Shabby chic decor ideas

Written by kate daniels
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Shabby chic decor ideas
An old door can be repurposed into a shabby chic headboard. (old door image by The Blowfish Inc from

Shabby chic decor brings a sense of the past into today's home. It incorporates a blend of flea market finds and vintage treasures. Shabby chic decorating is a look that requires more creativity than money, which is a distinct advantage for budget-conscious families who desire a fresh, comfortable home without a lot of cost.


Soft, muted colours are the hues of choice for shabby chic decorating. Take a cue from nature; introduce soft sky blues, the pinks of rose petals, soft sage greens, pale lilacs and buttery yellows. Cream and off-whites offer the ideal backdrop for the pastel palette.

Window Coverings

Opt for lace or filmy sheers at the windows. Painted shutters, topped with a soft fabric valance provide privacy. A padded cornice board, covered with old quilt fabric or several vintage linens, creates a warm, inviting opening to your home. If your location allows for privacy, leave the window bare to frame the outside. A simple vintage linen, hung as a valance will soften the look.


Old quilts can be used for their original intention, to cover the bed. Fold them over a chair or settee for a casual look. Hang on the wall for instant and fabulous artwork. Even worn and torn quilts can prove valuable for decorating purposes. Wrap the good parts around sofa cushions, create toss pillows or use to upholster dining chairs. Smaller pieces can be framed and hung on the wall. Old chenille bedspreads which were so popular in the 1940s and 1950s work great as warm bed covers. Layer the chenilles with your quilts for a soft effect. Cutter chenilles can be used for toss pillows and upholstery. Collect old linens, tea towels and doilies. The linens can be used on your bed and the tea towels and doilies can be displayed on walls and tables.


Shabby chic style allows you to use mismatched pieces. Grandma's china with half the pieces missing still looks great in a shabby chic setting. Collect cups and saucers from garage sales. It doesn't matter if they don't match. Even one chipped teacup is a find. Fill it with a small bouquet of fresh flowers and display on a side table. Small floral or fruit paintings look very shabby chic when displayed together on the wall or grouped in silver frames. Use fresh flowers whenever possible.


Re-purpose old furniture for your shabby chic decor. Old, past-their-prime dining room sets are perfect for shabby chic decorating. Paint it in off-white and lightly sand the edges to create a time-worn look. Recover dining room chair seats with floral chintz in soft colours. Old doors are a popular item in shabby chic decor. Create a headboard for your bed by painting and screwing the door to the wall behind the bed. Leaving any door knobs attached creates a perfect hanger for bathrobes. Your old sofa and chairs can be made to look shabby chic perfect by covering with an easily sewn slipcover in floral, stripes or tiny prints. Old iron patio furniture, made fresh with a coat of paint, can become extra seating, side tables or night stands. Forget about a matching bedroom set. Instead, paint an old set in several soft shades. Finish by hand painting a floral design on the pieces. Replace the knobs with cut-glass ones.

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