Shabby Chic, Rustic or Vintage: Which Concept Suits You Best?


Designing your home in a way that will make you feel comfortable and secure is very important. The key to do this correctly is to know what you want and understanding the concept you want to pursue.

Individuals have different taste in designing their homes as there’s also a plethora of design options to choose from. However, there are design concepts that may confuse us since they have the same style and vibe.

Shabby chic, vintage, and rustic are three of the most popular yet commonly-misinterpreted concepts.

Let’s talk about these three design approaches and differentiate them, so you will have a better understanding.

How to Spot The Difference

The best way to separate the three concepts is to understand their core philosophies. Always remember this pattern: vintage is time, rustic is a place, and shabby chic is style. The three have their own charms and characters that will appeal to many homeowners. You can even use all of these themes simultaneously.

Using these three designs altogether won’t harm your overall design concept. But for you to pull it off, you might need a design expert’s guidance or advice. These people will guide you on how to use these three designs in the correct manner. Doing it by yourself may result in a profligate design and will hurt not only your goal, but also your savings.

Being comfortable with the design you are going to choose is vital. You are going to live in this home, and you are the one who will deal with the place every day so you must know what you want. Understanding these designs can help you choose and decide what path you are going to.

To further understand these concepts, let’s dissect each of them carefully. Let’s again discuss their differences and functions. Will it be a better choice to combine the three designs or choose one and stick to it?

via Ricco Style

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic style is softer and has a more feminine vibe to it. It will be a bad idea if you live with boys since this design focuses more on female inhabitants. Many males might feel awkward or uncomfortable living in a home that has a more feminine vibe.

If you live alone or with another female, it would be an excellent choice to express your femininity. Shabby chic decors or furniture tends to be more weathered or old age looking. You can use both old and new items as long as it looks aged.

Also, some vintage items are considered shabby chic, and rustic also used to describe shabby chic items. It is why confusion has circulated among these three schemes. But the difference will emerge when you picture these designs separately.

Take note that color palettes used in shabby chic designs are more light, which makes pastel colors the most choice of the designers. It gives the cozy and light feeling of your space. Most items used in this design scheme are antique items or at least things that look antique.


The rustic design gives out an outdoor or countryside vibe. Items used for designing a rustic scheme are usually in earth, wood, and green tones. This design leans towards more natural choices.

Burlap and twines, mason jars, and wooden boards are what make or break this design. But you should incorporate these things with caution. Don’t overdo it, or else, it will look more of a farm than a home. Though it is what should it look like, you still want your home to be livable by humans, not by animals.

You can still have the rustic feel by using a plaid tablecloth or more natural colored curtains. Furniture can also contribute to your design. Choose wooden furniture that has a weathered look for a warm and woody feel.

Even indoor plants can give out a rustic vibe inside your home. You can add several plants to your living room and kitchen. You can also add some in your bedroom or the bathroom.

Tobiason & Rook Construction; via Ricco Style


The vintage design gives you a nostalgic vibe as most furniture or accessories used in this scheme are old or antique. It has a cozy and laid back feel. This concept is best for couples since it also gives a romantic and elegant atmosphere.

Decors used in this concept depict a specific period. Even the accessories have their history to tell. Those histories will combine as you incorporate all of the items together to create the vibe that you want.

Many individuals are more inclined to a vintage look for their homes. By choosing this approach to style your home, you can use old furniture, which can also help you save some bucks. You can use your grandma’s old wardrobe or your mom’s antique mirror. You can also use an old AC and heater unit or check Lewisville TX AC Repair and Residential HVAC Contractors if they can customize one for you to look more antique to fit with your theme.

For other people, the vintage design resembles a haunted house, but it all depends on how good your interior designer is. If your designer is a bit careless in putting things and don’t know how to balance, then you will end up with a house that looks old and scary.

For this reason, you should check the blueprint and ask many questions before pushing through with the design and the plan. It is not wise to spend on things that will only ruin the vibe. Sometimes, less is more, and that’s what you need to put in mind.


All three concepts are unique in their own ways. If you love the idea of those three concepts, you can use them to create the design you have in mind. The differences between the three aren’t that obvious. They even look the same but only have different approaches. The keys to perfect the combination of the three designs is being careful and not overdoing them. Always seek help from a professional before engaging with your plan. Thanks to Southern Comfort Mechanical for collaborating!

Author’s bio:

Anna Stallman is a part-time writer who enjoys writing about home improvement and the real estate industry. Her articles have earned praises and helped a lot of people improve the quality of their lives at home. When she’s not trying to teach herself a new set of skills, Anna paints abstract art pieces.


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