5 Tips On Creating A Shabby Chic Kitchen At Any Budget

Shabby Chic, Bohemian kitchen with standalone white retro fridge

To create a shabby chic kitchen, you should learn the rules of the style and be ready to exercise your creativity.

Read this article to better understand exactly what you should do!

Shabby chic kitchens are elegant and welcoming. They glorify imperfections, distressed and vintage elements. Such a kitchen should never be sterile: it’s a place to entertain, interact with your nearest and dearest and prepare your meals. From this article, you’ll find out how to create a shabby chic kitchen that your guests and family members will fall in love with.

The Essence of the Style

If you select this type of decor for your kitchen, it should reveal your personality. Anyone who walks in should be able to understand your tastes, habits and character. In your kitchen, you should store not only cooking utensils but also electrical items that fit well with this style of kitchen as well as your personal touch that makes this space unique to your family:

  • Cookbooks on shelves
  • Fridge magnets
  • Post-its with family birthdays
  • Decorative knick-knacks

Retro items are always welcomed.

White kitchen shlf with pink retro radio, decorative plates and jugs on the shelf

Shabby chic might resemble the bohemian style to a certain extent. A bohemian interior suggests over-accumulation of material things. The more decorative objects there are in the premise, the better.

To display all these beautiful items, you need to have open shelves in your kitchen. Floating shelves are perfect for compact kitchens because they create the illusion of having more light and air in the premise.

Feel free to put a lot of miscellaneous things on the same shelf: books, cereals, napkins and  whatever items work for you best. Arrange them elegantly so that they look harmonious together and don’t create chaos. Avoid buying sets of identical jars and containers. Instead, opt for a mixed and matched variety. If you hang a piece of fabric over open base shelves with a traditional pattern like gingham, it should immediately add rustic charm to that given space.

How to Select Kitchen Cabinets

The colours of your kitchen cabinets should be muted: consider using green, blue, timber and white or off-white. There should be no high-gloss finish on the doors of the cabinets. Painted wood or neutral matt colours should be an optimal choice.

Some people might think that they should place open shelves above the worktop and the cabinets below it (or vice versa). But what if you try to mix these? Mismatched base and wall cabinets would look stunning, especially if they have contrasting colour shades. If your shelves and cabinets are painted off-white, stone or light grey, you’ll be able to position them around the kitchen as you wish because they should fit naturally into any space. A neutral colour combined with a complimentary shade should make your furniture look particularly inviting.

Kitchen shelving full of jars of dried foods, Hanging utensils and cups

The very epitome of the shabby chic style is handmade kitchens, and the smell of baking bread. Don’t hesitate to accentuate your love for preparing meals (even if you don’t do it every day)! Let dry foods and cooking utensils hang from hooks over the worktop. Display your crockery on a dresser. If there is a pattern or motif on your plates and cups, it will produce a great shabby chic effect.

Think About the Finishes

It’s not enough to buy rustic furniture and decor items to create a shabby chic kitchen. You should also decide on the finishes of your floor and walls. On the floor, you might want to combine pattern and plain tiles. If the pattern is kept within the same colour palette, it can add a unique character to your kitchen space and home. Alternatively, you might want to purchase timber effect tile. It mimics the looks of real wood but is much easier to take care of.

As for the walls, you can either leave them raw or fill them with works of art. Metro-style wall tiles, shiplap timber cladding and exposed brickwork work wonders.

Balance Fittings and Appliances

As we’ve said above, a typical shabby chic kitchen is full of characterful items. But if you dislike this idea, you can focus on stand-alone units, such as:

  • A freestanding sink
  • A fridge
  • Storage units kept free from the walls

Each of these items represents one of the most important functions of your kitchen: store items, cook meals and then wash the dishes. When standing by the sink, you should ideally be able to reach the fridge in just a couple of seconds. After having picked the items from your storage, you should take no more than a couple of steps to find yourself by the sink.

Butler sink in cream country kitchen

Antique porcelain butler sinks might be more fragile than their modern metal counterparts but they look incredible. After washing the plates, you can then put them in a decorative drying rack. Which addes to the character of the kitchen.

Don’t Forget About the Accessories

To make your kitchen look more instagrammable, you might want to purchase the following objects:

  • Timber cutting boards or butcher’s blocks — if you don’t cook every day, you can still use them as heat mats
  • Cabinet handles and other elements of ironmongery
  • Galvanised metal pitcher vase — fill it with blush peonies from your garden
  • Rustic kitchen sink taps — you can either buy new ones or shop for second-hand taps in antique shops and flea markets and recondition them
  • Vintage lamps — consider suspending them over the worktop
  • Ruffled seat covers — they look cosy and you can wash them, so any spills should not be a problem
  • Decorative plates — it’s great if you have antique china, and if you don’t, you can always find a modern substitute for it
  • Ropes, laces and pearls — you can use them to decorate empty bottles that you’ll put on display on your shelves

If you have several items that look similar, it might be wise to arrange them in groups of three or four.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand how to create a shabby chic style kitchen. Opt for handmade and real wood cabinets, open shelves with a neutral colour palette. Use matt finishes and timber effect tile. Display your accessories and cooking utensils. Your kitchen should reflect your personality and be full of life.

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