Master the art of shabby chic home design

It's reasonable that you'll get bored with your living room's aesthetic and want to undertake some bold new home decorating ideas. However, it can be overwhelming when there are so many different home design trends to pick between. 

Fortunately, we've got the low down on some of the greatest trends taking over homes, and the shabby chic trend is no exception. 

This design aesthetic strikes a fine balance between elegance and a lack of structure. However, despite the appearance of a carefree vibe, it's not as simple as randomly selecting furniture, accessories and paint colours.

The essence of shabby chic home design is a sense of carefree elegance, but a good eye for detail is a must. Knowing what to look out for will help you master the art of this popular trend.

New and old

If you want to pull of this interior design approach with aplomb, you'll need to understand the importance of pairing new and old.

Sure, the aesthetic welcomes older pieces that look worn and well-loved. However, embrace only older pieces and your home could quickly look like a junk shop – or a very expensive auction house!

Select a few trademark pieces – such as a coffee table, wall-mounted shelf and rocking chair – that are secondhand. Then, freshen up the rest of the space with a new coat of paint. Older pieces look fantastic with perfectly polished wooden floors, too.

Think a coat of refreshing Resene Half Tea for your living space or perhaps the paler Resene Barely There. These colours provide barely a whisper of colour, allow your carefully selected furniture pieces to stand out in the space.

Get chic

If the price tag on some antique chairs or coffee tables makes your heart sink but you want to achieve the shabby chic look, don't go pulling out the credit card just yet.

You can achieve an authentic vibe in your living space without the hefty price tag. Check out your local secondhand store for love seats, rocking chairs, side tables, coffee tables, vases and even candle holders.

Wooden items lend themselves best to a spot of shabby chic-DIY.

Apply a coat of mint, white or beige paint, then take to the items with some medium-grade sandpaper. You don't want to sand down the items evenly. Instead, focus on achieving a weathered look, particularly around corners and edges.

If you've got a fine paintbrush on hand, you can add a few gentle licks of silver paint to the weathered-looking edges for extra definition.

The right colours

Shabby chic design pairs neutral shades with pastel tones – but it's important to know exactly what to look for!

When it comes to furniture, cream, white or beige is the best choice. Some items will look best if you don't paint them and instead let the wood's natural grain shine through, such as dining chairs. Finish them with Resene polyurethane, which will help protect the timber while still allowing the natural grain to show through. Or you can always add a Resene wood stain if you want to bring attention to the natural beauty of the wood.

Mint green, pastel pink and duck-egg blue also add to the shabby chic vibe, but be sparing with these colours. Chinaware, glasses, flower arrangements and artwork that embraces these pale shades looks great, while gold tones also pair well with pastel colours.

If you're thinking about ways to add gold, a mirror is a good place to start. Metallic shades add a certain sophistication, ensuring a space errs on the side of chic, rather than shabby!

Finally, think carefully about furniture placement. While this design trend certainly embraces a sense of mismatched items, you don't want to over-clutter a space.

Pick a piece of statement furniture and place it in the centre of the room, but away from the wall slightly. This will help create the impression of a bigger room instantly.

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