Thursday, 20 January 2011

Shabby (cheap) chic

I know a lot of bloggers out there love vintage girly things like me and if we had the chance I'm sure we'd all love to be given an unlimited budget so we could decorate our homes/bedrooms in a fabulously girly shabby chic manner :) Unfortunatley we don't have any such budget  :(  lol, and a lot of the things out there are reeeeally expensive and quite frankly in some cases a bit of a rip off. :| I was in TK MAXX yesterday with my friend looking at some of the cute shabby chic furniture that they get in there as she wants more storage in her room, but its all so expensive! My room is slowly coming together in the style that I want it, but thats really due to all the little bits and pieces that I pick up or I get given to me and not the gorgeous items of hugely expensive furniture. In fact, apart from my dressing table, if you take all my things away you would be left with a basic bedroom set. So I just thought I would share some of the cheap but pretty touches that you can do that will make your boudouir more shabby chic/vintage :)

Buy lots of candles

The first thing that you pick loads up of really cheaply is candles. I love vanilla scented ones and in places like Wilkinsons, or Ikea you can pick them up for about a £1, as opposed to the £6 or £7 Tk maxx or a department store will charge you. You can also pick up 60 pack tea light candles for the same price and I just scatter handfulls of these around my room and when you light them they look so pretty. Also if you pick up any pretty candle holders you will always have some spare to pop in :) Theses heart ones are my favourites so I confess I don't ever light these ones! I just keep them to look pretty lol.

Use pretty ribbon and flowers

My mum had about six plain glass candle holders that she didn't want and she was going to throw out when I rescued them. By tying pretty ribbon around them and adding some artificial flowers (which again are easy to pick up cheaply) they turned from being boring plain glass candles holders to pretty girly candle holders.

Dig out old photos

Every household probably has heaps and heaps of photographs lying around especially embarassing ones from when you were younger :| My mum has loads of photos from when she was a little girl and from when her parents were younger and most of them were in black and white. She gave me some to keep and I was wondering where to store them where they wouldn't get damaged, when I had the idea of putting them in the photo frames on my dressing table. The frames had been empty since I brought them as modern photos didn't look quite right in them, but the black and white ones have a real vintage feel to them (which in some cases I guess they do! lol) and they look perfect :)

Use what you already have

I love heaping my dressing table with pretty bags and jewelley that I wear in the day or on a night out, and it looks really effective :) The best thing about this is that you probably have loads in your room anyway, so instead of hiding it show it off :) I love this clutch bag I use it all the time, and when its not on a night out it resides on my dressing table and makes it look pretty :) The earrings cost £2 from Asda and I just scattered some of my (fake) pearl bracelets and necklces around. They look really effective if you drape them over the edge or curl them around things. They also sell them for about £3 in New Look bargin :)

Scatter your pretty things

This is just the same as the above really, just scatter your prettiest things around the room! I do have jewellery boxes but as I am such a jewellery freak they are overflowing and so I have most of my necklaces and bracelets tied and draped over one of those jewellery manaquines you can buy (about £7from Next three years ago if you're interested) So it keeps them tangle free and is also pretty to look at.  I love my scarf set that I had from accessorize for christmas so rather than put it in the wardrobe where its prettiness was hidden (and also it was a pain in the ass to keep getting in and out) I put them on top of my wicker wash basket :) You may think I'm crazy with this one, but so long as you don't heap loads of stuff around, it does make the room feel more cosy and pretty, and alsolike I said it has the bonus of easy access :)

I can't really keep my bags anywhere else as my wardrobe if ever so slightly full but I think they look pretty hanging over the handle of the (boring brown) door

See what other people have they don't want

'One mans junk is another mans treasure' You never know what someone else might have that they don't want but you do. (In this case my mum) It could be worth asking your mum for any little bits she might not want (or be nice enough to give you :D ) This little lamp is a candle holder and it was languishing in our study from a raffle someone won until I rescued it for my room. The blue tin I remember from when I was little it used to hold all our felt tip pens :) My mum still had it but its empty now so I can use it for something else :) The little flower plaques I think might have been 50p from a charity shop and my mum no longer wanted them so I had them instead.

Little odd bits

When we took all the christmas decorations down I borrowed a string of fairy lights and string them over the curtain pole and around my dresing table and when its dark they make everything look all soft and twinkly :)
The roses on my wall are actually off a pair of shoes, but I didnt want to keep the flowers on them so my mum suggested I hang them in my room instead. I've already photographed the ice-skate in a previous blog post but it was £2 from a christmas shop and Its so pretty I didn't want to leave it to languish in the garage until next christmas. You could also use pretty cards in your room :) The butterfly card is from one of my best friends when she was living abroad for uni one year and she couldn't be there so she wrote a lovely message inside it for me. I love all the pretty baskets that you can get to go in storage units but to buy enough would be hugely expensieve so I used these cheap boxes from Ikea and added butterfly decorations from my sisters party to the outside to make them more pretty to look at.

Photo albums
I used to have photographs pinned to the wall and scattered all over my bedroom but it got a bit claustrophobic and cluttered after a while and the photos started fading from the sun, so I brought pretty albums to put them in. The top one was £12 which is a bit expensive but I had my eye on it for a while. The other two though were about £5 from Asda. Its nice to get them down and have a flick through if your feeling sad and my room looks better with just a selcet few photo instead of the jumble that I previously had.

Pretty ornaments
I just thought I would include these as well as I love them :) They are willow tree angels. They start from about £10-£15. I had two given to me as gifts but I brought one over christmas as I really like them and they do look pretty.

I haven't done it in this photo as I just found the vases but If your mum has any spare in the house if you tuck a string of fairy lights down inside the vase and then switch it on it looks amazing :)


Strings of fabric hearts look really pretty hanging down from the curtain. Some vintage-y or boutique shops sell these but they are incredibly easy and cheap to make as well. You can pick up fabric that matches your room, and you can add words to the center as well.
A bird cage is probably the easiest way to add a vintage touch to your room :) I've seen loads lately that I really like but they've all been like £20 upwards which is quite a lot. This one was £10 from the Range a few years ago and I love it :) IOts worth checking out the cheapy boring DIY/garden-y type shops because you never know what they might have :)


Excited that Gemmas book club is up and running now its such a good idea :)
Have to go and purchase the book so I can start reading! :)

love and kisses

x x x x 


  1. so many pretty things...

    would love you to enter my blog...


  2. Fab post!! Great ideas :).

    Sadie x

  3. thanks for your comments girlies :)

    x x