Shabby Chic Bedroom - Retro Decorating Ideas

There is a fine line between "shabby chic" and "shabby cheap." If you are planning a bedroom makeover and thinking you might want to go shabby chic, make sure you do it right. When we hear "shabby chic," the words "vintage," "retro," and "antique" usually come to mind. Yes, it is a vintage decorating style but that doesn't mean you can capture the shabby chic factor simply by furnishing the bedroom with a bunch of Victorian furniture and draping the window with your grandma's old floral fabric. To create a shabby chic bedroom, you've got to know how to bring out the charm of different retro items as well as how "shabby" you can go without looking cheap.

Shabby Chic Bedroom Design

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Meticulously Chic

To fulfill the "shabby" part, look for old-fashioned furniture with aged paint and well-worn signs. Good places to shop for this include yard sales, flea markets, antique shops and thrift stores. Then to make it chic, accessorize the furniture with matching artistic items. What sets shabby chic décor apart from other vintage decorating trends is its romantic and feminine touch. The first impression you get once you step into a shabby chic bedroom should be "Ah, this room belongs to a lady!"

It might be easier to come up with a theme for your bedroom first. If you want to go with a floral theme, decorate the whole room that way. You don't need to buy everything in a large set, though all the items should match one another to some degree. For example, the floral print on your tablecloth might not be identical to the one on your curtains, though they should nicely blend in with one another.

Also, try to decorate your bedroom with small collections of retro knick-knacks or photos. Black-and-white photos, for instance, go quite well with the shabby chic style. If you have no old photos in the house, try printing out your new photos in black-and-white or sepia colors to create a faux vintage look. Who said everything has to be really old? Some peeps who are totally into shabby chic would even sand corners of their brand-new furniture just to make the paint seem a bit chipped. In this case, cheating is all right.

Shabby Chic Bedroom Design

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Practically Chic

When it comes to decorative objects, you don't always have to stick with flower vases, figurines and antique lamps. Instead, adapt some funky retro items into double-duty furniture or showpieces. For instance, an old sewing machine can easily turn into a nifty laptop desk. A weathered wooden trunk could look pretty unique as a nightstand. If you've got time and artistic skills, you could even try creating your own version of a ceiling lamp with a vintage birdcage. Obsolete devices, such as rotary telephones, turntables and typewriters are all great bric-a-bracs for shabby chic décor.

For those of you who adore shabby chic but can't stand floral prints, opt for other retro designs like polka dots, tie dyes and damasks instead. But keep in mind that bright hot colors won't do the trick. For shabby chic bedrooms, pastel paints and vintage wallpapers are the way to go.

Shabby Chic Bedroom Design

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Simply Chic

What would happen when you stuff a small room with a myriad of retro furniture? It would appear less like an inviting bedroom and more like a garish thrift store. Every piece of furniture you have picked might be utterly gorgeous, yet that wouldn't help much. A shabby chic bedroom should convey a sense of airiness and simplicity. So take a good look at the squarefootage of your bedroom before choosing furniture. Don't indulge yourself on a huge shopping spree and buy every item you like. If you already put a gigantic antique bed in your pint-size bedroom, don't make the room look even smaller by adding a bulky Victorian chaise-lounge to it. Allow the bed to be the centerpiece and decorate the rest of the space with lean-looking furniture. In case you're worried the room might seem too dull, enliven it with a classy wall clock or stunning paintings in intricate frames.

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Comments 80 comments

nathandanials profile image

nathandanials 5 years ago from Golden Valley, MN

Love your media. Great hub.


mslizzee profile image

mslizzee 5 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

This is adorable. I love shabby chic.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Nathandanials and mslizzee, thanks a lot for the read and kind comments. :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Shabby chic looks cool--kind of like the person who looks fabulous with the "just roll out of bed" look. Rated awesome.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Wow Om---Those are fabulous looks. I am always redoing and redoing. I love decorating so am always looking for new and improved ideas...I can't wait to show Bob what you presented here...he will be SO thrilled!

Lovely rooms though and I'm thinking change is good, eh? Sigh...might have to wait a bit though with the new baby arriving (the puppy) but after she chews up some stuff, I will have that excuse to go 'shabby chic'!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@anglnwu - Exactly! I like that analogy a lot. :)

@akirchner - Audrey, congrats on the new puppy. And I agree it's a good idea to wait until the "chewing spree" is over. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

What an informative and fun hub with good ideas. Thanks for sharing!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Sweetie. So good to hear from you. :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Loved these photos of the shabby chic examples. I'm in a decorating mood and just purchased a paint sample size to try out on some wallpaper that I intend to cover. The wallpaper is dated (although I know there is a resurgence of starting to decorate with it again) but think that I will enjoy the freshened look. Useful hub. Thanks!


Journey * profile image

Journey * 5 years ago from USA

Personally, I have never decorated in the shabby chic style but I do like these looks a lot. Thanks for sharing.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@Peggy - Sounds like fun! I wish I could repaint my apartment every month or so, but of course that is not an option. Thanks for dropping by, Peggy. :)

@Journey - You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed this. :)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Om, I love the shabby chic look. I especially like the third photo you show. Great hub. Voted up


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Yeah, there's a charming sense of minimalism in the third bedroom. I like it a lot as well. Thanks so much for the read and sweet comment, KoffeeKlatch. :)


thedutchman profile image

thedutchman 5 years ago

I like it.This Hub is interesting. Thanks for sharing.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks! :)


SUSIE405 profile image

SUSIE405 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

Very well written. I am getting ready to recorate my bedroom and will use thee tips.


ubalildon profile image

ubalildon 5 years ago

nice bedroom...


bugslady8949 profile image

bugslady8949 5 years ago from The Bahamas

I think you did a great job on this lens but I do not think shabby chic is for me!!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@Susie405 - Have fun! Thanks for visiting my hub. :)

@ubalildon - Thank you. :)

@bugslady - Yeah, I know shabby chic isn't for everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub, though. :)


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I like the shabby chic bedroom and over all look as I can just imagine it throughout the entire house. :) Katie


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Shabby chic for the entire house? That would be cool! Thanks for dropping by, Katie. :)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America

I love Shabby Chic. All my furniture is Shabby Chic. Have an old sewing cabinet in the barn.

Enjoyed your hub.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

I love shabby chic as well and want a metal head board for my bed - simple iron or a more intricate metal will do. I think that the look adds a feeling of warmth and comfort, very welcoming in a bedroom.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@moonlake - Wow, your house must look so lovely. Thanks so much for stopping by, moonlake. :)

@Dolores - Hi, Dolores. Yeah, I think an iron headboard would look really cute with the shabby chic style. And you don't need to go to an antique shop to look for it. You can find iron headboards in any typical furniture stores, like Ikea or Walmart.


Dana Hinders profile image

Dana Hinders 5 years ago

Great tips and beautiful photos!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks! :)


Ashley Anne profile image

Ashley Anne 5 years ago from Virginia

I love Shabby Chic. Awesome Hub.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Cool! Glad you had a good read. :)


readabook profile image

readabook 5 years ago from Texas

Great idea and looks like fun to do plus inexpensive which is the best part. We have had so many resale shops open up here lately it might be fun to go looking for shabby chic.


Ruth M profile image

Ruth M 5 years ago from a tropical paradise

Lovely! Second photo reminds me of my mom's old Singer sewing machine. I think it's still somewhere in the storage room. :)


laine harrison profile image

laine harrison 5 years ago

as long as it has the girly side of me, i would love to sleep in it! photos are really great, nostalgic of my room during my junior high. :(


ChristineVianello profile image

ChristineVianello 5 years ago from Philadelphia

Shabby chic is adorable! My bedroom is shabby chic, and it is beautiful!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts about shabby chic, everyone! =D


aprilajune profile image

aprilajune 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

Such pretty photos. I love the one with the white bedspread. That's my favorite kind of bedding. Shabby Chic reminds me of my grandma and that makes me feel good.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Hi aprilajune. Glad you enjoyed the hub. That lace bedspread is very classy. I like it, too. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Shabby chic is fabulous. Love your hub and the photos are beautiful and add so much. Thanks - :)vocalcoach


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Hi, vocalcoach. Thanks for dropping and leaving such a nice feedback. :)


ellahall2011 profile image

ellahall2011 5 years ago

Wow. I like the first photo most. Very fabulous and cheerful.

Ella


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Yes, that room is fabulous. Thanks so much for dropping by. :)


roshall profile image

roshall 5 years ago from Ohio

great help in changing my décor for the summer thanks. you did a great job on writing and in the photos


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for the read and sweet comment. :)


LULU SUE1987 profile image

LULU SUE1987 5 years ago

Nice, I love to read about decorating and cooking.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Cool! Thanks for dropping by.


tebo profile image

tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

These bedrooms look lovely and thanks for the many ideas you have shared here. I am currently trying to update my house so this is very helpful.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Cool. Glad you enjoyed this hub. :)


munirahmadmughal 5 years ago

"Shabby Chic bedrooms"

The hub is rich in content, beautiful in presentation and useful in making a choice.

Each one is free in choice and taste what the manufacturers are required is that health point should always be kept at the top and low cost should not low the quality of the bedroom.

May God bless all and every where.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks.


ournote2self profile image

ournote2self 5 years ago

Love the bedroom make-over! Thanks for sharing. :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

You're very welcome. :)


Stephen Kalu profile image

Stephen Kalu 5 years ago from Nigeria

Great hub you have here and wonderful photos


Aimee Cherie profile image

Aimee Cherie 5 years ago from Philippines

love shabby chic, and i'm an interior design geek, so thanks for this!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your lovely comment, Stephen and Aimee. :)


invitationwrite profile image

invitationwrite 5 years ago

Very fabulous and cheerful.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks! :)


Carrie Hollister profile image

Carrie Hollister 5 years ago from Ohio

Oh how I adore shabby chic! But, my husband isn't so fond of it. Is it possible to slowly integrate it into my bedroom until it is how I want it to be? Do you have any suggestions?


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

hehehe my bf isn't so fond of this decorating style, either. (Boooooo men!) I think it's possible to slowly work on it. Maybe start with changing little things, like the night stand, lamps or curtains first. And then design whether you need to buy a whole new set of furniture or you can make some of the furniture pieces you already have look a bit more shabby chic. :)


xiatianle profile image

xiatianle 5 years ago from canada

the items are very exquisite, you have a great taste


Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

Well done! I'm even going to buy that cute pink floral clock to go in my bedroom!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@xiatianle - Oh, thanks a lot! You're so sweet. :)

@Carlon - Great choice! That clock is super cute. :)


Naomi's Banner profile image

Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

Interesting style Shabby Chic. I like the information you gave in this Hub and the pictures are great. voted up!


Eloise Hope profile image

Eloise Hope 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon, USA

Very inspiring - I liked your examples, but the methodical approach was great, too. I think I'll have a stroll around my house and consider what to do next, with this in mind. Thanks!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@Naomi - Thank you for the read, sweet comment and vote! :)

@Eloise - Thanks for stopping by, Eloise. Have fun decorating your house. :)


Noemi Beres profile image

Noemi Beres 5 years ago from Cyprus

I love interior design and your article is pretty interesting. I love the first picture, it's so adorable:)


Ashley Gray profile image

Ashley Gray 5 years ago from Colorado

Love these ideas! Great hub!!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much for the read and sweet comment, Noemi and Ashley. :)


dredcuan profile image

dredcuan 5 years ago

This hub is superb! You really have cool designs for rooms. I like them all, for sure girls out there will surely love these stuffs! Really great looking...


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks a lot, dredcuan! :)


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

hey om what lovely hub about bedroom décor!! i specially love the damask patterns be it the curtains or the wall papers, they can look very chic combined with modern stripes!!

voted up.

carrie


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Carrie. Curtains with damask patterns look very vintage and classy. I like them too! :)


briharn profile image

briharn 5 years ago from New Jersey

Great ideas, loved all the photos!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed this. :)


Jillyann profile image

Jillyann 4 years ago from Beaumont, TX

This is awesome my sister is studying interior design, now why it interests her so much.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Hi, Jillyann. Thanks so much for the read and comment. :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for your kind comment, declatte. Oh and you can just call me "Om". Isn't "Paramapoonya" harder to type? lol


luckyfind profile image

luckyfind 4 years ago

I love design or anything closely related. Tradtional shabby with contemopary twist is great too.It just feels good thanks for the info..... luckyfind hubber


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Yeah, shabby chic décor with a refreshing contemporary twist can make a room look very interesting. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. :)


Anjili profile image

Anjili 4 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

Cool idea. Worth trying. Thanks for sharing


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Thanks a lot, Anjili!


eyeforstyle profile image

eyeforstyle 4 years ago from Manlius, New York, USA

Cool room. Nice idea. I like the one that looks like a Baroque style. Keep it up!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Thank you, eyeforstyle!

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