Decorating in the Shabby Chic Style with Picture Frames

The shabby chic style is all about careworn elegance and a relaxed attitude, an attractively weathered yet romantic atmosphere. With shabby chic, there is also a definite nod towards history, featuring the use of upcycled, recycled and antique items. First coined by designer Rachel Ashwell, the term “shabby chic” is also referred to as French Country, Cottage Chic or Beach Cottage Chic.

Shabby Chic Décor

This style involves the use of white (and similar shades), floral patterns and pastel colors. It also combines distressed (and often mismatched) furniture, antique picture frames, wrought iron décor, wood furniture and vintage pieces. Fabrics used are usually linen, cotton, burlap and muslin.

Picture Frames for Shabby Chic Design

There are different ways you can use vintage picture frames to create the shabby chic look:

  • Empty frame on the mantel or entryway table. Take a white table (with a distressed finish) or a well-worn dresser. Add silver and white ornaments (such as a vases with flowers, candle holders or sea shells) and a number of pastel-colored picture frames. The empty picture frames add texture and “depth” to the overall look.
  • Mirror in an antique frame. Choose an oversized picture frame with elaborate molding and use it to frame a mirror. You can place this in a strategic area such as the entry way or over the living room sofa. The frame does not have to be distressed. It can also be a silver or gold picture frame that is hand finished.
  • Chalkboard/blackboard. For the office or kitchen, you can have a highly useful and decorative blackboard where you can post recipes, reminders, your child’s drawings and other ornaments. You can take an oversized antique picture frame, preferably one with an ornate molding design. This should be an empty frame with a wood backing that is painted with blackboard paint or fitted with a corkboard. Place this on the wall just above your worktable. Be sure to add whimsical magnets or clips to achieve the delightful combination of shabby chic and contemporary functionality.
  • Statement piece with a vintage octagon frame. Gracefully add a historic charm to your walls with a statement vintage frame in white or gold. This can hold a favorite landscape painting or a family portrait in black and white or sepia tones.
  • Antique frame as coffee-table tray. Serve your tea or coffee in the shabby chic style by upcycling an antique frame. You can add handles on both sides of the frame, reinforce the backing and add a glass bottom. You can also use the antique picture frame tray for your side tables, so that it can hold your antique lampshades or candles.
  • Wall gallery. You can also make use of colored frames, especially those in soft pastel colors or in light wood finishes. You can use a number of frames of uniform shape and size or combine frames in different shapes and sizes. You can arrange the largest frame to be the display’s focal point, with the other frames artfully arranged around this. To ease the monotony, you can also add wrought-iron frames and décor.
  • Jewelry organizer and décor in one. For your bedroom, take an empty distressed picture frame and add a mesh backing. You can hang your earring collection and personal accessories. With these on display, you don’t have to deal with tangled up jewelry and you can easily pick and choose the ones that can match your outfit for the day. What’s more, you can decorate your wall with a charming shabby chic frame and fill it with sparkling accessories.
25th Jan 2016 Eric Morgan

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