How To Create A Shabby Chic Living Room


The vast majority of home decor options might be muddling at first, so in order to clear all the confusion, you should ask yourself what is it that you want. 

What type of atmosphere do you want to go home to every day? Do you prefer modern and minimalistic decor or vintage with hues of luxury?

In the case of the latter, the shabby chic style will be the most suitable for you.

However, before making a decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like neural colors?
  • Does the worn-down aesthetic suit the vibe you are going for?
  • Do you like antique furniture?

In the event that your answer to the three of these questions is yes, you should definitely consider the shabby chic style!

What is Shabby Chic?

To get a better understanding of the style itself, you should know its origins. The shabby chic originated in the 1980s in Britain, but was popularized by the American Rachel Ashwell who defines it as “cozy, comfortable, vintage and pretty”.

It might resemble both the French country and Victorian style, however, it possesses certain idiosyncrasies which differentiate it from both of them.

What sets it apart from the French country aesthetic is the fact that it opts for more light, off-white colors and its tendency to ostentatiousness distinguishes it from the Victorian decor.

But those two styles can also be a source of inspiration for you when you commence planning the decor.

How To Create A Shabby Chic Aesthetic

Now that you have established the style which suits you, it’s about time you began working on creating the living room of your dreams.

The following are some tips to guide you and supply you with the foundation.

However, look for other sources of inspiration such as Pinterest mainly because it has a wide variety of photos so that you might visualize everything before you start the furnishing process.


The most typical colors for this antique style are the light ones. Instead of white (which might make the room seem a bit too cold and bleak), go for warmer tones like beige or pastel colors.

On the other hand, wallpapers with flower elements are also prone to contribute to the luxurious vibe, but be careful not to overdo them as they can ruin the whole aesthetic, in the event that the final result is too colorful or tacky.


One of the principal characteristics of the shabby chic style is that it opts for comfort (which is a bonus considering that you are going to spend every day in said space).

Therefore, it is recommendable that you choose furniture which you can sink into.

For the bedding, you should choose materials such as cotton and linen ( not only are they cozy, but also easy to maintain). Also, go for fuzzy rugs and plush pillows as additional snuggly items (plus they tend to be cheap).


Massive antique furniture pieces for spacious living rooms are perfect for the shabby chic look.

Imagine a huge bookcase that can display all of your books or a 12-person dining table with king-size chairs.

This is guaranteed to bring elegance to the whole room and a touch of illustriousness.


It is essential that you consider even the smallest detail so that the whole design will appear put together and there won’t be any obtrusive elements.


Pay attention when you choose your furniture.

For instance, if the legs of the chairs are ornate you can use that as a substitution to other decor elements so that they don’t appear cluttered.

On the other hand, should the furniture be somewhat simple, you can incorporate other decor items such as vases or other small talismans.

In the event that you have a green thumb now is the time to put those skills in action as some flowers like peonies or roses will make a great addendum to the ornamentation.

Plus they will contribute with a nice smell and they are guaranteed to bring life to the space.


The majority of the antique furniture is prone to be wooden so you should carefully consider the types of wood you are going to use (to guarantee that they will be durable) and whether you should mix darker with lighter types of wood.

Go for similar colors instead of alternating between light and dark ones to create sleekness.

DIY Your Shabby Chic Look

Planning your shabby chic home renovation might turn out to be an overwhelming endeavor, so participating in the physical part and not only in the creative one is prone to be a marvelous way of cooling off.

An additional benefit is that you might save some money (and buy a beautiful antique vase with it instead).

Tools you might need:

  • Screwdriver and miter saw: if you plan to build/redo the furniture by yourself
  • Sandpaper: to get off the lacquer of the furniture and be able to repaint it or give it that worn-out look
  • Staple: gun flea markets provide a treasure trove of vintage furniture, but they aren’t always in the best condition (however, the low price makes the little repairs worth it)

Techniques you should consider giving a try:

  • Distressing technique: you might layer various paints and then peel it off some parts to create the “shabby” part of the shabby chic
  • Paints with a matt and rough finish: this is prone to provide some texture to the surface and all you have to do is paint the wall.

Wrapping Up

Creating a shabby chic atmosphere in your home might be on the pricier side, however, it is an investment that is worth every penny as it is easy to maintain and long-lasting. 

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