DIY Shabby Chic

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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The shabby chic trend has been around for a while now, and shows no sign of fading away. This style is typified by worn looking furniture, pastel colours, feminine fabrics, floral prints and pristine white walls. The good news is, you don't have to spend a fortune to decorate your home: Shabby chic interiors are easy to recreate if you're willing to get a little bit crafty. These days, much-loved but slightly tired looking furniture is in abundance at flea markets and car boot sales. Often, all that's needed is a bit of TLC and some creative thinking. Home-made printed fabrics are a staple of the trend, and if you're up to making some floral curtains or patterned decorative pillows, there are plenty of patterns available online. 

However, real DIY isn't always an option for a lot of us, due to our increasingly busy lives and never-ending appointments to juggle. There is an alternative, or a ‘cheat's way' to achieving this look, which is much more practical: you can buy vintage-style furnishings with the home-made look (a safer option for those of us who are less proficient with a needle and thread) from many U.K designers, directly from their website.  It's worth investing in some key pieces of furniture, such as wardrobes and tables, that have the strength and quality of modern creations whilst fitting in nicely with the shabby chic theme. The designs we have chosen are great examples of quality furniture with a vintage look, and give you an idea of how to build up a shabby chic collection that will transform your home with minimum effort.

Minimalist colour scheme

Stick to crisp white paint for the walls, and introduce colour through an elaborate printed rug and fresh flowers. This white, washed-out table is the perfect vintage style focal point for a large dining room. The matching chairs are an ideal match, but nothing here looks too uniform. The room is full of character and English charm, using only a few key furnishings. 

Rustic furniture

The designers at Orchid Furniture work closely with several specialist antique furniture restorers and furniture manufacturers for reproduction collections. These trips inspire new designs and ideas, an example of which can be seen on the left. These oriental-style pieces certainly have that vintage feel, and can be teamed with more traditional shabby chic furnishings to create a vibrant and visually interesting space.

Window decoration

These gorgeous rose print curtains made by quintessentially English brand Cabbages and Roses will definitely draw a lot of compliments. Shabby chic admirers should take a look at the vintage style collections, with everything from curtains to scatter cushions (and even clothes!). As you can see here, the curtains steal the spotlight and everything else remains toned-down. Modern accessories, such as the silver desk lamp on the window ledge, looks great alongside the more traditional furnishings. 

Powder-blue shades

Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan www.anniesloan.com:   by Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan

Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan www.anniesloan.com

Annie Sloan

Powder blue is a great shade to introduce as a colour scheme to mix things up a bit. Wooden furniture with a coat of paint stands out against plain walls and gives the room a lift. Simple, elegant ceramics can be strategically placed to create that tidy but not overly-organised style. Pale green and yellow also work well for a summery vibe, so why not try out a few different designs in a few different rooms: blue for lounge, green for the hallway, yellow for the kitchen? Don't forget that the main colour should be neutral. The eye should be drawn to the pastel colours because they stand out.

Decorative ​pillows

These quirky scatter cushions will bring some character to a cream sofa or antique wooden rocking chair. The chequered pattern and 60's flowers balance out the pink, and the overall effect is feminine without being ‘girlie'. Put them together with a beach-hut style rug over washed out wooden floorboards and voilà—your shabby chic shrine is almost complete. 

Shabby chic wardrobe

Once again, Loaf are at the top of their game with this great rustic looking furniture for the bedroom. Quality and style are of the utmost importance for this London based design and retail company. Taking inspiration from vintage French furniture, the ‘French Bedroom range' is all you really need for kitting out a vintage style boudoir. You should also take a look at the Echo Mirror, hand-carved from solid Mango wood, and the Heather stitch rug in blue and white (the perfect partner to your powder-blue cabinet).

How would you create your dream Shabby Chic style home? Leave us a comment below and let us know
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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