February 06, 2021 4 min read

How to Create the Ultimate Shabby Chic Kitchen

How to Create the Ultimate Shabby Chic Kitchen

Explore our guide on how to create the ultimate shabby chic kitchen perfect for comfortable nights in and dinner parties! 

Are you looking for a new kitchen with a touch of character? Then you should think about going old and adopting a vintage-inspired look. Shabby chic is a great design aesthetic and allows you to get creative with both new and old pieces of furniture.

If you are wondering how to get a vintage look, then go no further. Below, we have created a must-know guide on how to create a shabby chic kitchen.

What Is Shabby Chic?

Shabby chic is a term used in interior design, to point out a very specific way of decorating a home or room. It uses items that have a grand, vintage, pastoral aesthetic combined with an often distressed nature. Imagine heavy tables that have been well used, faded curtains, whitewashed dressers, and antique china.

These items were traditionally passed down in the stately homes of Britain. When they were inherited, they would be combined with more modern items of furniture. This fusion of the old and new became known as shabby chic.

Walls and Flooring

One feature of shabby chic is that the items used in it have character and a story to tell. As such, you do not want to distract from them with a busy, overpowering canvas. In a shabby chic kitchen, your canvas is the walls and flooring.

Choose neutral, soft colors for walls such as whites, eggshells, and pastels. Avoid intricate designs, unless you are using them sporadically for feature walls. If you do choose this option, make sure you go for Victorian looking, William Morris inspired designs.

With flooring, stick to a bare wood look. This conjures up images of farmhouses and warm old buildings. If it does get cold, layer antique rugs one on top of the other with Persian designs upon them.

Go Second Hand

The beauty of a shabby chic kitchen is the joy of finding unique items to really add individuality. In modern kitchens, you are quite limited as your fittings and decor need to be up to date to really fit in. However, with a shabby chic kitchen, anything goes, and that can be endless fun.

Shabby chic kitchen decor can utilize both second hand and brand new furniture. Second-hand furniture can be really inexpensive, and with an artistic touch can look fantastic. Try sanding down wooden surfaces like tables and cabinets, or paint them in your own colors then distress them afterward.

Antique centers and furniture depots are a great place to explore. You may even find some great decorations, such as ornaments, old-style pots, and crockery, or even signage to use on your walls. Be prepared to upcycle, as it helps the environment and gives you an enormous sense of achievement.

Shabby Chic Kitchen Accessories

Some designers believe that shabby chic should avoid clutter. However, for a truly vintage-inspired look, you really need to embrace this and balance it carefully. Have areas of space and cleanliness contrasted with small pockets of clutter.

For example, you may wish to decorate your shabby chic dresser with all the amazing vintage items you have bought from thrift stores. Try to bunch lots of them on one shelf in a particular area and very little on the next shelf. You can also do this with walls, keeping one wall bare and filling the next with mismatched pictures in a variety of frames.

Don't be afraid to mix and match. In fact, the whole look is built around items that do not really fit together. Do not be afraid to have different sets of cutlery, plates, vases, and ornaments.

One final must-have accessory is fresh flowers. You will of course have to replace them, but you can choose colors that complement the rest of the room. Stand them in a vintage vase and let the smell drift through the room.


There are a few things you should consider spending some money on when going shabby chic. The first of these is a chandelier. Whatever design or color you choose, it will add a touch of glamour to the interior.

If you can manage to set it above a shabby chic kitchen table, you will get a fantastic juxtaposition that will be breathtaking. if you have a combined dining and kitchen area, you may consider placing a standing lamp to the side.

Textures and Patterns

Texture plays a huge part in the design. You want to aim for a layer of textures, that focus on old-world design. Avoid any plastics and synthetic fabrics, and go for tarnished leathers, woven fabrics, and lace tablecloths.

When looking for patterns, floral is always a great choice. This can work on wall coverings, but could also be incorporated into any soft furnishing like cushions and throws.


Appliances are one area of a shabby chic kitchen that may be worth spending a little more money on. Ideally, you want to try and keep the vintage appeal where possible. However, vintage appliances are not reliable and often have poor energy efficiency.

That means buying them new, and unfortunately, new equipment that looks vintage often costs a little bit more. The good news is that many of the major appliance brands who provide this (SMEG for instance) often have a wide range of colors and designs. If you spend a bit, you are sure to get something that fits with the rest of the look.

Try It Out!

The golden rule when creating a shabby chic kitchen is that you have fun and try it out. If you buy some thrift store items that do not really fit, then it is not a problem. Just get rid of them at your next garage sale and find something else.

Are you looking for some feature items to start off your chic look? Then check out our vintage-inspired items. Click here to view our catalog, and start designing that shabby chic kitchen today!