Though the term, "Shabby Chic", was first coined in the 1980s by an emerging magazine, World of Interiors (The Daily Mail), the Shabby Chic style originated about a century ago in Europe's various countrysides. Rural Victorian, French Country and Swedish decor all played a hand in developing the trend. This particular genre of design conveys its history vividly by incorporating indulgent decorations like chandeliers, candelabras, lace and mirrors reminiscent of Rococo with distressed furniture, rusty watering cans, vintage art and pastoral wood.  

The style exudes an ambiance of cottage and luxury, making it the perfect design choice for a bathroom. A clawfoot tub surrounded by glowing candelabras, silk Hydrangea and laced towels will make a bathroom not only warm and welcoming to guests but also a cozy space to unwind, evocative of a rural chalet in France.

Designing your own Shabby Chic sanctuary is an affordable but sophisticated option. The very basic style  of a truly Shabby Chic restroom include 8 simple elements.

8 Essentials for a Shabby Chic Bathroom

1. The Clawfoot Tub.

The clawfoot style tub, like the Shabby Chic style, originated in the 1800s, keeping its users up and away from dirty bathroom floors.

Though new clawfoot tubs are much more reliable and accessible today, they still elicit a traditional charm. Additionally, because it separates the tub from floor, the clawfoot creates more space and ventilation.

2. Candelabras

Candelabras can be as glamorous or as practical as you want them to be, but when it comes to Shabby Chic, the candelabra should look antique and opulent sporting scented and pastel colored candles.

Another option is to hang an extravagant chandelier on the ceiling of the bathroom. However, candelabras are considerably more affordable.

3. Lace.

The towels of a Shabby Chic powder room should be trimmed with soft lace. Keep in mind that though lace is essential, it should be subtle; too much lace is overwhelming and will call too much attention away from other interesting textures like rustic shelves or chalk paint.

4. Distressed furniture.

Remember that any shelves or cabinets in the bathroom should radiate with "countryside." This means the furniture should seem either homemade, or perhaps inherited. You can easily paint the furniture you already have with chalk paint to make it seem older than it is. You can also spend some time at antique shops or second-hand stores to find your match. 

5. Candles.

Stick with the pastels and fresh scents.

6. Florals.

Fresh flowers look and smell the best. Silks, however, are more cost-effective in the long run. You can also pick and choose the bouquets you prefer. Imagine what your bouquet would look like after strolling around an English Country garden.

You might also consider floral wall paper or floral art too. A simple drawing or watercolor of roses brings out a traditional style.

7. Anything antique or vintage.

Clocks, vases, soap dispensers, shower heads and faucets should all appear antique. 

8. Repurposed junk.

One of the most rewarding and sustainable elements to the style is its reliance on cleverly recycled materials. A glass soda bottle can be a flower vase. Driftwood found on the beach can hang sparkling jewelry. All this of this reclaimed material is then counterbalanced effectively by glamorous insertions of Victorian or Rococo additions like an elaborate tapestry or an Antique clock.

There is quite of bit of free material used to decorate a Shabby Chic restroom. Mason jars, glass bottles, baskets, neat vintage ads that can be framed, rustic wood, shells from the beach, birdcages, all these materials can be used as-is, or they can also be painted and restyled to your liking. You can use sources like Pinterest to find fantastic do-it-yourself Shabby Chic projects.

This unique mix of decorative choices makes Shabby Chic one of the most affordable but impressive forms of bathroom design, especially because you will most likely find what you're looking for in classy brands, second-hand shops or even your backyard.