How to Create a Shabby Chic Home

Updated February 21, 2017

Shabby chic creates a harmony between vintage and contemporary design with the use of glamorous pieces amid vintage heirlooms. Designers often use this design style to decorate cottages and beach houses. This romantic design elements includes floral prints, soft colours, ornate decorations, feminine furnishings and distressed antiques. Incorporating the right colours and furniture styles will be the first steps in your path to creating this elegant design aesthetic in your own home.

Paint some of your walls. Common colours for shabby chic are pastel colours, such as cream, light yellow, light blue, baby pink or light green. Use these colours on your walls or incorporate them through your furnishings or other decorations.

Apply wallpaper to other rooms. Shabby chic decor often consists of wallpaper, including busy floral patterns. Add wallpaper to your bathroom, bedroom and dining room, along with other rooms of your choice.

Add furnishings around your home. Place plump couches, loveseats and armchairs in your living room. White or floral print furnishings are common in shabby chic decor. An antique farm table is an appropriate addition to your kitchen or dining room. A metal headboard with scrollwork is fitting for this design style. Add large pieces of furniture that can hold a variety of decorative items inside, such as bookcases, armoires, hutches, cabinets or display cases. Wicker furniture is another common element of shabby chic decor.

Distress furniture. Paint furniture white and scrape some of it away with sandpaper. This gives the furniture an aged look, ideal for a cottage feel.

Add a variety of fabrics around your home. Hang floral or pink sheer curtains in the windows. A tea-stained linen window treatment is also appropriate. Place slipcovers over dining room chairs or armchairs. Hang a canopy over the beds or swag a valance over a four-post bed. Add plush linens and comforters to your beds. A lace tablecloth complements a shabby chic kitchen table.

Add crystal pieces around the home. Replace wooden knobs with crystal ones. Add crystal faucets or handles in your kitchen and bathroom. Hang crystal chandeliers in your living room, dining room or bedroom. Crystal candelabras add elegance to rooms.

Place antique items around your home. Shabby chic is about mixing old items with newer ones. Place your great grandfather's clock in the room and old pictures and artwork around the house. Gather together similar items and place them as a collection in a display case. Include items such as china, tea sets and candles in collections. Ornate picture frames are also ideal for this style.

Add a personal touch to some items. Stencil a design on your kitchen cabinets. Make a mosaic water pitcher or vase. Paint a freehand design on canvas or furniture.

Decorate the outside of your home. Take out the bottom of a chair and use it as a plant holder. Plant flowers in flower beds that line your porch. Antique statues serve as appropriate yard decorations. Bring some of the fresh-cut flowers inside and place them in a decorative vase.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wallpaper
  • Furniture
  • Sandpaper
  • Fabric
  • Curtain rod
  • Crystal knobs
  • Antiques
  • Flowers
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About the Author

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.