It's economical and DIY-friendly.
So why don't I recommend shabby chic decorating for staging your home?
Because it's also distracting, quirky, uber feminine, and loaded with opportunities for home staging mistakes.
Shabby chic style is characterized by its love affair with almost anything old.
It favors layers of obviously faded natural textiles like cottons and linens, distressed furniture finishes, pastel colors, and a combination of elegance and rusticity.
Its signature pieces are slipcovered, overstuffed pieces, furniture painted white, and vintage chandeliers.
If you think that doesn't sound like the stuff that staging mistakes are made of, let's look at where the fascination with vintage can lead.
There are too many details, too many colors, weak focal point, stuff on the floor, and too much in-your-face rattiness.
For the record, and so you won't think I'm a stuffed shirt, I love the shabby chic style. I love its girliness, romanticism, muted colors, thriftiness, its emphasis on furniture with good bones, and its comfort level.
All I'm saying is that if you stage your home in this style, you're walking into land-mined territory. So, let's carefully pick and choose what works and what doesn't, so your pretty staging doesn't blow up in your pretty face.
This setting is lovely...but crowded, cluttered, and even downright dangerous to be eating food off that old, peeling table. Anyone heard of the dangers of ingesting lead paint? Buyers can't maneuver around this alcove, and they are left with the impression of cramped quarters.
Staging-wise, this bedroom looks like a garage sale. There's a reason why shabby chic is known as "salvage chic." I'm all for re-purposing, but a mantel headboard, a window for wainscoting, a door for a bed, and dresser drawers to elevate it, is too much of a good thing.
Old needs new next to it to do it justice. Buyers like new. And, do the gilded letters stand for "do-it-yourself," I wonder?
There is so much detail here that a buyer's going to be distracted. It's clutter, no matter how artsy the arrangement. Besides, these lovely vintage bottles could easily pocketed by someone on a house tour, someone who sells on eBay, or someone who just had to have one!
I chose this photo because there's one more element of shabby chic that works for staging, the choice of paintings that please. The typical artwork adorning walls in shabby chic homes is old oil paintings of roses in gilded or painted frames. I liked the casualness of these two unframed, well-sized, floral pictures. Stagers do well with florals.
To review, say yes to soft colors, slightly distressed furniture, comfortable upholstered or slipcovered pieces, natural textures, re-purposing with a purpose, and refined elegance in moderation.
Say no to too many florals, tiny details, clutter, wallpaper, excess ruffles, pink everywhere, and funky furniture that looks too budget-conscious and hand-me-down.
The shabby chic decorating style that took off this country in the late 1980s after Rachael Ashwell popularized it in California, has plenty of fans.
Despite the fact that it originated in England among the well-heeled as a way of saying, "I have so much money and good taste that I can do as I please, thank you, and leave my faded damasks, paint-chipped armoirs, ratty upholstery, torn wallpaper, beat-up tables, and sentimental paintings as they are," the effect doesn't necessarily look all that wealthy and tasteful on this side of the Atlantic.
For more ways to dress your home for the real estate market, and facts about which decor styles work and which don't, check out my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar.