country chic, shabby chic, bedroom furniture, blue,

Shabby Chic Decor | Re-Style Your Home

How to Shabby Chic Your Home

Shabby Chic interior design, related to Cottage Chic or French Chic, is a cozy

Beautiful Vanity by RedBarnEstates on Etsy

style that really puts emphasis on the aged or weathered look.  “True” Shabby sticks to the use of white, neutrals or very pale pastels.   

It is soft and opulent, like a country cottage, distressed or faded, either naturally with time, or artificially with paint and then sanding or chipping in particular areas.  

An absolutely beautiful example can be seen in this vanity redone by RedBarnEstates on Etsy. 

In rooms decorated in Shabby Chic, you
often will find the woodwork to be glossy white.  Walls are a bright white or pale neutral; the curtains light and lacy, tied back with pastel colored ribbon.  Tables are covered with romantic table runners.  Sofas and chairs, covered with white or faded slipcovers, are piled high with billowy pillows of an English rose garden or some other light airy pattern.

English Roses

That’s what is “true”.  There are really no hard and fast rules to decorating with Shabby.  Be true to whatever you like best.  If you stick to light colors and emphasize the aged, weathered look, you will be in vogue with Shabby Chic.  

The Elegance Is In the Details

To take a piece of furniture or décor and shabby it up requires very little skill, and only a few ingredients, mostly paint, sandpaper and sealer.  Depending on the size of the piece, you could complete it in a weekend.

The best are old pieces of furniture passed down through the generations that have been painted over and over through the years.  A couple of layers of new white over old dark paint will produce an awesome time-worn look.  

If you prefer a newer piece to work on, see if you can find one that resembles the older style furniture, with scroll work, spirals or other ornamental embellishment in the wood.  

Thrift stores, flea shops and antique outlets are great places to find these.  Before you do that, though, check in your own basement or grandma’s attic.  You never know what treasures may await you there — old jewelry boxes, trunks, chairs, tables, dressing tables, frames.

Choosing what color you will paint your new creation is only the beginning.  Try adding a little personality by embellishing with motifs, appliqués, antique moldings, or some vintage glass knobs.  Ooh, awesome!

Show Off Your Shabby Furniture & Décor

After all your hard work, now you have a gorgeous piece you really love and want to show off.  What’s a great way to make sure it gets all the ooh’s and ahh’s it deserves?  One idea is to use your pieces in unusual ways, different than what was intended when they were new. 
For instance, use grandma’s old sewing cabinet to display family heirlooms or photos

Stacked Cabinets to Make Cupboard

placed in vintage style frames.  Place a hutch in the bathroom with some chippy painted décor or knickknacks.  An old trunk works great as a coffee or end table, centered with an old lamp and vintage novel.  Or stack cabinets together to make a cupboard, like this great one on Pinterest from

If you like the girly and feminine look in the bedroom or dining room, adorn your piece with a lacy tablecloth or surround with frilly curtains.  Place a few old, mis-matched tea cups with saucers about.  Incorporate interesting old-world patterns or pastel flowers in your design.

So, what is shabby?  It is a beautiful and comfortable way to relax.   


Don’t Know How to Distress?  I’ll show you in my next post using a beautiful wooden jewelry box.


Posted in DIY, Rural business.

Susie is a Midwestern (USA) girl, born and raised in Kansas, who now lives in Missouri. Her company, Rural Woman Enterprises, comprises both this website/blog along with three Etsy shops: CountryChicshoppe, SaveTheWildHorseCrea, and KnobSnobbery.
She has been married and raised 11 children (6 of them step children).
Her passion is writing, both fiction and nonfiction. And one of her most important passions is the protection of America's wild horses who now face great threat to their safety and numbers, perhaps even extinction.