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From wood floors to vintage accessories, shabby chic has a cozy, cottage look

March 31, 2014

Oak Hardwood FlooringYou may think the term shabby chic is a contradiction in terms, but this decorating style pulls together a lived-in look with a chic combination of colors and textures. Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art hardwood floors collection with a pickle barrel finish is an ideal complement to this unique home design tradition.

Shabby chic furnishings are often used in cottage and country-style decorating, and painted furniture is part of all those styles, according to HGTV. Old wooden furniture painted white, with corners and edges sanded to give an aged appearance, is one example. Or, add wood floors to a deeply cushioned, fabric-covered chair and an antique lamp, you'd have a shabby chic reading nook.

The best colors for a shabby chic room design are soft hues that include creamy white, muted gray, dusty peach and light green. Use them in your selection of throw rugs, sheer curtains and vintage accessories - from woven baskets to silver photo frames - that have a botanical or seaside theme.

A vintage look
Slip-covered sofas and wicker side chairs with large cushion seats fit this type of home design beautifully. Rather than bright florals, a faded look prevails in subdued prints and stripes. Curtains can be lacy or simple sheers, both reminiscent of an earlier era.

For window treatments, consider valances in wood or upholstered in fabric that you can be paired with shutters painted white, off-white, or left natural in a light pine or maple wood to match flooring. 

Shutters that cover only the bottom half of the window can be closed to limit bright sunlight coming into the room without shutting it out altogether. They also provide some privacy at street level, while retaining a view at the tree line.

Versatile seating
According to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, window seats and bench seating are strongly associated with country or cottage decorating and, by association, with shabby chic. While a window seat may not always be possible architecturally, a bench often provides a similar look up against a wall with a window or tucked into the corner of a room for a reading area.

It's also a versatile piece to use in a breakfast nook or in combination with chairs in a dining room. A rustic farm table with painted chairs on one side and bench seating on the other can be tied together by paint colors or fabrics used for seat cushions.

Stacks of books, old photographs and a collection of bone china tea cups and saucers are some items that enhance the old world charm of a shabby chic room.