Decorate your home with Shabby Chic

By: Johann Erickson

Are you ready to redecorate but have a limited budget? Do you have some great furniture but nothing matches? Do you love antiques but not stiff formal decor? Then think Shabby Chic, a fun decorating style that solves all these dilemmas and more.

Shabby Chic is one of the hottest trends in decorating, and for good reason. It is versatile, easy, and inexpensive. Shabby Chic is based on simplicity -- simple color themes combined with your favorite furniture and art.

Shabby Chic can be anything you want it to be, and is a great way to bring your personal style to any room. Most Shabby Chic decor is based on a white-on-white or beige-on-beige theme. Soft pastels are often used as accent colors, but with a little creativity, you can add just about any color you want. A classic example of Shabby Chic would be to cover couches and overstuffed chairs with white slipcovers, whitewash your wood furniture and hang white airy curtains.

Then hang your favorite painting or artwork in the most prominent place in the room. Choose one or two colors in the painting as accent colors, and repeat the colors in throw pillows, flowers, soft throw blankets, and candles. Another great feature of Shabby Chic is the worn and well-loved look. That side table that has an interesting shape but has seen better days is perfect for Shabby Chic. Simply whitewash it and put a vase with flowers on top. Better yet, use an old china teapot or your grandmother's favorite vase for the flowers. It's the little details like this that make Shabby Chic work so well.

If you're on a tight budget, Shabby Chic is a great choice. Make your own slipcovers with any durable white or beige fabric, and cover couches and chairs to match. Pick up interesting accessories at yard sales and flea markets, and paint them all the same shade of white. Pull out your favorite pictures and put them in frames painted white or coordinated accent colors. Throw in a few candles, flowers, and pillows, and you’ve got a beautiful Shabby Chic room.

Shabby Chic is also perfect for highlighting single pieces of furniture. Do you have a gorgeous, beloved antique but nothing else that goes with it? Decorate the room in Shabby Chic and let your antique be the center of attention.

Whatever your style, whatever your budget, whatever mismatched furniture you own, there's a Shabby Chic look for you.

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