Shabby chic dining room ideas – for a timeless, faded elegance

This timeless trend epitomises faded elegance and an unrefined sense of luxury

Timeless, feminine, and the epitome of rustic charm, shabby chic is one of our favourite country trends. The iconic term was first coined 20 years ago and it’s still going strong today, with many choosing to bypass expensive furnishings in preference for worn and well-loved pieces, from a distressed dresser to faded fabric hand-me-downs.

To create the feel of timeworn opulence from scratch try mixing new buys with vintage market finds. Look for decorative accessories such as chandeliers and mirrors that haven’t been perfectly restored, but have aged with character, and opt for furniture and textiles that feel lived-in. Chipped paintwork, faded fabrics and blemishes all add to the charm.

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1. Pretty up a shabby chic look

Shabby chic dining room ideas

Jazz up a white-painted kitchen punchy floral crockery, pastel mixing bowls and hard-working enamelware. Team a subtly striped blind and funky rose trim with table linens in pinks and blues and add a contemporary vibe with practical metal chairs. Mix new pieces with old ones to prevent a drab or staid look, and stick to a set colour palette so you don’t end up with a hodgepodge of uncoordinated items.

2. Work the shabby chic look into a small space

Shabby chic dining room ideas

Image credit: Colin Poole

This simple dining room combines elements of the shabby chic trend with distressed furniture, a neutral colour palette and vintage touches, while natural wood adds a rustic feel. Add a hint of punchy colour to enliven a cream space.

Want more ideas? Check out these shabby chic decorating ideas

3. Give your dining room a sunny disposition

Shabby chic dining room ideas

Image credit: Mark Scott

Look to your favourite country schemes to create a dining room that will make you smile as soon as you enter. This rustic, shabby chic space features a simple colour palette of yellow and white, which work exceptionally well with the weathered wood finishes on the floor, walls and furniture. Don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces  – it is all part of this trends eclectic charm.

4. Look to lived-in pieces for inspiration

Shabby chic dining room ideas

Image credit: Colin Poole

No shabby chic dining space would be complete without a well-worn table. Although white is key, pastel hues also contribute to the look – paint and distress chairs in mismatched shades for a modern twist. Beaten-up enamelware and chipped china work wonderfully as planters for fresh flowers – a great centrepiece idea.

5. Create a nostalgic feel with ditsy prints and sorbet hues

Shabby chic decorating ideas

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Go for a vintage-inspired scheme that’s light and bright by adding pretty prints to a pale backdrop. Throw caution to the wind and don’t be afraid to clash fabric prints! Choose classic designs like florals, stripes and polka dots but be sure to stick to a palette of sugary pastels, such as powder blue, mint green, blush pink and lemon yellow. Opt for white of very light walls and floors to allow patterned accessories to take centre stage and prevent the look from becoming too busy. Accessories with vintage picks like enamelware and other classic kitchenalia. Use a simple woven rug with rustic appeal to zone the dining area of a kitchen. Look out for old cabinetry in skips, but remember to ask the owner if you can take it first.

Will you be using these shabby chic decorating ideas to give your dining room a feminine update?

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