdoors have a powered finish which protects it from the elements, making them almost maintenance free and unique home decor for indoors and outdoors.

Dare To Be Unique

Shabby Chic is a style, where you can be unique. You can't go wrong by mixing and matching old with new. Here are some great ideas for those who dare to have a unique home decor.

•A wooden, straight back chair can be used bedside or as a decorative piece in the corner of a room. Place a vase of flowers or other decorative piece on the seat.

•Cedar chests, or old wooden trunks can be used for end tables, or even a coffee table. Wooden boxes or milk crates can be fastened together, and a piece of plywood placed on top will serve as a lamp stand, flower pot holder, planter or even as an end table of coffee table.

•Paint the chair and boxes white, with a toll painting design or maybe use decals with a polyurethane finish to make them water resistant.


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Posted on Dec 8, 2011