60 Ways Incorporate Shabby Chic Style into Every Room in Your Home

Shabby chic style, also sometimes known as farmhouse or cottage style and very similar to French country, is a very forgiving, warm, and friendly décor style to have. Many people are drawn to shabby chic-styled spaces because they not only embrace imperfection, but they celebrate them.

Shabby chic style

What is shabby chic design?

The easiest way to define shabby chic design is as a blend of details and elements that help it look relaxed, casual and welcoming while also giving it an elegant vibe. In other words, it looks purposefully messy and that gives it a lot of character. A shabby chic design doesn’t aim to be perfect or symmetrical or very structured. It’s meant to have a bit of a bohemian feel and to be a bit unconventional but still in a very pleasant and intuitive manner. Across the spectrum of shabby chic décor, there are a number of common elements:

Quite often we see a lot of vintage or retroelements being included in a shabby chic design. Reclaimed materials are also commonly integrated in such a design. The style is at the same time defined by a clean and simple aesthetic.

Natural materials and finishes and distressed surfaces fit really well into a shabby chic design. Driftwood, whitewashed bricks, bamboo, rattan, rope and other similar materials can be introduced in various amounts in order to add texture and character to the design.

Vintage is a Must

Quite often we see a lot of vintage or retro elements included in a shabby chic design. Reclaimed materials are also commonly integrated into such design. At the same time, the style is defined by a clean and simple aesthetic. The main aim is to include pieces that have a weathered look, whether they are true vintage or reproductions.

Natural Finishes Only

Natural materials, rustic finishes and distressed surfaces fit really well into a shabby chic design – there’s no glitz and shine here! Driftwood, whitewashed bricks, bamboo, rattan, rope and other such materials can be introduced in various amounts in order to add texture and character to the design. And when it comes to finishes, the iconic look of this décor style is a weathered patina on furniture, accessories or even walls. These finishes and textures give the space the organic feeling that is essential to shabby chic style.

White is Dominant

White on white is a common theme in shabby chic style, whether it’s pure white or a slightly off-white shade. Even when colors are used, white dominates the space and creates the perfect palate for highlighting all the other interesting elements that are typically included in this décor style. In many cases, a space can easily be transformed into a shabby chic style with the use of white slipcovers – no new furniture required.

Soft Hues Are the Colors of Choice

There’s no place in shabby chic décor for vivid colors and bold, dominating prints. The vibe of this décor style is very gentle, so choose from soft hues when it’s time to add color to a space. Even then, color is used sparingly as an accent, not as the main feature.

Relaxed Fabrics

Loose, casual and a bit unmade are good ways to describe the textiles used in shabby chic style. This is not the place for formal fabrics, primly pleated accents or overly tailored upholstery. Natural fibers with some natural wrinkling, lace and slipcovers are more typical of this décor style. Vintage fabrics are ideal for a shabby chic room.

Mixed not Matched

Mixing up the pieces in a shabby chic room is the way to go – no matched sets of furniture! The eccentric, eclectic combinations of furniture and accessories you see in this décor style are what make the look so interesting and unexpected. Shabby chic is also the ideal way to use upcycled pieces, flea market kinds and family heirlooms. Within the general guidelines, pretty much anything goes when it comes to individual pieces.

Shabby chic style decor ideas

Some characteristics of the shabby chic style are: simple and uncluttered, textural (e.g., wicker, wovens), natural (e.g., linen, burlap), and weathered or worn.

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Weathered finishes are the ones most associated with shabby chic décor and those can be truly old pieces or just reproductions made to look aged. The techniques are very good today and often it’s hard to tell the difference between real vintage pieces and those that aren’t.

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While white is usually the dominant color, there’s no problem using pieces that have a more natural tone if you prefer. This sofa has the right vibe and features some floursack-style stripes on a creamier background. Here it’s paired with accessories that are new but look vintage.

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A fancy headboard can work in a shabby chic room when the bed itself is fully dressed in natural layers of white linens. The casual pillows and comforter strike just the right note for this style of décor.

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Although shabby chic generally uses gentle colors as an accent, the one exception is the turquoise green that is typically found in the patina that develops on a copper surface. This trunk coffee table is a great example and would be an appropriate pop of color if you prefer a slightly bolder accent.

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Old architectural elements are perfect for adding a weathered finish and a standout accessory to a space. These doors are great for leaning against the wall or for repurposing, but you can also use shutters, windows, posts and other such pieces.

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Rustic accessories are a  great way to add some age to the room and these animal figures are perfect. They have the right weathered look and would work in any room of the house that has a shabby chic vibe.

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Chandeliers are ideal for a shabby chic room, but not everyone can find a true vintage fixture. As a compromise, choose a new piece that looks old. This one has a weathered finish and features drapes of beads instead of crystals for a more laid-back look.

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Slipcovers are part and parcel of any shabby chic style room and can quickly transform existing furniture. These are a bit more tailored than the typical slipcover but still have just the right look, thanks to the wrinkly texture and exposed raveled seams.

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Mint is having a moment and these enamelware pieces hark back to days gone by – perfect for a shabby kitchen or dining room. Whether they are your choice for tableware or are just used as accessories, they are durable and functional too.

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While it might raise a few eyebrows, including your own, if you were to decorate your entire space in old, worn-out pieces, there’s something absolutely charming in striking a balance between the beloved and historic with the fresh and new. Here are 60 inspiring ways to incorporate shabby chic décor into every room of your home.{found on juliasvitadrommar}.

Shabby Chic Entryway.

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A pale blue frame is kept empty in this all-white entryway, almost taking the role of a simple piece of art.

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A weathered barn door is a fantastic piece of shabby chic décor…even if it leads to nowhere. Look how pretty!{found on thefancyshack}.

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A trademark of shabby chic décor is utilizing furniture in spaces they aren’t traditionally meant for. This large turquoise dresser makes a great entryway piece…with plenty of “hidden” storage.

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This entryway displays plenty of shabby chic décor traits, including weathered wood, chipped paint, woven baskets, burlap, and an overall simple aesthetic.{found on farmhouseporch}.

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An old wooden window of almost any shape, and IN almost any shape, makes a charming shabby chic entryway component.

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In the shabby chic vein of reusing and/or upcycling, how about this old door-turned shelf? Simply mount the door on the wall, add a chunky shelf and two corbels, and you’ve got instant shabby chic entryway style.

Shabby Chic Living Room.

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Ornate lighting fixtures, such as these candelabra-style wall sconces, add a bit of sophistication to a space that embraces the wear and tear of everyday life. It’s a balancing act, for sure.

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You don’t have to have every piece in your shabby chic décor looking worn out and chippy. Incorporating one or two weathered pieces into a simple living room design scheme will get the message across perfectly.

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Ornate, baroque styled furniture pieces accentuate nicely the shabby chic style. Perhaps because they are so opposite – one purposefully fancy, the other purposefully humble. Keep the color palette simple and neutral to make these two styles really sing in harmony.

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Once again, a weather-roughened wooden door leaning against the wall creates an instant sense of warmth, welcome, and home. Although it doesn’t act like a piece of furniture here, a weathered wood door is practically a staple of shabby chic furniture.

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Vintage furniture items, such as this delightfully paint-worn dresser in the living room, make lovely statement pieces and provide a foundation for showing off a collection of treasures. Just try to keep the collection well-edited.

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White slipcovers over larger living room furniture pieces and a weather-beaten trunk for a coffee table create charming shabby chic style in the living area.

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Floral curtains can be extremely versatile in a variety of styles, but these floral shabby chic curtains are paired to perfection with some worn oriental rugs and a rough wood stool.

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Specific wood details, such as the herringbone natural wood floor and the pale painted wood wall planks, create a lovely foundation for

Shabby Chic Bedroom.

Shabby Chic Bedroom.

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Loads of layers and ruffles – especially in white or pale pastels – embody shabby chic bedding. The chic, feminine characteristics juxtapose nicely with the “shabby” aspect of shabby chic.{found on amyneunsinger}.

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A detailed, almost damask-esque, wallpaper in subtle hues provides a fancy backdrop to heartwarmingly shabby and simple pieces, such as this antique metal bedside table. I love how the hues of the bedroom itself are bright and crisp, while the shabby chic piece stands out in a golden way.

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Soft, pale color tones mixed with dreamy, almost ethereal whites, create the perfect shabby chic bedroom palette.

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A simple metal four poster bed frame creates verticality and elegance in this bedroom that has effective shabby chic elements.{found on cotedetexas}.

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Subtle shabby chic touches (e.g., painted planked wood floor, metal bedframe) mixed with glam elements (e.g., white chandelier, mirrored nightstands) produce a perfect soothing balance.{found on rigbyandmac}.

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Opting for natural fibers in bedding provides a lovely wrinkled, shabby chic vibe to the bedroom. Colors needn’t be matchy-matchy, but rather they should meld together in peaceful pastels.{found on juliasvitadrommar}.

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Keep in mind that, although many successful shabby chic bedroom spaces are mostly white, these rooms still need a grounding element. A woven or natural-fibered rug is an excellent, earthy way to provide this. (Plus, aren’t those pale blue glass vases just lovely?) {found on abeachcottage}.

Shabby Chic Kitchen.

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Plenty of slightly mismatched hooks on one side of the wooden island make this shabby chic kitchen not only highly functional, but particularly lovely as well.

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A chandelier in a white, vintage-y kitchen goes above and beyond the décor wow factor. Plus, that copper cake cover? I die.

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Many might be under the impression that shabby chic style must be ensconced in vintage finds. This is not true. A gleaming white kitchen with strategic farmhouse-style touches (e.g., the apron sink, faucet fixtures, hanging rosebud teacups) is still evocative of shabby chic style…without the vintage germs.

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Light wood beams and drop-down recessed lights on the ceiling, white subway tile for the backsplash, pale mint beadboard for the walls, and an open, airy feeling overall make this shabby chic kitchen so cheerful you’d expect the birds to fly up to the window and sing you a tune.

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image byBill Mathews Photographer

Plenty of eclectic color and vintage pieces make this wood-tabled farmhouse kitchen a cozy, friendly space. A butcher block countertop and wood planked backsplash help to keep things down-to-earth.

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A burlap-upholstered bench, large wicker basket, and a severely weather-worn wooden island create an inviting section of the kitchen that people would want to hang out in.

Shabby Chic Dining Room.

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A diamond (diagonal checkerboard) motif painted in muted tones and antiqued on the top of this dining table provide a lovely subtle shot of shabby chic personality. Beautiful

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Keeping décor on the light and simple side of things is a critical element of fresh shabby chic style. Bright whites throughout this dining space keep the weathered furniture legs feeling intentional and fresh.{found on dreamywhites}.

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The combination of crisp, contemporary pendant lights and chunky horizontal stripes on the walls with the worn and battered dining room chairs in this exemplary shabby chic dining room is perfection.

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A stunning variety of earthy, natural textures, paired with a bit of antique glam, make this dining room a perfect shabby chic specimen.

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Muted blues create a fresh feeling amidst the shabby chic scheme. Paired with an antique-looking chandelier that still sparkles, these two elements make this dining room feel fresh, even crisp.

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Pared down forms, like this bare mannequin torso and simple white porcelain flower vase, bring out a feeling of appealing authenticity. Perfect imperfections are the name of the game in shabby chic décor.

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Perfect pastels and quaint, sweet accessories make this shabby chic dining room a beacon. I imagine eating breakfast every morning in this space is a joy.

Shabby Chic Home Office.

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An exterior lighting fixture, such as this hanging lantern, makes an excellent chandelier choice in a shabby chic space like this home office. Another example of placing pieces in unexpected/non-traditional spaces in shabby chic décor.

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Turn regular soup cans into great shabby chic office organizers. Using natural-looking papers and fabrics, glue covers onto the cans. Place on lazy susan for easy, stylish accessibility.

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Turn an ornate art frame into a magnetic chalkboard for the ultimate shabby chic office accessory. Silk flower-covered magnets help to complete the look.{found on thewillowshomeandgarden}.

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This workspace is what could be referred to as “shabby chic meets contemporary.” Clean lines, minimal clutter, with a few shabby chic details (e.g., empty ornate frame, plank desktop, and Buddha head) produce a positive vibe all around.

Shabby Chic Bathroom.

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In true shabby chic repurposing form, this bathroom mirror is a charming combination of many things vintage – an old rake serves as a jewelry holder, a chipped paint cupboard door is the mirror’s foundation, and the mirror itself is an antiqued piece of glass.

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A vintage doorknob gets a white-then-distressed makeover to become a perfect shabby chic bathroom accessory as a robe or towel holder.{found on thehouseofsmiths}.

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If you’ve got the space for it, shabby chic décor in the bathroom makes a large bathroom feel more “homey” than sterile. A chippy metal chair, for example, is both aesthetic and functional, and a battered hutch provides stylish storage.

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A bright, friendly turquoise color makes this toilet paper, slash, magazine holder a cheerful addition to the shabby chic bathroom. Areas of worn paint add to the charm.{found on etsy}.

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A fully ruffled shower curtain is a romantic and feminine touch to the bathroom, working nicely with the white painted and antiqued ornate iron pieces above it.

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A chippy shelf is a perfect place to display toiletries while simultaneously storing them. An absolute win-win for the tiny shabby chic bathroom.{found on farmhouseporch}.

Shabby Chic Laundry Room.

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An old wooden window, turned on its side, wallpapered, and mounted with hooks, is a perfect shabby chic element for the laundry room.

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A shelf dedicated strictly to shabby chic décor in the laundry room is a luxury…yet, when seen here, is more of a necessity, don’t you think?

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The storage of laundry detergents in blue glass mason jars. What could be more endearingly shabby chic than that?{found on 11magnolialane}.

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“Hide” your ugly washer and dryer behind charming white sheet curtains. This is reminiscent of sheets hanging out to dry and makes for a most shabby chic laundry room.

 

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A lot of DIY projects can add a shabby chic vibe to a room while also being useful in one way or another. This picture frame jewelry organizer for example could become a nice addition to a bedroom. To make it you need a few supplies such as a wooden frame, chicken wire, some fabric, hooks and any additional elements you might want to add. Painting the frame is one of the ways in which you can customize the design. Find out more on themakeyourownzone.

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Shabby chic decorations like this framed butterfly art for instance can fit really well into any room of the house. Display it in the bedroom above the headboard, add it to your home office, use it to personalize the entryway or integrate it into another space that could use a bit of help in order to feel more welcoming. You can find out the details on thediymommy.

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Using reclaimed materials and repurposed items is a really great way to add a shabby chic vibe to your projects. An idea that you might like is to transform an old wooden shutter into a beautiful decoration. The project is described in detail on hometalk so check it out to find out what you’ll need in order to make something similar.

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Old frames are perfect for lots of DIY projects and crafts. Here’s another version of a jewelry organizer which makes use of a reclaimed frame. It can be done in a few simple steps which are described on martysmusings. First, you paint the frame, then you attach the chicken wire panel, you add the spacer on the back and finally, you hang it.

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Something else that you could do to add a shabby chic aesthetic to a space like the bedroom or the living room is to decorate a lampshade with fabric roses. It’s a perfect project if you have a plain table lamp that could use a makeover. Check out the instructions and all the details on simplyciani before you get started.

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Restoring or transforming old furniture is another great way to create a shabby chic décor. Furniture makeovers are very rewarding and can have different goals. For example, this armoire was repainted in a fresh new color and with a beautiful distressed finish which suits it perfectly and highlights its wonderful and unique style. Check out paintmewhite to learn more about the transformation.

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A shabby chic design often includes a variety of decorative elements and ornamental features. These can range in size and can take a variety of different forms. They can also be considered a wonderful opportunity to work on a DIY project. Consider something simple, like a pair of painted hearts made out of thin plywood. You can find the tutorial for them on allthingsheartandhome.

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Something specific that you can use as a decoration or a design detail in a shabby chic décor is a terracotta pot. These are easy to find in any local gardening or hardware store but in order to give them an authentic and retro vibe you need to apply a distressed finish. It’s easy to do and all you need is some chalky paint, matte varnish and a paintbrush. More details can be found on picklee.

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Repurposed tin cans would also fit really well in such a décor. There’s lots of different ways in which they can be repurposed but most commonly they’re turned into small vases or planters. The tutorial from thepinningmama explains how you can transform empty tin cans using spray paint and lace and how you can use them to create beautiful shabby chic centerpieces.

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Here’s another example of terracotta pots being used as shabby chic decorations. This time the design introduced a new element. The pots have the house number on them and are meant to be displayed out on the front porch. It’s a really charming and interesting way of marking the house number using unconventional means. Head over to the36thavenue for more details.

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You can do a lot of cool things with a simple piece of wood. For instance, you can turn a wood slice into a beautiful tray and an element that you can integrate into a charming centerpiece. This tray has these stylish hairpin-style legs which are made out of bent metal tubes. You can check out the tutorial on craftberrybush if you want to make something similar for yourself.