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Shabby Chic Decorating Tips

Updated on June 28, 2017
Rosa Ann Crowder profile image

I grew up in a small town called Whitesburg, Georgia. As a poor Woodard girl, I had to make my own living and opportunities.

Porch & Lawn Decorating

Know Your Style

Decorating your home or office is personal, and your goal is to ensure you get the right pieces, the right look, and the best price. Almost anything can have a natural place in shabby chic interiors making your spaces look like scenes from the old movies.

My house is dangerously overwhelming. I decided to liven it up Shabby Chic Style. I paired it very vibrant colors and rugs, I think that they're fascinating and they're natural.

I like my house to be unique to me. Sure, I've bought plenty of things out of a catalog, but the way I put them together in my home is special. You might have bought your sofa at a major home decorating store, but the rug you found at the flea market is so unique, it takes your room from 'carbon copy' to 'simply yours' in no time.

— Nate Berkus

Shop Flea Markets

When you go to a flea market or garage sale, you see lots of things you've never seen before.

Shop from flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores, and Estate sales. The beautiful thing about shopping at flea markets is there is no pressure. From casual décor to custom designs, there is a fantastic selection of antiques, vintage decor, flowers, handmade creations and more. You can plan out every room in your home knowing that you won’t have to spend a fortune to get the look or quality you deserve.

Flea markets regularly add furnishings. You can browse one day and come in the next to find a host of new tables, lamps, or accessories.

Wall Color

The color gray is a versatile shade. Medium gray walls along with white trim quickly become the canvas for your wrought iron, metals, mirrors, and earthy wood tones. Beadboard on the bottom half of walls lends depth to the palette.

Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. I always tried to make my home like my mother's, because Mom was magnificent at stretching a buck when it came to decorating and food. Like a real Italian, she valued beautification in every area of her life, and I try to do the same.

— Rachael Ray


If an eclectic look is a goal, pieces can be different shapes, colors, and sizes. The key is to capture the tarnished style that characterizes charm. Accessories are a blend of vintage, modern, hard, soft, shiny and dull. Whether they are what knots, vases, candle holders, picture frames, art, paintings, or old signs; these accent pieces are intentionally mismatched.

Enhance your decor with beautiful knobs made of cast iron for the doors and drawers throughout your home.

Improve your pottery, baskets and decor pots with green leafy plants. Jugs and jars can be used to house cooking utensils. Old tin canisters make good organizers.


Wrought iron or metal bed painted white gives the bedroom a comfy old style cottage feel. With homemade furnishings, a vintage clock, natural lighting, and natural wood furnishings create a magical feel.

Furniture pieces are distressed, whether through the passage of time or intentionally. Rather whitewashing, two color painting palette, or natural wood, your goal is to create a vintage look.

Choosing Fabrics

Upholstery fabric with florals, stripes, and patterns or mix matched with the same colors for easier pattern mixing, pair up with the same background colors. Both lace and burlap add texture.

Accent your windows with Elegant fabrics, panels, curtains, valances, swags, or scarves that make a stylish statement.

Fine Art Like Old Folks

A room sits empty

yet full of potential

like fine art

begins with a pencil

Paints to decorate

with gentle strokes

it is fine art

like old folks

Windows with draperies,

furniture with new stain

it is like fine art

that fills an empty frame


I quite like antiques. I like things that are old and the history they bring with them. I shop at thrift stores a lot. I look for silver pitchers, iron/metal pots, pottery, vases, and I put my flowers in those.

I was always fascinated, even as a child, by antiques and ancient times. I always felt I should have been born in the 17th or 18th century.

It doesn't take money to have style; it just makes an excellent eye. Sometimes you can find amazing antiques that will make your home feel like an old French home.


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