Vintage knobs, reclaimed wood or old doors from Goa are easy and creative ways to bring some shabby chic charm to your home
Fabrics | Soft and layered. Off white or faded navy linens layered with ecrus. Cotton sheets and pillows in plain soft colours and vintage floral prints. Undyed linen curtains layered with white sheers. In essence, stick to whites, paired with natural faded hues or pastels.
Accessories | Vintage knobs, wire baskets, reclaimed wood for shelves or tables, parts of old furniture used in creative ways, flowers, pastel or light or white painted French mirrors.
Walls | Offwhite, cream, pastels, worn blues, light greys and faded greens. Rough plastered walls and stucco are good ideas for shabby chic. Even an exposed brick wall painted white.
Furniture | If you can afford antique furniture, nothing like it. Else old pieces or replicas in second-hand markets just need some careful inspection to see if they can be up-cycled. If you can’t find something vintage, simple white tables can do wonders. French-inspired chairs look delightful with white distressed side-tables.
Alternatively, source old doors from Goa, Pondicherry or your local flea markets and see if you can use them as a partition or to replace an existing door. Towel racks have that feeling of a bygone era that works really well for shabby chic interiors. These are relatively easy to find with known ‘kabadis’ across the country, else easy enough to have a carpenter copy and rough paint.
Source big old wooden candle-stands and convert them to lamps.
Bedroom | Layered light fabrics are very shabby chic. Also interesting headboards like at a home we shot in New Delhi.
Sofas | Must be the kind you can flop onto or sink into. It’s all about comfort and not stressing whether your kids and pets will permanently destroy something. Slip covers work brilliantly for shabby chic; they can be pulled out and frequently washed. You could also use a quilted throw with vintage prints, which looks very comfortable and charming.
Lighting | This is the important but fun part. It’s all about the ambience here. So, no overhead lights. Source big old wood candle-stands and convert them to lamps, source old simple chandeliers, or make your own. A rustic vintage French chandelier can make all the difference to any part of your home.
Flooring | White distressed hardwood flooring looks fresh and charming. If you can’t do wood, these days white cement flooring with subtle stencilled patterns can look just as great. Rugs and dhurries in light shades can be added.
Wall Decoration | It’s all about mirrors. Flea markets in India have great replicas of old distressed mirror frames in all sizes. You could invest in a large piece to cover a huge part of a wall, or get multiple frames, some with mirrors and some with photographs.
Storage | Cane baskets and trays painted a distressed white can look great for fruit, serving or keeping paraphernalia. Old beautiful bottles, jars or any glassware can be used for plants, flowers, candles and so on.
Decor | This is where you can be truly creative. Anything interesting, rustic, vintage looking can be up-cycled and used as wall art, door knobs, handles, candle-stands, towel-holders and so on. You can also paint ordinary doors in shabby chic colours or with a few floral patterns.
Shabby chic is incomplete without fresh flowers. Here, you can be creative with what you put them in. Milk pots, jugs, metal receptacles, anything aged in fact, will perfectly complement your flowers for this look.
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