How to Decorate for Christmas in Shabby Chic

Written by chris newton
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How to Decorate for Christmas in Shabby Chic
Victorian-style Christmas ornaments help emphasise a shabby-chic Christmas design. (Victorian Christmas bell image by Randy McKown from

Shabby chic is an interior design style that incorporates antiques or other design elements that give an impression of being worn and aged. Christmas decorating in a shabby-chic style brings extra warmth to the holiday season. It is charming and can be done on any budget.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Choose your colour palate and theme. The shabby-chic colour palate consists mainly of whites and creams with a hint of pastel hues such as lavender, pink, green and blue. For a Christmas theme, you can utilise the light pink and green shades. Once you have established your specific colour scheme, accent it with vintage-inspired fabrics like linens or quilts that complement the overall theme. For more casual shabby-chic Christmas decor, look for fabrics like white denim, crisp linens and quilted floral pieces that can be used as table cloths or napkins. Damask fabrics complement a more elegant shabby-chic Christmas design.

  2. 2

    Use lighting to bring the shabby-chic warmth to your Christmas decorations. Place white Christmas tree lights on mantels, doorways and trees. Display different size candles in saucers and old canisters for an extra pop of warmth. In addition, a glass chandelier is sure to bring an extra sparkle to your shabby-chic Christmas decor.

  3. 3

    Decorate the tree with shabby-chic arrangements. Use pastel-coloured glass tree arrangements, pearls, velvet, silk and lace ribbons. Incorporate vintage toys and add some vintage-looking Victorian ornaments as well. For the skirt of the tree, use a floral, striped print and look for pastel hues in the fabric. Top it off with a vintage Santa Claus or white angel or simply make a cross or star out of twigs and branches from the backyard. You can also tie up a big ribbon or bow for the shabby-chic tree topper.

  4. 4

    Add shabby-chic decor to other areas of your home. Set your dining table with mix-and-match china pieces that keep with the shabby-chic theme; look for white plates with small Christmas accents, such as holly, ivy and poinsettias. Add finishing touches by displaying some fresh ivy or holly arrangements or poinsettias in interesting vases such as antique-looking water pitchers and teapots. Also, use floral Christmas print pillows on furniture for accents and on extra seating to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Tips and warnings

  • Check with your mother or grandmother to see if they have any old, antique-looking decorations or ornaments that they no longer use. Older people are a good resource for shabby-chic Christmas decorations.
  • If any particular design piece or decoration is old and valuable, display it in an area where it is safe from the reach of kids or other potentially hazardous situations.

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