Six vintage-inspired ideas for a shabby chic nursery

If you love the look of everything vintage, you may wish to bring that same throwback charm into your baby’s nursery. The retro shabby chic style is a particularly good fit for children’s rooms, with its emphasis on everything soft and cosy. Here are a few tips to perfect the shabby chic ambience for your baby’s bedroom.

Hondarribia-Irun - Six vintage-inspired ideas for a shabby chic nursery

1. Decorate with sweet shades or neutrals

Creamy, dreamy colour schemes in muted pastels or shades of off-white are an ideal base for your shabby chic nursery. For vintage flair, you could also employ a mid-century colour palette including sweet rosy pinks, mint green, lemon yellow or robin’s-egg blue. Or keep it neutral with beige, cream, grey or gold.

2. Use clashing colours and patterns

With a toned-down base, add splashes of vibrant colour or eye-catching patterns. Florals are a common theme in a shabby chic nursery, evoking the atmosphere of a rustic French country home. Yet they’re also appropriate for a child’s bedroom. Don’t be afraid to use clashing patterns, juxtaposing trailing ivy curtains with country-inspired bird prints or themed wallpaper. Shabby chic style should look a little unkempt and rough around the edges, though the effect is purely intentional.

3. Play with whimsical elements

For a nursery, don’t be afraid to decorate with rather playful or whimsical styles that wouldn’t be appropriate in a master bedroom. Create a cosy haven with frilly tulle-trimmed pillows or homely crocheted throw blankets. And draw the eye with statement elements like vintage dollhouses, birdcages, or canopy beds.

4. Mix and match furnishings

Antique furniture can be combined with more modern pieces to create a mismatched, charming impact. Look for a vintage sleigh bed or rattan cot and sit this next to a contemporary pine wood nightstand. Scour flea markets for a shabby chic dressing table in shades of pastel or dark mahogany tones. It's also a good idea to pick up some modern storage solutions to fit inside. 

5. Add the finer details

Unleash your inner magpie and look for shiny baubles and trinkets to adorn the room. Strings of faux pearls, layers of delicate silken scarves or paper mobiles and bunting will add a personalised touch to the room and really bring the shabby chic aesthetic into play. Just be sure that they’re baby-proof or placed out of reach from curious fingers.

6. Repurpose vintage pieces

Part of the beauty of selecting unique, second-hand furniture is breathing new life into each piece. A shabby chic dressing table can do double duty as a baby’s changing table, while a kitchen storage unit can make a cosy dresser for spare linens and blankets. Salvage old pieces and get creative with them for a truly one-of-a-kind style.

The ideal shabby chic nursery should be both stylish and practical, evoking the charm of a bygone era. Those who prefer all-new furnishings can still opt for vintage-inspired styles in ditsy floral prints or soothing neutrals, for timeless appeal.

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