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50 Resourceful and Classy Shabby Chic Living Rooms

A counter-culture revolution, an attempt to revive a nostalgic past, an artistic endeavor by some to give a new life to the discarded, and a simple necessity dictated by budget constraints for others – Shabby chic style was born in the 1980s because of all those diverse reasons and more. What started as an alternative to tacky consumerism by those who considered themselves far more artistic or just ‘rebels’ of the design world has now become a full-blown, mainstream trend that seems to be growing more popular by the day. If you are a fan of shabby chic, you will definitely fall in love with the amazing inspirations on display today!

Gorgeous living celebrates natural textures and vintage decor finds 50 Resourceful and Classy Shabby Chic Living Rooms

While we browsed through the 50 best shabby chic bedrooms last week, today we delve into the world of dreamy, inventive and exclusive shabby chic living rooms. Some dazzle you with their ingenious use of castoffs, while others mesmerize with rare vintage finds and modern delights living next to one another in perfect harmony. Soothing, tasteful and in vogue, this is a world dominated by personal taste, practical decorating and a whole lot of comfort.

Tasteful Splatter of Color

Yes, shabby chic spaces are largely dominated by white, and if you find the color too boring, maybe this is not the style for you. But that does not mean color is shunned completely in every case. In fact, we absolutely adore shabby chic living rooms that feature a hint of color, as they break up the visual monotony of various shades of white and give it a more exciting appeal. It is pastel colors that are the preferred choice in shabby chic settings, with the likes of cool blue, gentle pink and light mint green giving the room a refreshing vibe.

Colorful couch in pink and lovely wall art for the shabby chic living space [Design: Vintage Renewal]
Colorful couch in pink and lovely wall art for the shabby chic living space [Design: Vintage Renewal]
Beautiful French Country flair of the shabby chic living room leaves you spellbound [From: Corynne Pless]
Beautiful French Country flair of the shabby chic living room leaves you spellbound [From: Corynne Pless]
Creative and colorful living room design with shabby chic style [Design: Sweet William]
Creative and colorful living room design with shabby chic style [Design: Sweet William]
Shabby chic living room meets contemporary elegance [From: Louise de Miranda]
Shabby chic living room meets contemporary elegance [From: Louise de Miranda]
Blanket chest from the 1800s turned into one-of-a-kind coffee table [Photography: Corynne Pless]
Blanket chest from the 1800s turned into one-of-a-kind coffee table [Photography: Corynne Pless]

The amount of color that you can use and the preferred shade often depend on the subtle theme that you have going in the room which complements the shabby chic style. If you are a fan of Scandinavian design, then ultra-light grays and pastel blues are apt while a more feminine room with bohemian flair benefits from the presence of pink and purple hues. No matter what color you choose, it is a good idea to stay away from dark and gaudy shades.

Exceptional, Exclusive Décor

More than the color scheme itself, it is the décor you choose that will set the tone in the shabby chic living room. Admittedly a shabby chic living space is not for everyone, and there will be many guys out there who will feel really uncomfortable with the all-white backdrop, the delicate overtones in the room and an inherent feminine appeal that the style always seems to have. This is precisely why we suggest you ditch the clichés and explore your own version of the shabby chic style. Upcycled décor, vintage finds, distressed furniture and beautifully aged accessories are the key elements of the style, and they can be easily coupled with more masculine backdrops to create a comfy living room.

Cozy living room with slanted roof and vintage décor [Photography: Amy Neunsinger]
Cozy living room with slanted roof and vintage décor [Photography: Amy Neunsinger]
Exclusive vintage lighting crafted from old fish nets [Design: Red: Modern Lines – Vintage Finds]
Exclusive vintage lighting crafted from old fish nets [Design: Red: Modern Lines – Vintage Finds]
Living room inspired by the sea [From: Annie Kelly - Rizzoli New York]
Living room inspired by the sea [From: Annie Kelly – Rizzoli New York]
Salvaged burlap feed bags turned into wallpaper for the living room [From: KuDa Photography]
Salvaged burlap feed bags turned into wallpaper for the living room [From: KuDa Photography]
Living room shabby chic decorating idea [Design: Dreamy Whites]
Living room shabby chic decorating idea [Design: Dreamy Whites]

A shabby-chic-styled living room with coastal, industrial or even just farmhouse themes can seem far less feminine and it is an approach that will not alienate anyone at your home. As a rule, this is a style that you cannot simple ‘buy off the shelf’ and it will take several years of hunting at antique shows and flea markets in your neighborhood along with some restored gems to sew together that perfect living room you are after. Patience, an eye for the right stuff and a clear idea of the final result you wish to achieve will make the journey all the more easier.

A Modern Twist

Maybe what you prefer is a balance of the vintage with the modern, of the imperfect with the glossy and the upcycled with the latest finds. If that is the case, then why not start off with subtle touches of shabby chic by introducing just a few elements from the style into your modern living room? One can start off with a truly vintage side table or an antique flower vase that has been in your family for generations.

Flea market finds are always a hit in the shabby chic living room [Design: Alison Kandler Interior Design]
Flea market finds are always a hit in the shabby chic living room [Design: Alison Kandler Interior Design]
Romantic living room design with shabby chic style! [From: Colin Cadle Photography]
Romantic living room design with shabby chic style! [From: Colin Cadle Photography]
Pair of weathered leather armchairs make all the difference in this living room [Design: Cabbages & Roses]
Pair of weathered leather armchairs make all the difference in this living room [Design: Cabbages & Roses]
Wood, metal and white create a breezy living room [Design: Magnolia Homes]
Wood, metal and white create a breezy living room [Design: Magnolia Homes]
Custom painting applied on sliding barn doors gives the living room a unique dynamic [Design: Liquid Design & Architecture]
Custom painting applied on sliding barn doors gives the living room a unique dynamic [Design: Liquid Design & Architecture]

From this modest start you will find the desire to switch over steadily from modern to shabby chic and for some this can quickly get addictive. Soon you will spend weekends sandpapering old benches, spray painting stuff to give them an aged look and driving to the nearest antique fair and spending an entire day there hoping to score an awesome décor piece for that empty living room corner! But somewhere in between all this, you will find that ideal balance between modern and shabby chic; a style that is both personal and practical.

Small Shabby Chic Living Rooms

Shabby chic is a great style for the small living room because of the unpretentious backdrop that it employs that gives the small room an airy visual presence. Monotonous white walls become an advantage here, and you can add several layers of intrigue to the room by bringing together contrasting textures and finishes. Antique mirrors, distressed doors, DIY coffee tables and classic sofas fashion a cozy living room, even as a flood of natural light gives it a cheerful appeal.

Tree trunk coffee and antique mirror epitomize the shabby chic style of the room [Design: Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell]
Tree trunk coffee and antique mirror epitomize the shabby chic style of the room [Design: Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell]
Bring back the retro decor to decorate the shabby chic living room [Design: Grahnat]
Bring back the retro decor to decorate the shabby chic living room [Design: Grahnat]
Small sofa in pastel hue turns out to be the focal point of the tiny living room [Design: Jo Alcorn]
Small sofa in pastel hue turns out to be the focal point of the tiny living room [Design: Jo Alcorn]
Tiny living room of refurbished railway wagon home [Design: Ryland Peters & Small - CICO Books]
Tiny living room of refurbished railway wagon home [Design: Ryland Peters & Small – CICO Books]
Vintage coffee table on wheel is a trendy choice for the modern living space [From: The Old Painted Cottage]
Vintage coffee table on wheel is a trendy choice for the modern living space [From: The Old Painted Cottage]

A Snowy White World

You really cannot ignore ‘white’ when it comes to shabby chic style, and it plays a major role in giving it the fabled cozy, dreamy aura. It is not just the walls, as décor painted in various shades of white, flooring that also embraces the white sheen and accessories that are draped in white can help create a charming all-white living room. Features such as whitewashed brick walls, wooden beams and metallic frames still offer adequate textural contrast, even as they stick to the monochromatic color scheme.

Belgian chic living room of 1970s Ranch home [Design: Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist / Melanie G Photography]
Belgian chic living room of 1970s Ranch home [Design: Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist / Melanie G Photography]
Lovely drapes and frilled decor fashion a classic setting [Design: Whitstable Island Interiors]
Lovely drapes and frilled decor fashion a classic setting [Design: Whitstable Island Interiors]
Salvaged wooden items coupled with cozy traditional furniture in the living room [Photography: Chris Snook]
Salvaged wooden items coupled with cozy traditional furniture in the living room [Photography: Chris Snook]
Antiques give the living room a sense of uniqueness [Design: Laura Garner]
Antiques give the living room a sense of uniqueness [Design: Laura Garner]
Cheerful shabby chic living room with beach cottage vibe [From: A Beach Cottage]
Cheerful shabby chic living room with beach cottage vibe [From: A Beach Cottage]

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