Romantic and Feminine Shabby Chic and How to Fit It into the Northern Home

Shabby chic home decoration style, which has become popular since the 80s of the last century, it is also well known and favored in Northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, despite the fact that shabby chic's home-design style should not have anything to do with a northern, orderly and practical home. Sometimes, and often injustice, shabby chic-style home design has been considered a "bad taste" in Northern Europe. However, it is good to remember that the shabby chic style inspired by the 19th-century simple country mansion design of England and France, has its predecessors in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, respectively, the Gustavian style in Sweden or Biedermeier in Germany - they were also considered slightly light-hearted and unsuitable for people with advanced tastes. But let's be honest - not one design style is vulgar in itself, nor is any home design style itself a guarantee of good taste - the end result still depends on a particular space and on the skills and talent of the designer of this space.

The key to shabby chic's style is desires for the old, worn, supremely romantic, feminine and authentic, which can be found in the simple mansions of the Mediterranean, French, and English, and that reminds us of times where people had time and opportunities to decorate their home every last detail and especially joyfully, pinkly and ornamentally. Understandably, this kind of home design also offers some security today - then a person did not need to be discouraged from either nuclear war, climate warming or overcrowding in the world, and being home in this style is a good refuge for the people of the 21st century as well. Oddly, shabby chic's home design style at the end of the 20th century is primarily popular just in America, but as we northern Europeans love to say and think about Americans - they have to overdo all things. There are also many's perceptions of the whole style - plenty of roses, romantic plaster figures, frou-frous, candlesticks with floral ornaments or bathtubs with gold-plated lion-legs. This kind of overabundance is sometimes even sweet and cute, but I don't think a northern European would like a home that reminds itself of a pink dollhouse. But if modern, Scandinavian minimalism seems too cold, sterile and fishy, and the home designer's soul has an incurable romantic personality, then in light of some simple design techniques, the result can be excellent, beautiful and tasteful shabby chic style home in a Nordic way.

Start with a color palette.

The shabby chic design style color palette is bright, mostly white, complemented by mild pink, sky blue, pastel yellow, beige and light gray, and sometimes, if you are courageous enough, turquoise. The certain choice to go is to prefer white walls, and if you wish, paste or paint with a romantic floral ornament, but be in a similar color gamut - different shades of pink or different shades of gray. If the soul still wants a wallpaper with large English roses, the color and pattern selection of the wallpaper should be thought of several times - whether and how it fits in the room with furniture and textiles, and the result is not over-inflated. If the wallpaper is already colorful enough, the furniture can be selected in one-color, white for example, decorated with the same color ornament.

Prefer authentic furniture as much as possible.

Of course, not much of mansion furniture from this period has been retained, or if it is, it is very expensive. Depending on the location, it could be difficult to access. If you are a very diligent seeker and you are lucky, you can find such a piece of furniture from a flea market or if you have enough money, you can get some from a restoration workshop. However, because of the marked wear and tear, repetitive paintings are an important part of shabby chic furniture, so you can make it yourself at home - there are a lot of tools and training to do that. If you live in Estonia, then such training is organized in the interior showroom Muster, together with all the materials, if it is difficult to come to Tallinn, there are also very practical online workshops, for example, GirlUpCycled

Prefer linen and cotton textiles.

And use plenty of decorative pillows. The more robust the fabric texture, the better - that real shabby chic style. The printed or embroidered rose pattern on these textiles is great, but maybe too inappropriate for the northern interior, especially in large quantities. Start with the color of the room design and choose textiles in the same colors.

Add some extra vain detail.

The glass or crystal chandelier is a very suitable and very shabby chic-style home decoration element - and some romantic, beautiful and tasty chandeliers can be found in many online shops. If a big and gorgeous chandelier looks a little expensive, then with glass or crystal pendants you can also perfectly create a shabby chic mood.

Roses, lace, volcanoes - but how much?

Rather don't overdo them. If you're not 100% sure that shabby chic is just your style, start with accessories, for example - choose bathroom accessories that have a beautiful, one-color ornamented design or rose-scented candles.

Avoid ersatz as much as possible. 

Remember that, in the 19th century (fortunately), the plastic industry hadn't developed at all, and every candlestick or flower vase was made of either ceramic or glass, but not plastic. Be strong and do not buy these kinds of details.

See also inspiring images from our Pinterest folder.

And here is a small collection of shabby chic style items what you can buy online.

Shabby Chic Home Decor Gray 1. Simple and very elegant set of ceramic bowls, platters, and mugs, handmade by Lookslikewhite.

2. Home crafted console or side table, made by ShabbyChicTables

3. Wonderful 19th-century white ironstone soup tureen. Seller DesignAntique.

4. Light gray stonewashed linen pillowcases and duvet covers by Öökülm.

5. Tastefully packed distilled rose water, suitable for face or for linens. Made by DotAndLil.

6. Romantic vintage fork set, made in USSR. Seller Oonivermag.

1. Romantic and feminine mood, photo found from Pinterest.

2. Pale pink stonewashed linen pillowcases, duvets and sheets suit perfectly to nordic shabby chic home - not too romantic, not too calm. Linen bedding by Öökülm.

3. These old plates with a rose pattern are not exact English rose pattern, which represents authentic shabby chic style, but almost. Reseller Just French Vintage

4. A fresh and beautifully packed rose soap, suitable for shabby chic style bathroom or for a gift for someone, who adore this style. Producer Dot&Lil

5. A silver crystal chandelier, made from Murano class. This and much more a beautiful, stylish and authentic goods in pure shabby chic style available in Milan Chic Chandeliers.

6. A vintage ballet shoes, seller Le Petit Pierrot.


1. Romantic flower bath milk sachet, producer Dot & Lil.

2. Lovely set of three vintage large ceramic serving dish from the famous factory Ceranod (St Amand) in turquoise and gold-tone rim. Seller Just French Vintage

4. A gallery wall frame set in farmhouse white - a mix of vintage, repurposed and new frames painted in beadboard white, distressed to bring out the frames detailing. Producer The Dezign Shoppe.

5. Ivory white pure linen bedding is a "must-have" in every shabby chic bedroom. Linen bedding by Öökülm.