Creating A Shabby Chic Living Room

Creating A Shabby Chic Living Room

Shabby Chic has been a popular design style for many years. Creating a Shabby Chic style in your living room or even your bedroom is not as hard as it sounds, there is a delicate balance to it. 

Even when you look through Pinterest for inspiration, it can be a little overwhelming that you can combine rustic natural materials with modern touches – and create a cohesive look.

What is Shabby Chic?

The Shabby Chic design is a particular kind of interior aesthetic. Shabby Chic is an exact balance between a put-together yet relaxed look. 

It is artistic yet elegant with its vibe and gives a lot of freedom to the designer or homeowner. And while Shabby Chic generally feels less structured, it is more about purpose and beauty than you might realize. 

Creating A Shabby Chic Living Room

Photo by Elaine Howlin on Unsplash

What Creates A Shabby Chic Room?

There are a couple of tips that can help you create a Shabby Chic living room. 

Neutral Background

When it comes to any kind of design, a neutral background gives you the evenest base. 

Although it should be noted that every single element in interior design comes into play, and has an impact. When it comes to Shabby Chic, most of the keys are colorful and bold. This means the background should balance this out and provide a space for those bold features to be appreciated.

This neutral price only really applies to the walls, ceiling, and floor.

Of course, you would likely be adding wallpaper or rugs to cover some of those neutral elements up. Try to start with something neutral like beige, white, or cream. 


You will often find that many Shabby Chic living rooms have a strong rose tone. The pastel pink used with white can make for a very relaxing atmosphere – yet it looks clean and elegant. 

You can use fluffy rugs, velvet drapes, and plump pillows to inject that rosy tone. 

Leaving your coffee table and perhaps couch more of a white, you can allow the pink tones of the design touches to really pop.


It is often the accessories that will really give your living room a Shabby Chic boho feel. 

Using a variety of different accessories with different textures can bring a lot of personality and layers to the room. 

Wall art is another decorative item, as well as blankets and pillows, and of course, the rug could be a centerpiece.

Mixing and matching become key here. Selecting items that have specific textures patterns or prints that fit the idea you have will give your room a cohesive aesthetic. 

Even though Shabby Chic can be a range of colors and textures, it is essential to try and think about two or three different color tones to repeat throughout the space. If your style is more eclectic, and more is more, you have to set your own limits as to what becomes enough.

There are many people with less structured styles of aesthetics, so it is important to make sure the room doesn’t end up looking cluttered, or closer to a junk room then you might like. 

It is often a good idea to take a few moments or even days to consider whether a new piece of art or furniture is actually going to fit with the room you are trying to create. If you aren’t immediately sure that the item will fit in the room, likely, it will not. 

But this action of taking a step back will give you some fresh perspective over your room. If the piece you want to purchase isn’t a one-off, then it is worth waiting. 


Although many Shabby Chic living rooms will have lots of different lighting options like a floor lamp, and interesting to look at ceiling light, and some smaller table lamps, natural light is essential. 

So it makes sense that you take a look at how big your windows are and if the shape of style could be improved. You can even have your windows updated to match the style of the room that you are currently creating. 

This also allows you to change the style of window dressings that you currently have. You can choose something that will fit in with the rest of your design aesthetic, check here for some inspiration.

Vintage and Distressed Furniture

The heart and soul of what Shabby Chic is is distressed and vintage furniture. We can safely assume that the shabby part of the Shabby Chic refers to items that are weathered. 

And perhaps as well as weathered, they have an antique aesthetic. This style makes them the perfect thing to add to your Shabby Chic living room, due to the nature of the weathering or vintage – the pieces are unique. 

You have a wide range of options available to you if you choose to do Shabby Chic. 

For example, you can upcycle furniture yourself, create exactly what you’d like, or head to local second-hand stores and flea markets to pick up something that fits with the aesthetic you’re going for. 

There are many online tutorials about how to create pieces that look weathered and have a vintage feel, yet you could’ve purchased them for a very low price at a flatpack furniture store.

It is much about being creative, as it is about being authentic.

It is important to remember that the furniture you choose should only look distressed, but actually be fit for use. The furniture that you choose should be sturdy and well put together. As well as come with all the necessary parts to ensure that they still run/can be used well. 

If you have found a piece that you absolutely must have, but isn’t fully functioning, you can find a way to restore yourself.

Gallery Walls

You are likely to find gallery walls in almost every style of aesthetic now, however, in a Shabby Chic aesthetic, it isn’t just photos and other artwork that makes the wall. 

You can add in plates, keys, books, and even musical instruments. It is more about creating a collection of things that you enjoy looking at. Although it should be noted that you should pay someone in mind to the way that they are framed and positioning. 

Take your time to lay out your gallery wall numerous times before deciding how to attach it to the wall.

You can use the frames as a point of reference for adding other items into the room, they can be the inspiration, which allows you to tie the room together using different accessories. 

This will provide some cohesion between all of the artworks, accessories, and furniture.

Coffee Table

It is not uncommon to find a coffee table made out of an old leather trunk, or perhaps an old storage Best. You can paint these to match the rest of the room, and they will still have their charm. 

They are usually very specific in shape and style and can add a real focal point to the room. If you don’t like creating your own Shabby Chic Trump coffee table, you can find replicas or Shabby Chic style tables with a quick Google search.

Natural Elements

It was mentioned above that it is a great idea to use a neutral background, as a base for your brighter design pieces. However, natural elements really lend themselves to the Shabby Chic design. Usually, a Shabby Chic design would have a bright light and airy feel. 

One of the easiest ways you can bring that feeling to the forefront of your design is to have some elements of the outdoors inside. Of course, green plants are one of the easiest ways to add some nature to your health. 

Consider incorporating one or two larger plants in wicker baskets, and then smaller ones around the home.

Fake flowers can also stand the test of time, and the bonuses you can purchase the flowers that you like in the colors that match your aesthetic. For example, if you want to have blue tones within your space, blue flowers can be challenging to come by. 

However, you can purchase peonies in a blue hue and have them placed anywhere in the room to help it all to come together well.

Natural fibers, like wicker baskets, bamboo rugs, or even wooden blinds, can lend it to that and natural element feel.

Stone and clay accessories are also a great way to incorporate that. Or perhaps you’d like to create some of your own Shabby Chic items, using dried flowers within resin, has become a popular hobby, and can also bring all of that Shabby Chic design together very well.

Shabby Chic is all about maximum comfort in a bright, light, and cozy space. Using a mixture of modern materials, with vintage and distressed items, is not as daunting as it seems. 

There are very many Shabby Chic Pinterest boards that can help you get that balance correct. 

And remember that it takes time to build a Shabby Chic space without breaking the bank because true vintage and distressed pieces will need to be added over time rather than all at once. 

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