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Shabby chic home décor dates back to the 1980s in the United Kingdom’s counterculture.

Artisans and Bohemians strayed away from upper-class, expensive pieces, instead opting for worn-in furniture and décor with charming character.

This type of furniture and shabby chic room décor appear worn and distressed. You can often find shabby chic home accessories in vintage shops with natural signs of wear. You can also distress furniture and other items to create a shabby chic appearance.

Shabby Chic Home Décor Elements

If you’re ready to give your home a makeover, shabby chic is a great option due to its warm atmosphere and character.

Here are all the colors, fabrics, and trend variation options to get you started.

Color Schemes

The shabby chic style focuses on warm neutrals with pops of subtle color.

  • Feminine shabby chic would include pastels like pinks, blues, and yellows paired with light neutrals such as off-whites and light beiges.
  • Masculine shabby chic embraces more of the rustic style with darker tones like blacks, browns, and deep colors.

When you choose a color scheme, make sure it provides an aesthetic you’ll enjoy for more than a few months.

Fabrics and Textures

Shabby chic room décor frequently mixes indoor and outdoor elements for an eclectic yet romantic vibe. Bleached, faded, or otherwise distressed linens are excellent options.

This style draws inspiration from the French countryside with cotton linens and natural textures like burlap, barkcloth, or chenille. Floral patterns and cotton ticking are also common. More masculine options could include denim, canvass, or sailcloth.

Style Variations

If you want to embrace shabby chic, you have a few different variations to choose from. Which best complements your home and personality?

  • Cottage chic
  • Beach house chic
  • French countryside chic
  • Gustavian (Swedish) chic
  • Rustic

Furniture and Shabby Chic Home Accessories

Here are some options and inspiration for filling your home with furniture and shabby chic home accessories.

Bookshelves and Wooden Furniture

Wooden everything: bookshelves, couches, tables, coat racks, and more. Look for pieces with a distressed appearance or several layers of paint. Unfinished wood or plain white is always a great option, too.

Pillows and Rugs

Look for accent pillows and rugs made of natural textures like chenille or barkcloth. Use these pieces as an opportunity for a splash of colors with rose pink, sky blue, gold, or deep brown.

Chandeliers and Rococo-Style Lighting Fixtures

While furniture and linens are simple and humble, shabby chic lighting is elaborate and stunning. Pick up chandeliers and intricate lighting fixtures that echo the late Baroque period.

Glass Display Cabinets

Nothing says shabby chic quite like antique accessories and cabinets. Look for jelly cases and display cabinets that resemble exterior windows with wood beams and glass panels.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Bring the garden feel into your living room with shabby chic home accessories. Add some watering cans, tables, or bird cages made of tin, wrought iron, or copper for a vintage feel. Glass mason jars are always great for storage and accessories.

Elaborate Frames, Mirrors, and Hardware

Just like lighting, you can go all out with elaborate wood-carved frames and mirrors. Add wooden shelves to your walls with intricate wrought-iron brackets. Switch out your door knobs and other hardware with copper or distressed wrought-iron pieces.

Shabby Chic Websites to Get You Started

So now that you’ve got some great inspiration, you need to shop. These shabby chic websites offer great options for accessories, furniture, and linens.

  • Etsy: Unique and handmade furniture, home décor, accessories, and more.
  • Beyond the Farm: Rustic accessories and light fixtures.
  • Rachel Ashwell: Shabby chic bath items, linens, furniture, and anything else you could possibly want.
  • Overstock: A wide variety of furniture, linens, light fixtures, accessories, and inspiration.

Shabby Chic Room Décor Tips and Ideas

Maybe you already have plenty of wood pieces. Or maybe you’re just a do-it-yourselfer. You can distress furniture and linens yourself to create a shabby chic appearance.

  • Distressing: Paint wooden furniture with two or three coats of paint in different colors. Using sand paper, remove different layers of paint to expose different colors and produce a distressed appearance.
  • Bleaching: Put old sheets and linens into a bathtub full of water and a couple cups of bleach. Lighten them until they resemble pastel colors. If some areas appear uneven, that’s okay because it adds to the linen’s character.
  • Tea staining: You can also use black tea to stain white linens for a vintage effect. Fill the bathtub or a large bucket with warm water and lots of black tea. Submerge the linen until it is the desired color.

The shabby chic home décor style makes rooms feel romantic and comforting. You have many options for embracing the style in several ways to best complement your home.

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