From the Bedroom to La Chambre: Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

Although this look has been around a while, Shabby Chic is still one of the most popular décor styles. It speaks of romance, history and French cottages. It’s epitomized by soft pastel colors, with matt finishes on both the walls and furniture; perfect for the bedroom. Some of the furniture can be distressed to give it an aged look. Whilst it can look quite opulent, it is definitely possible to achieve this look for less.

Mismatch Your Furniture

For a true shabby style, you do not want matching furniture. Even colors can be different, so long as they are soft and coordinate well. You can get more ideas on how to achieve the look here. If your bedroom is currently furnished through a well-known Scandinavian chain, you might want to start again! You can sell your current furniture on sites such as Gumtree or eBay and re-invest the money in new items.

Dressing Tables and Other Furniture

If you’re serious about shabby chic, then a dressing table is a must-have. You may also like to get bedside tables, a chest of drawers and wardrobes. All these items can be purchased very cheaply at auctions or through aforementioned sites such as Gumtree.

Second-hand furniture may not look particularly suitable when you get it but it can be transformed with some chalk paint, wax and a bit of clever distressing. It’s not difficult to do and can be quite gratifying. There are several brands of chalk paint available but Annie Sloan’s is still the market leader. The steps are simple, with no need for sanding: wash the item with sugar soap and let it dry; paint the item with two coats of chalk paint (visible brush strokes are encouraged); apply a coat of clear wax and buff off; use some sandpaper to distress the edges; and lastly, apply a second coat of clear wax and buff off. That’s it. There are numerous YouTube videos that can show you in more detail.

But What About the Bed?

While it’s true that beds sold as French or shabby chic can be very costly, it is definitely possible to buy a suitable bed on a budget. I have no problem with second-hand furniture generally, however for me, the bed has to be new. Traditionally, shabby chic beds tend to be white metal or wood, and you can find great value-for-money options, such as those at Bedz R Us. It doesn't need to be a four poster or have a headboard with carved cherubs. It’s really all about the way you dress it. Throw over a white bedspread, add a few frilly or lace cushions, et voilà.

It’s the Little Things

Don’t forget about accessories. These can be anything from a wooden heart wall hanging to a flowery picture frame. The guidelines to remember are nothing modern, garish or plastic. Think wood, linen, flowers and Provence.