Making Chintz Work With Your Shabby Chic Decor

Feminine and floral, elegant and just a bit brazen, chintz is the beating heart of shabby chic decor--or at least, it could be. The trick to using chintz is to achieve balance by pairing it with just the right amount of calm--or the right amount of crazy. Used in the right context, chintz has the perfect amount of grace and sweetness to make your shabby chic decor standout.

Pair It with Solids

Pair chintz with a variety of solids to ensure that it's just one of many colorful fabrics found in the room. Establish a color relationship between the solid colors and the chintz pattern so that all fabrics and paints in the room work together as a team. For example, in a space decorated in varying shades of sage green and gray, a predominantly green, gray or cream colored chintz will integrate nicely with the overall look and feel of the room.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, a flamboyant red chintz--the complement of green--will add just enough accent to give that cool green room the pizazz it needs to be memorable. Just don't forget that, in this context with a bold, vibrant pattern like red chintz, less is more. Little touches like a few chintz pillows and a blanket draped over a chair is all you need to achieve your look.

Let the Patterns Explode

Another fun strategy when decorating with chintz is to throw chintz in the mix with a riot of other patterns--from stripes to polka dots to other Indian textile designs, like from Tara Design - Antique Indian Furniture And Art. The strategy here is the more the merrier. The chintz gives the room the touch of elegance it needs to achieve the shabby chic look, the other patterns downplay the flowery sweetness to ensure that this beautiful pattern doesn't become too much.

Use Natural-Colored Chintz in Lighter Colored Rooms

In rooms that are decorated predominantly in light creams and whites, turn to chintz that utilizes all natural colors--soft greens, creams, beige, brown and gentle, dusky pink--to ensure that the chintz blends in with the other soft colors in the room. This sophisticated look fits in really well in homes where the decor is mature and upscale overall.

The idea is that chintz needs to be balanced with other elements in the room in order to be truly appreciated. For more tips and help decorating with chintz, speak with an experienced interior decorator.