SampleBoard’s peek at Shabby Chic & How 2 get the look

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by SampleBoard

Shabby Chic is one of the most enduring interior decorating styles. It came into prominence in the 1980s, was popular in the 1990s and remains so today in 2012. It has a comfortable feminine feel achieved with well worn loved items. It can move toward a casual cottage look or be influenced by the   more sophisticated French provincial style.

Interior Design concept board created by Rosena on

Shabby Chic an eco friendly style

Using recycled items makes this a very eco friendly interior design style. Vintage, antique or just old items can be redeemed to create a fresh new look. The wonderful thing about this style of décor is you can express your own individuality. This is one of the reasons Shabby Chic appeals to me. However in our house modern styling wins hands down. This is due to the fact my husband and I love modern and he hates Shabby Chic. So this means I do not indulge myself in the wonders of Shabby Chic; but I do enjoy my sister’s love affair with the style.

How 2 get the look

Distressed furniture

To create this style; find items of furniture that have been heavily painted or you can use old unpainted timber furniture or even new pieces. Then you can distress the pieces. With the pieces already painted you can simply use sandpaper to strip the paint to reveal the different layers of paint. With timber furniture left free of paint you can paint the item with one coat of paint let it dry then place another coat of paint in a different color over the first coat.

When this is dry you can distress the item by using sandpaper to expose the first layer of paint and even the timber beneath. This is easily achieved on the edges of the furniture for example on the edge of a dining chair seat and back. If the legs of the chair are turned sandpaper the high areas of the leg to expose the colors beneath.

The hallmark of this style is well loved quirky comfort

Timber doors and cabinets can be distressed in a similar way to the furniture. The furniture styles that lend themselves to creating this wonderful warm style are French provincial, American Shaker, Scandinavian and country style furniture. Walls can be decorated with stencils or toile, floral and antique rose wallpapers.

Interior Design concept board created by Rosena on

Cotton and linen fabrics

The most popular fabrics used to achieve the Shabby Chic look are cottons and linens. The linens used today are based on the old French linens. Fabrics and lace can be soaked in water stained with tea to make it look older and faded. Sometimes fabrics are bleached. Chenille and chintz are also popular fabrics. These fabrics are used for comfy sofas, armchairs, cushions, pillows, bedspreads and other soft furnishings.

Soft colors and floral patterns

Whites and pastels are the most used colors in the Shabby Chic style. Soft pinks, peach and light greens or blue with white popular combinations. Floral patterns are the most used; roses most particularly. Stripes, dots and checks in matching colors can be teamed with the floral prints.


This is where the fun can really start with your creation of a Shabby Chic masterpiece. The items used to enhance the comfortable homely well lived in look are endless. From white tin jugs filled with pink roses, to trays, chandeliers, candle holders, mirrors, teapots, old photographs and clocks. It is a fun individual style that has a welcoming, laid back and relax sort of atmosphere.

Found this excellent video with lots of examples of Shabby Chic styling shows how varied the style can be; inspirational hope you enjoy it as much as I did here the link

Author: Rosena MacFadzean for – concept creation online