a shabby chic bedroom with shabby chic decorations, an old wood door, and floral pattern

Shabby Chic

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 3/15/2021

In the world of fashion and style, things are sometimes defined by what they are not. And, if there is something shabby chic is not, it’s masculine and rustic. Sometimes called French country, this sophisticated yet playful style is a throwback to bohemian movements and has become one of the most popular interior decorating trends amongst today’s with-it and hip. A truly unique expression of self, this fairly feminine style combines vintage designs with whimsical furnishings and one-off accessories.

Definition

In both clothing and home décor, the term shabby chic typically refers to a relaxed, well worn, vintage look. Clothing, furniture, and accessories in this style are typically time-worn or country-inspired upcycled pieces that evoke feelings of femininity. Fabrics are mostly made from cotton and linen and they are often intentionally bleached or stained to give them a more weathered look. They often have pale pastel and neutral colors and soft floral patterns. The term also sometimes refers to new items that are designed to mimic a vintage style, with options ranging from very affordable to expensive custom pieces. Shabby chic is a popular style when it comes to decorating bedrooms, with numerous inspirations, ideas, and decorations available online.

What Is Shabby Chic Decorating?

Shabby chic ideas and decorations have been popular for decades, especially with anyone looking to do up their bedroom in a more soft and feminine style. The best news is, there are numerous ways to create and customize this playful vintage look on just about any budget. So, whether you prefer to purchase everything ready to go or upcycle antiques into modern accessories, there are plenty of options out there:

  • A shabby chic bedroom, at its base, typically starts with a soft pastel color, usually in a shade of white or pink but can be as bold as a soft lavender. From there, the décor often incorporates antique or upcycled furniture pieces with simple and natural fabrics and accessories.
  • If you’re on a budget or considering a DIY option, shabby chic décor is often imitated with recycled or repurposed furniture pieces that resemble antiques. Painting techniques, such as glazing and sanding, are used to distress the finish of the furniture, giving it an older appearance.
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