shabby chic furniture with orchids

Shabby chic interior design captures elegance and comfort in one cozy setting. Originating in the 18th century, but only coined “shabby chic” in the 1980s, this interior trend has become timeless. Rustic furniture, vintage décor and layers of comforting materials make it as covetable as ever. Here’s what you need to perfect the interior balance between shabby and chic!

What is Shabby Chic Interior Design?

The shabby chic interior style originated in Britain as a means for the upper middle class to replicate an aesthetic evident in grand country houses that have been in one family for generations. The shabby chic furniture in these elaborate houses was vintage because they were passed down from one generation to the next.  Drapes were faded, and chaises distressed, which gave them an elitist air.

Thus, the middle class sought distressed or patinated furniture and incorporated these items into their more modern interiors to create the shabby chic home decor we’ve grown to love.

1) Use a Light & Neutral Color on the Walls

shabby chic interior design online
Shabby chic bedroom interior design by Decorilla interior designer, Tiara M.

Shabby chic interior designs are known for furniture and accessories packed full of character and personality; that’s why it’s necessary to start with a neutral base. Light stormy grey, off-white, white and tones of beige make the ideal backdrop for the sleek but shabby interior.

shabby chic interior design kitchen
Shabby chic home decor – kitchen and dining room

Classic shabby chic homes have wood floors that creak and squeak. But if you don’t have the natural material underfoot, aim to keep flooring neutral and free from decorative elements.

2) Add Shabby Chic Furniture aka Vintage

shabby chic furniture with color
Design by Decorilla interior designer, Kelli E.

All those who love thrift store shopping, this is for you. Distressed vintage or antique furniture is what gives the shabby chic interior design its “shabby chic” beauty. If you are using antique or vintage furniture, make sure they are still sturdy and can last for a good deal longer. Tatters can be fixed, but a yielding frame or a seat that gives way won’t last long and is not ideal when decorating a home.

shabby chic interior how to
Shabby chic bedroom design

Choose pieces with personality. Old pieces of furniture are often intricate and have nouveau decorative features or hand-painted floral scenes. Paintwork with a little wear beautifully contrasts some of the newer “chic” elements of the style.

3) Show Off Mixed Collectibles and Accessories

shabby chic decor
Shabby chic decor design by Decorilla interior designer, Peti L.

Shabby chic interior design is one that balances between ornate and cluttered. Avoid the cluttered look by designating a place for each piece of décor and accessory you choose to exhibit. If you can take an inventory of what’s on display, it will be easier to dodge the cluttered look.

shabby chic interior design living room
Shabby chic living room design

Show off these pieces on an open shelf or mantelpiece. Also, swap new picture frames for weathered wood or metal frames with a patina for a bit of shabby-chic charm. Shabby chic interior design allows you to splurge on a gallery wall with your favorite artwork.

4) Splurge on a Chandelier

shabby chic interior design with chandelier
Dining room design by Decorilla interior designer, Corine M.

Strike a balance between old and new with a timeless chandelier. Gorgeous lighting has taken center stage throughout different design eras. And with a shabby chic interior, you can have a glamorous light in a casual interior.

shabby chic interior design living room chandelier

A piece of shabby chic home decor on its own, a beautiful feature light is a stunning focal point and also a conversation starter.

5) Cozy Up with White Linen

shabby chic bedroom with white linen
Design by Decorilla interior designer, Agnese K.

White linen draped over shabby chic furniture creates one of the most beautiful contrasts in the interior design world. Crisp and crease-free fabric will give a more formal look to a room while soft cotton and organic textures will add comfort and coziness to a casual style.  Also, you can play with vintage velvet in small amounts to emphasize the luxurious aspects of shabby chic interior design.

shabby chic decor tips

6) Pick Old World Textures

shabby chic furniture
Designs by Decorilla affordable interior designers, Tamna E. and Annie R.

Leather, lace and chunky rugs give not only a shabby chic interior design character but also coziness. Create tactile walls with floral patterned wallpaper with texture. The 3D element of old-school wall treatment is unexpected in a present-day home but also adds a sense of whimsy and valuing something for its purely aesthetic value.

shabby chic decor
Shabby chic shower curtain

Use lace as décor to soften modern day amenities and a romantic shabby chic look into a home. The lacy detail in napkins or tablecloth will add rich detail to a dinner party. Alternatively, swap the plastic shower curtain with a lace curtain for an instant chic update.

7) Go Floral

shabby chic bathroom with orange standalone bath

Florals can inspire awe-inspiring shabby interiors with chintz drapes in a grand study or wispy cheer in a bathroom; the result is always romantic. A shabby chic interior needs a floral motif somewhere in its design, whether it’s in the furniture or the décor is up to you. However, at times, a vase with fresh flowers is also enough.

hire an interior designer

Are you ready to start with your stunning shabby chic interior? Then get to it and schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation with a professional online interior designer today!

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