Fancy working some shabby chic ideas into your living space? Here are 10 rooms that bring the style beautifully to life
Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More
With a nod to country and a pinch of rustic, the shabby chic look is an easy-going mishmash of pattern, muted colours, cosy cushions and mellow artwork. As much concerned with comfort as good looks, it’s a style that particularly suits a living space, helping it become somewhere to curl up, relax and unwind.
Take a few style tips from these 10 rooms, in which the style has been interpreted beautifully.
Balance colours carefully
This comfy living room has a sink-into lilac sofa that’s comfy and romantic, teamed with lots of pale grey and white. To prevent the whole scheme from feeling too floaty or ‘sweet’, the ceiling has been left in its dark wood state.
This is a clever and easy way to ground and frame a pale, shabby chic scheme. Alternatively, a dark wood antique piece of furniture would have a similar effect.
Say yes to some sagging
Perfectly plumped sofas and armchairs with firm seats don’t quite belong in a shabby chic living space. Instead, reinvent seating that’s seen a bit of life with a loose cover and a generous cushion, and then enjoy its unpretentious, squashy appeal.
Make the most of mirrors
Mirrors work beautifully in a shabby chic room, providing interest on the walls without feeling as personal or mood-influencing as art. Look for ornate, attractive frames and try hanging several mirrors together for a relaxed, gallery wall effect.
Pick a pretty paper
Floral prints regularly crop up in shabby chic schemes, typically in faded, pastel tones. They tend to feature small buds and sprigs rather than large, overblown blooms.
In this living room, a rustic coffee table brings balance, its chunky lines working as a nice foil to the delicate pattern on the wallpaper.
Layer cushions deeply
Follow the three Ls to achieve the perfect shabby chic sofa: loose covers, linen and lots of cushions! This gorgeous sofa sticks to very pale colours and a mix of cushion sizes and shapes for an informal look that invites you to curl up and relax.
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Inject some colour
Take a leaf out of this living room’s book and rethink a shabby chic scheme by introducing jolts of colour. The floral fabrics, mirrors and laid-back feel are all here, but combined with vibrant blue, red and yellow. It’s still recognisably a shabby chic living room, but with a more tropical feel!
Keep it restful
To create a slightly more grown-up take on shabby chic style, stick to a neutral palette and trim out some of the pastel shades or cottagey florals. A comfy sofa and deep cushions are still the bedrock of this look, but feature a mix of patterns and colours to bring a pinch of variety without disrupting the almost-neutral scheme.
Work in natural materials
Natural fibres are key to a shabby chic scheme – think cotton, linen and rugs woven from sisal or seagrass. Try leather, too, but aim for the battered, vintage variety rather than the sleek and midcentury version.
These two antique leather armchairs, dressed with floral cushions and sitting on simple whitewashed boards, have an inviting, cosy feel.
Repurpose an old find
Shabby chic style is often resourceful, featuring pieces repurposed or cleverly upcycled that bring character to a scheme. This living room features an old suitcase, painted white and now working as storage and, possibly, a footstool, too.
Browse 9 of the most gorgeous shabby chic bedrooms on Houzz
Think about throws
A throw or two will ramp up the comfort of a sofa and give it a strongly shabby chic feel – especially if you layer pale or faded pinks, blues or whites (or all three!). Try spreading a sheepskin in among the woven, knitted, super-soft throws, too.
Are you a fan of shabby chic style? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.