The Shabby Chic style, with its vintage and romantic air, is increasingly popular among interior designers and young couples who decide to buy a house. Literally shabby means “unkempt in an elegant, refined way” and indicates the vocation of giving new life to forgotten objects and pieces of furniture from another era.

This is an interior design style, in which furniture, accessories and furnishings are aged, worn and the greater the cracks of time and the better the soul of this style is represented.

According to this first and very important feature, shabby chic furniture could be of any age and material, but it is the final effect which can completely change. Indeed, a lacquered and modern piece of furniture can be “shabbed quietly”, but which ones are the most suitable for the purpose?

Using Silvia Falcone‘s words, we can say that:

“The style of furniture we choose to transform is very important in shabby chic. The furniture to be preferred are those very worked, with bosses, friezes and inlays which in the natural state are tacky but which once transformed into the colors of the shabby chic become sublime. We can also adapt linear and modern furniture to this style, but we will certainly not get the final effect that we can, however, obtain with the furniture with rounded, moldings, moldings and so on. If basically a piece of furniture is very worked, sometimes even just painting it in white and then combining it with small accessories such as candles, cages, hearts and linen fabrics to give a shabby chic touch to the environment “.


Shabby Chic originated in the English countryside, where the houses were furnished with old and faded furniture, without too many pretensions.

Typical elements, such as worn out chintz sofas, old paintings, wallpapers, white curtains, large chandeliers, were present in every stately home.

It is no coincidence that shabby chic has much in common with period furnishings, especially those in Victorian style, even if it is the glamorous and eccentric element that makes the shabby chic “different” than all the other interior design styles.

In Italy we saw its appearance in the late 80s thanks to its creator and designer Rachel Ashwell who gave life to this style with the recovery of old furniture for the creation of familiar and welcoming environments, distinguished by the attention to detail that transforms it into a poor, but luxurious at the same time.

The term ‘shabby chic’ was coined, for the first time, by the magazine “The World of Interiors” in 1980, spreading all over the world since then and featuring itself according to variations and nuances dictated by one’s taste.

Nowadays, in fact, shabby chic has seen its fame increase thanks to upcycling – that is, the possibility of transforming an old object, piece of furniture, accessory into something new without recycling it, which also allows us to talk about shabby chic cheap.


Let’s see together how to make the various rooms of our home in line with the principles of this style!


The recipe for a perfect shabby chic bedroom uses careful ingredients that range from the recovery of ancient flavors to a good dose of romance.

Just the latter represents one of the pillars of the shabby style, which is revealed in interior design in the form of affected accessories, rich in inlays, perforations and deco profiles, but also of themed accessories in which a dreamy vein and floral prints pulsate, on wallpapers, curtains or linens, inspired by the Provencal style.

Another undisputed must to introduce in the shabby chic bedroom is vintage or vintage-inspired furniture.

From the real antique furniture recovered to the new generation furniture with a retro look, in the ideal Shabby-style room is in fact the charm of the past to be the master, accompanied by the love for imperfections that make an old-style furniture unique.


The furnishing elements of the living room, we refer in particular to tables, sideboards and shelves, should preferably be in recycled wood.

Vintage furniture is therefore perfect regardless of its coloring, natural wood is fine but variations on white or with a worn effect are obviously appreciated.

If, on the other hand, you are wondering which is the right sofa to insert in a shabby chic living room, the answer is naturally indecidedly classic lines and preferably in white coatings or if necessary flowered. In short, just those textiles that remind us a little those employed by our grandmothers.

Instead, as for the colors to choose for the perfect realization of a shabby chic living room, white is obviously the primary color. Then follow pastel shades that fade between ivory, beige, pink, gray.

At this starting point you can then choose to combine different color variations, the important thing is to choose natural, soft and relaxing colors.

So, in a nutshell, we can say that the furniture to be chosen must be essentially white or light wood, such as bleached oak. In principle, it is appropriate to focus on essentiality, therefore few pieces of furniture with a great visual impact.



Furnishing the kitchen with Shabby Chic furniture means giving it a romantic and naturally rural and rustic taste. A style that immediately makes “family” and evokes a relaxed and “ancient” atmosphere.

Shabby Chic furniture, even in the kitchen, prefers the white color, in its many variations, combined with the most pastel shades, from gray to beige, from light blue to lavender.

The Shabby kitchen prefers the furniture on which the passage of time is clearly visible, lived and glamorous at the same time. Furthermore, it does not disdain a touch of country style, of which the Shabby is called the natural evolution.


One of the first requirements of a shabby chic bathroom is the air of romance and relaxation typical of this stylistic approach. It also has elements in common with vintage.

To obtain a textbook result, however, it is necessary balance each ingredient and maintain consistency both within the room that between the shabby chic bathroom and the rest of the house.

Which surfaces to adopt and which materials to prefer for a pleasant and adequate environment?

At the top of the ranking we undoubtedly find the wood, to be chosen rigorously in its most raw and natural variant, and in essence with light and elegant tones such as durmast, birch and oak, or whitened.

In combination with wood you can add elements in white ceramic but also in metal and wrought iron, with a used flavor and perfect for completing wooden and ceramic materials.

In addition, it is also possible to use plaster, glass and natural fibers to enrich the environment by adding decorative details, accessories or simply small details of the complements present.


In addition to white, in the shabby chic style the predominant colors are ivory and cream white. However, pastel shades can also be used (powder pink, blue, pearl gray), obviously with respect for the original style.

In any case, we can say that the Shabby Chic has become a real elegantly complex type of furniture, which features antique furniture and fabrics with a familiar look but with a sophisticated look, expertly mixed with new objects in an elegant and refined way.

It is a very feminine, romantic, innocent style and pure that makes decorations its strengths to create comfortable elegant and inviting settings.

Very present in this style are flowers, useful for creating romantic atmospheres, as well as lace, embroidery and doilies.


By now, we can say with certainty that Shabby Chic has definitely taken the over. In fact, more and more people (even among the famous ones) are appreciating this style to furnish their home.

In fact, it is a romantic style with a lived-in flavor which allows people to relive moments of a time that is no longer there.

Furnishing your apartment following the principles of this style is not difficult and, thanks to this article, you should be able to do it yourself.

In any case, if you don’t have to trust your instincts or your tastes you can always rely on a design expert who will guide you step by step in the creation of a Shabby furniture.

In conclusion, we give some tips to avoid common mistakes that should absolutely not be made when deciding to do this style own. Let’s see together what they are:

  • Pastel, but not too much;
  • Do not overdo the layering of the furniture;
  • Few, but good, top pieces;
  • Ruined, but chic effect;
  • Choose pieces of furniture from the past;
  • Not too white;
  • Use an antique mirror as a protagonist;
  • Don’t go overboard with the country touch;
  • Lighten it all up with a floral design;
  • Finally, be original and creative in the details.

If you liked this article, do not hesitate to leave a comment with your considerations!

Also, if you have doubts about how to make the Shabby Chic style your own and you need personalized advice or simply advice on how to put this style on, send an email to valeriadesign@casaomnia.it! I will answer you as soon as possible.

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