A shabby-chic living room begins with beautifully old, distressed items and a focus on white and pastel colors. How can you make it work in your own space?
When I wrote my post about shabby chic bedroom decor, I didn’t realize how popular the topic would be. It seems that Life At Home readers have plenty of interest in this unconventional yet attractive style. So I thought I would pursue the matter by researching the style in other rooms, and today we’re going to look at how to turn your living room into a stylish shabby chic boudoir.
One of the essential elements of shabby chic is the color palette you use. Shabby chic does well with pastel colors like mint, pink, baby blue and beige. These colors tend to keep the style more feminine as well.
White is really the foundational shade of shabby chic. Think heirloom lace, white muslin, natural cotton bleached by sun and time.
White is the perfect backdrop to display the characteristics of shabby-chic: chipped paint, distressed fabrics, eclectic patterns.
And yet, if pastel isn’t your thing, you can still get away with pops of bright color, in moderation.
The essence of shabby chic shows in the choice of furniture just as much as in the choice of colors. Heirloom, vintage, farmhouse-style furniture are all appropriate choices. Even better if the paint is chipped or the piece shows other types of distress caused by age.
For the living room, old dressers and buffets are perfect. Go antiquing for a truly shabby coffee table, or upcycle something you already have. In the summer, hunting garage sales is the best way to find interesting pieces for almost nothing.
I don’t advocate getting sofas off the street–bedbugs and all–so you can certainly indulge in actually new furniture here. Get your sewing machine out and make your own fabric covers, or ask a specialist.
The accessories in a shabby-chic living room are what gives it its distinctive chicness. It can’t be all shabby, after all!
Out-of-fashion glass items like vases and candlesticks can do very well in this type of living room, along with vintage mirrors (wood or metal, as long as it looks a bit distressed), grandfather clocks, wicker baskets, cushions from your grandmother’s couch, and of course a little greenery.
For lighting, chandeliers are definitely a favourite, along with kitschy table lamps–remember those with the crystal edging that clinks whenever you reach out to turn on the light? Candlesticks are also beautifully fitted for the shabby-chic living room.
It’s all about the chic
A good shabby-chic living room balances the character of used items with the natural lightness of white and pastels. It is a space where you are a free to indulge in nostalgia for simpler, less technological times, where TV wasn’t the centre of attention and where everyone spent their time entranced by conversation rather than their phones.
I know this style is really popular lately, and it shows a desire to shed a bit of our obsession with modernity and recover the lost joys of handmade items and quiet Sunday evenings knitting or reading to the tick-tock sound of a grandfather clock. How do you see the shabby-chic style in your life? What does it allow you to do that another style wouldn’t? Let me know in the comments!