Decorating with lace is at the heart of shabby chic design. It's easy to find lace treasures at flea markets, yard sales and thrift shops for mere pennies. Lace dresses up the most casual of occasions — even paper plates!
Layer It On
You can't go wrong with layer upon layer of lace in your shabby chic or cottage home. Practically any surface can be covered in white lace, resulting in a homey, lived-in room. Even the kitchen is lifted from a storybook in RMS user vintagerosecollection's shabby chic home. She's draped lace fabrics over the breakfast nook and china cabinet.
Don't Forget the Florals
In addition to lace, delicate floral patterns are all but a requirement in shabby chic designs. Traditional shabby chic decorators prefer different shades of demure pink roses when it comes to their fabric choices. RMS user and shabby chic super fan vintagerosecollection combined intricate lace fabrics with feminine florals in her comfy bedroom.
Quilts and Ribbons
When choosing bedding for your shabby chic home, look no further than the quilt. Handmade quilts provide the comfort and vintage elegance highly prized in a shabby chic or cottage bedroom. Candice Olson designed this little girl's bedroom around the quilt's pink ribbons, which are repeated on the decorative closet cornice.
Edit Your Choices
If lace doilies and pink roses aren't your thing, but you'd still like to incorporate some shabby chic inspirations, take a page out of RMS user alli56's book. Rather than cover every visible surface in lace, she chose to use the fabric in a functional way — as curtains. She left her slipcovers white and brought in a more neutral floral print to hang from her buffet.
A delicately embroidered runner and pink pillows with understated prints bring just enough shabby chic style to this cottage sitting room from RMS user Jode. If you're new to shabby chic, simply bring in a few feminine pieces with an antique feel to ease yourself into the design style.
Variations on a Theme
The bolder the print, the more modern a floral fabric choice is. If your personal style is more contemporary, you can bring in the breezy, feminine sensibilities of shabby chic by sticking with florals in pinks, purples and blues, but choosing more saturated shades and bigger prints.