Sweet, feminine, bright, personal, delicate, romantic, vintage; with these attributes, who can resist the shabby chic style? In this post, we explore the characteristics of perfectly imperfect shabby chic decor.

Worn finish

Shabby chic actually means worn and sophisticated, hence classic pieces with apparent marks of the passage of time are a symbol of this style.

Romantic atmosphere

One of the apparent differences of this style compared with vintage, is the romantic and feminine aurora of shabby chic decoration. Soft colours, floral motifs, bouquets, and rounded furniture are focal to decorating in shabby chic.

In white

If there is a colour that dominates in the shabby chic arena, it is white, especially in furniture pieces.

We want liberty!

We’re not talking about freedom; we’re talking about the flower prints that became famous under this name. Liberty prints have become a symbol of shabby chic style for the perfect English cottage look.

The sweetest colours

Pastel tones are a classic of this decorative style, especially in bedroom textiles – from powdered pink and mint green to softer blues.

Classic elegance

It is not as important that a piece is old, as long as it appears aged. Hence contemporary furniture which is reproduced in classic designs has a place in this decorative style.

Lacy lampshades

Lace, textured lampshades can create the look of the feminine grace we love required for shabby chic style. But it’s also got a fresh, unpolished feel required to make the concept possible.

Flowers & florals

Natural stems or stamped on textiles, rugs or wallpaper, flowers are a must of Shabby Chic decor, in which the feminine and the romantic go hand in hand.

Mixing styles

Antique or classically designed pieces, such as a mid-century capiton armchair, can be mixed with other more contemporary straight lines, such as a bookshelf. This is one of the basic characteristics of decorating in shabby chic style.

Elegant details

Old or aged candlesticks, carved photo frames, or a composition of retro items are perfect accessories for a shabby chic room. The small details count, and a lot, when it comes to impeccable shabby chic staging.

Touches of gold

Mirrors with Victorian frames, carved or with hints of gold, bring a touch of glamour to a style that, in itself, is already characterized by its elegance.

Retro crockery

From plates to coffee or tea sets, the mix of a classic and elegant style, but with an antique look, is one of the essentials of shabby chic décor.

In the English countryside

All you need is white metal garden furniture and a tablecloth and flowery details to get a shabby chic exterior. Using zinc ornaments, like a small zinc flowerpot on the table, is another key way to achieve a mid-century look.

Modernizing style

Although the preferred colour for wood in the shabby chic style is white (in addition to some blues), you can use other light shades such as a light grey to give your design a more modern feel.


Giving a new opportunity to “old” items, or that have fallen into disuse, such as old sideboards or bedside cabinets is one of the keys of shabby chic decorating,

“Shabby chic” yourself

If you are interested in the world of furniture and restoration, but just starting out, get your feet wet by applying a shabby chic finish to a recovered or old furniture item by painting it with a pickling effect. There are many special paints available to obtain this finish.

Another easy project is to distress a furniture item. Distressing, or achieving an aged look, has the goal of making furniture or another object appear worn and older, presenting a “weathered look.” There are various methods to create an impression of age and wear.

During the distressing process, the item’s finish is deliberately damaged or transformed to make it look less perfect. Flaws are desired in this case. When you are distressing furniture, you have to get rid of some of the paint, which can be achieved using sandpaper or a paint stripper. The aim is to suggest evidence of the several layers of paint below the surface and to furnish the piece with a worn look.

The cost of such projects is normally inexpensive, and not many tools or materials are required. The outcome is a one-of-a-kind item of furniture, different from any other in the world.

Try giving a makeover to an old piece of furniture that you feel sentiment about, or to a new piece that could do with additional character, we are sure you will be delighted with the result and have a lot of fun in the process!