Shabby Chic Décor – A How To Guide

June 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

This article is going to be a bit more tip oriented rather than me actually taking on a project. I’ve been working a lot recently and haven’t had much time to keep up with requests from friends for help around their house. Instead, this post is going to be focusing on a topic that shows up in my inbox on a regular basis: shabby chic décor. A lot of readers want to achieve this type of look for their new apartment or existing place without spending too much on new furniture. Obviously, a new coat of paint is always a recommendation in my book, as paint can go a long way in transforming a room into a particular vibe. With that long winded introduction out of the way, let’s dive into it.

What’s Shabby Chic?

When I first heard the term, I wasn’t sure what to think. It took a bit of researching over the years to realize that what the coined term “shabby chic” actually means is a mixture of minimalist living and antique furniture. The trend has roots in England and France, dating back to the times of large country style homes that needed fashionable decoration.

Shabby Chic Ideas Shabby Chic Décor   A How To Guide

Nowadays, popular trends in the design style include things like worn out paint, often showing many layers of paint on a single item to indicate how old it is. Also popular is sanding away old paint to reveal the original wood or metal finish of a piece of furniture and leaving paint chips here and there to give the piece an “unfinished” look. The color white is pretty popular, as well as other pastel colors that have been bleached or blown out with white touches. To put simply, if you can find some old world furniture that’s “been around the block a few times” and has had a few coats of paint applied and chipped away, it’s suitable to be shabby chic furniture.

Now, how do you incorporate furniture that you’ll likely have to pick up at an antique store with things you can buy online to give your room a feminine touch? Fabrics such as linen and cotton are popular, as they’re soft and girly all in one package. Also, buying the right types of fabric can give a room a certain style rather than fashionability. When the term shabby chic was coined, it was intended to imply that the girl buying the furniture wasn’t just keeping up with trends, or fashionable, she was concerned more about the quality of the products she’s putting into her home.

Buying  Shabby Chic

Heading to your local antique store may be the best place to start when looking for furniture that fits your style, but if you don’t want to spend a fortune on antiques, you may be better off buying things that already look antique and as though they would fit into the existing décor of your home. The key to mastering the look is finding the right balance between modern furniture and old world charm. You can build an entire room from newly purchased furniture as long as there is enough of both old and new within the piece. Here are some things I found online that I think would go well in just about any home.

Shabby Chic Decorating Ideas Shabby Chic Décor   A How To Guide

Bench with Rolled Arm:

I may get some flak for this one, but I really enjoy this piece of furniture. It’s a very trendy bench that would go great in any living room or maybe at the end of a bed. Since the microfiber fabric is beige and soft to the touch, it not only fits in well with the design ideas of shabby chic, it fits in well with almost any existing home décor, meaning that you won’t have to redesign your entire room just to get this piece to suit. Also, the Queen Anne style legs on this piece give it that old world charm I was talking about earlier so that it seems old, but don’t cost a fortune.

  • Dimensions: 45″L x 17″W x 23″H
  • Finish: Beige
  • Material: Microfiber, Wood
  • Bench with Rolled Arm Beige Microfiber
  • Features beige microfiber upholstered rolled arms.
  • Queen Anne style legs to complete this beautiful item.
  • Item is perfect for anyone looking for a comfortable yet stylish, upholstered bench.
  • Assembly required.

Elegant Design Storage Hall Bench with 3 Baskets:

I’ve been looking for a while for a way to incorporate this item into a post. It came as a recommendation to me through Amazon to my inbox a while back, but I never got around to actually making the purchase for it as I never needed it for my home. The 3 baskets are perfect for storage in a hallway for things like shoes or magazines. It’s a great entrance piece that doesn’t take up too much space (minimalistic), and provides the functionality of a bench right inside your doorway. The walnut finish on it is perfect for those that have wood or dark furniture already in their home, or for someone that wants to add some additional wood to their home’s furniture collection. Wood has a timeliness to it that even this new piece of furniture captures.

  • Dimension: 40″L x 14.2″W x 22″H
  • Finish: Antique Walnut
  • Material: Beech Wood and Wicker/Rattan
  • Elegant Design Storage Hall Bench with 3 Baskets.
  • Elegant and versatile, this hall bench and baskets is perfect for entry way or mud room.
  • 3 Wired baskets sturdy construction.
  • Bench is made of solid wood finish in antique walnut stain.
  • Simple Assembly Required.

Final Thoughts

I’m glad I got to write this post, as I’ve started thinking about even more shabby chic ideas as I made my way through it. I hope that it helps out those that have sent me emails about this style of furniture and can help them get their apartments or homes in order. If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to share them below. I’d love to see or hear about anything that any of my readers have done involving old world furniture or repurposing chairs or tables to make their home seem cozier.

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