​ A Guide to Interior Design Styles: Shabby Chic

​ A Guide to Interior Design Styles: Shabby Chic

Jul 21st 2021

If you’ve ever found yourself appreciating the “lived-in look” you see in magazines or friends’ houses, then you may appreciate the shabby chic interior design style. This style creates comforting spaces filled with a sense of history. They feature furniture and decorations that have a patina of age and airy spaces filled with light. Exposed beams, bricks, and wood flooring are all welcome.

Unlike modern design styles that have sharp, geometric edges, shabby chic rounds the corners a bit. The sterility that some people find in more modern design styles is tamped down in favor of old but sturdy pieces that have stood the test of time. Shabby chic interiors don’t necessarily have to be filled with cutting edge design but rather with objects that have been passed down for generations.

Are you interested in trying shabby chic in your own home? If so, the following tips will help you get a good start.

Mix and Match

The shabby chic style leaves room for mixing and matching. While you will still want to pick a general color palette for a room, shabby chic is more forgiving when it comes to hue variety. Rather than sticking to one accent colors, you can have a range of accent colors. You can also mix eras: have a sixties-inspired chair next to a 1920s-era desk.

This style also makes room for more eclectic art pieces. All your favorite paintings, no matter how different they may be, can have a place on your walls in a shabby chic room. Funky statues can also be great as pops of interest in the space.

Thrift Store Finds Can Take Center Stage

Vintage furniture is a mainstay of the shabby chic design style. You can buy pieces from designers that come pre-distressed for you or buy secondhand. Garage sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, and flea markets are all great places to look for shabby chic accent pieces. Some people find restoring old pieces half of the fun of shabby chic design.

If you do buy used pieces, make sure that they are sturdy. Sturdiness is part of the aesthetic you should aim for, and you don’t want to restore pieces only to have them break down on your further down the line.

Carefully Balance Space

Almost more than any other interior design style, shabby chic draws a careful balance between elegance and, well, shabbiness. It encourages you to find the value in overlooked items, but also in the history indicated by patinas and distress.

Shabby chic invites you to bring eclectic pieces into your home, but at the same time, it shies away from clutter. It isn’t minimalist, but it appreciates the open spaces reminiscent of country estates. During your foray into the shabby chic design aesthetic, you will have to carefully decide how many decorations to have in your space. As established earlier, they don’t have “match” as strictly other styles would dictate, but they shouldn’t fill every inch of space either.

Use Soft Colors

Opt for neutral wall colors for that simple, country feel. With neutral colors as your backdrop, you are free to pick furniture and decorations with bolder colors. Don’t go too bold, though. You’ll want to stay somewhat pastel. Bright colors tend to remind of newness, and this is what the aesthetic tries to avoid.

The shabby chic style tends to embrace a more feminine, romantic feel. When choosing accent pieces, consider floral motifs, especially ones with soft pinks. Pinks fit into the shabby chic style quite well, as do sheer curtains that let in lots of light.

Play with Textures

Texture plays a big part in the shabby chic aesthetic. Leather, lace, and old wood all bring unique textures to a room. Curtains, blankets, or sofa covers with ruffles can add an extra touch of whimsy. Drape couches and beds in comfortable cotton blankets or puffy pillows.

Try Barn Doors

Adding a barn door can help create a shabby chic aesthetic feel in almost any room. Their country feel works well in the open spaces left in shabby chic interiors. The doors lay flat against the wall, so they can let in more light from other rooms.

Here at Barndoorz, we carry several classic barn door designs that could be the perfect touch to your shabby chic space. We have a variety of finishing options, so you are sure to find the perfect door for your space.


The shabby chic interior design style is perfect for people who enjoy thrifting, DIY repair, or simply comfortable, airy spaces filled with timeless classics. Give it a try in your home!