What Is Shabby Chic Style and How Do I Incorporate It in My Home?

by Kimberly Foerst
The shabby chic interior style is very trendy with amateur and professional designers alike. On Instagram alone, you can sort through millions of pictures of beautifully decorated bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and entire homes that fit this decor style.

How To Get The Shabby Chic Look In Your Home: Tips From Interior Design Professionals

So what makes home decor fall into the shabby chic category? Think of an old cottage that has had some updates but still maintains its original character. Some of the features of shabby chic decor include having a minimalist look, good quality but older distressed furniture, interesting textures, and muted colors. Conversely, this style typically does not include many bold patterns, bright colors, or new state-of-the-art furniture or technology. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule.

How to Get the Shabby Chic Look in Your Home: Tips From Interior Design Professionals

Carla AstonSlipcovers are a mainstay of this look. I love a more tailored (no ruffles) washable linen look for slipcovers and feel they will be a timeless and adaptable option for upholstered furnishings. Although tailored, I do like the slipcover to be a bit long, so that it lies on the ground about 1-2".
Painted flea market furniture is another signature of this style. An old chair, a dresser, anything with some carving and details typically works. I’m personally not a huge chalk paint fan, as I prefer my painted wood in a satin finish or as a whitewash applied over wood to tint the piece and show the grain.
Rose printed fabrics are actually coming back in style these days and are no longer viewed as simply shabby chic or vintage. Soft colors contribute to the feminine look in a shabby chic style.
Carla Aston, ASID, RID – www.CarlaAston.com
Brenda ThompsonWe love this cozy design style and the way it mixes old with new. One of the easiest ways to achieve the shabby chic look in your space is to include painted wood furniture - and if it’s old and worn out looking - even better! You can achieve this look by painting over a wood stained piece and then distressing the edges by gently rubbing with sandpaper. We recommend sticking with white or antique off-white colors, but it’s okay to add a pop of color here and there with your paint selections or fun knobs!
Another element we always incorporate in a shabby chic space is flowers, fresh or otherwise. Hydrangeas, tulips and peonies are always a favorite choice to give a homey, lived-in vibe which is one of the traits of the shabby chic style. **Insider tip: Home Goods is one of our favorite, affordable, go-to places to shop for realistic looking greenery or flowers. They have a great selection, especially this time of year.
Lastly, we love to incorporate any family heirlooms in the space like antique furniture, tools, or other household items, etc., and mix them in with newer items to personalize the space. Most of all - have fun with it and make it your own - it’s a style full of character and charm!
Brenda Thompson – www.houseliftdesign.com
Amy ParmarShabby chic is the vintage classic with a contemporary twist. All embracing the old is gold concept, with soft, harmonious colours and adding splashes of style to suit personal character.
My Top tips:
1. Use a neutral base colour and build up colours around that to give a more dynamic effect.
2. When creating the scheme of furniture, have a key piece that stands out and the eye is visually drawn to. And then add other pieces to compliment and blend with that one.
3. When these two points have been brought together. The soft furnishings and wall art can really enhance the effect. That adds depth and interest to this shabby chic concept.
Amy Parmar – www.amyparmar.com
Amanda GatesIn my opinion, shabby chic is one of the easiest styles to accomplish. It’s all about finding simple fabrics like cotton and linen, and relaxed looks that aren’t fussy. Combined with rustic furniture, well-loved accessories (think garage sales and thrift stores) and cherished finds (like antiques), this is a look that feels collected over time and is easy to live in.
Amanda Gates – www.gatesinteriordesign.com
Deborah von DonopI have always liked the Shabby Chic that Rachel Ashwell created! When I think of shabby chic, I think of beauty and comfort with washable fabrics in linen, denim, and velvet in a color pallet of whites, pinks, and soft sun-kissed floral prints fabrics. Creating a shabby chic home is one that is livable for your family and made warm with a combination of heirlooms for your sanctuary.
Over the years, shabby chic has embodied many styles. It is an eclectic mix of rustic, traditional and modern accented by flea market collections and sprinkled with romantic. A room with soul and no boundaries, unified by colors, textures, and is livable.
Shabby chic is a style with soul and very few period principles or boundaries. From the sun-kissed colors to the modern shapes blended with family heirlooms that have a patina, it is a creation of sanctuary, a place to renew yourself that draws me to this design more than any other style.
Deborah von Donop – www.dvdinteriordesign.com
Diana GillWhen I think of shabby chic, I think of a fashionable grandma, one who doesn't give up on her unique flair and style despite the many years that have gone by. If you're trying to achieve a shabby look, the rules are very simple; first of all be bold and don't be afraid to mix a modern chandelier with a distressed headboard. Think lace, flower patterns, distressed wood, aged metal, chandeliers and pastel colors (especially pink) for a divinely chic shabby look.
Diana Gill – www.divinegap.com
Brittney BensonThe shabbier the chicer! Adding the Shabby Chic feel to your home or space doesn't have to be one of those "breaking the bank" types of projects. The main design aspect that comes to my mind is antique furniture, earthy accents, and a white clean look with a mixture of soft pastel colors. A quick and easy way to add the shabby chic feel to any space is by adding those beautiful soft pastels. Rather you add the color in your curtains; that will give the space such a soft and dreamy feel. Or you add pastel into your accents! Either way you will achieve the shabby feel!  Do not be afraid to add those touches! Have fun with your design; make the shabby chic design your own!
Brittney Benson – bensonbrit10.wixsite.com/bensonlane

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