A shabby chic dining room creates a cottage feel that is both casual and elegant at the same time. This design style allows you to use neutral colors in interesting ways that will blend with the rest of your house. This is especially convenient if you have an open floor plan but want your dining room to be something special.

White shabby chic furniture is an essential part of a shabby chic dining room. Head to the thrift store and look for corner china cabinets that you can paint to look like built in hutches. Your dining room set should have lots of curves and carvings for a feminine touch. Skip the wood tones: these are expensive and become dated quickly. Instead give everything a coat of paint. Use a mint green on one piece and a cream on another and pair it with a taupe table. The one advantage to a shabby chic dining room is that it uses a lot of fabric. This allows you to transform your space with an oversized floral table cloth and a few chair slipcovers. You can even place vintage pillowcases over the back of modern linear chairs for more of an ethereal feeling.

Look for chairs that have a whicker or cane back, these were popular in the 70s so they'll probably be on sale. For a more contemporary chic shabby chic look go for more modern colors. Look for greens with a gray undertone or just distress your furniture with a gray paint. Add in bright white china, painted wood floors and frilly lace chair cushions to make shabby chic chairs. This look is perfect for a tea party and it will still look decorated even when it isn't time for dinner.

You can even decorate your lighting to turn it into a shabby chic chandelier. This even works to add more elegance to a shabby chic bathroom. Look for crystals and gems in a subtle mint color and wire it to a basic white spray painted chandelier. The lighting should have a lot of curves to it so it becomes a functional accessory to the room.

Paint is one of the easiest ways to make shabby chic wall decor. It can give a sense of history to an apartment or add interest to a boring condo. Pink is one of the basic shabby chic colors and if you can get away with a pink dining room go for it. Accent it with bright furniture, dark wood floors and an oversized iron chandelier. You can also go all out by using a more subdued rose color on the walls. Decorate with a subtle flower print on the windows; pink should be the accent color on the curtains instead of the dominant color. Then bring in pink crystal and china and add a modern touch that also has a retro feel to it with a pink and white polka dot table cloth. If you've ever seen a shabby chic sofa you've probably noticed how the patterns are mixed and it's full of throw pillows. You can even add throw pillows to your dining room colors to give modern chairs new life and add color and comfort to your space.

Shabby chic interior design focuses on bringing the outdoors in, so do it literally. Instead of a buffet clean up an old potting bench. Use a wrought iron bistro set. Accent with aged terra cotta pots and botanical prints on the wall. You can also incorporate heirloom pieces into this design style by using your grandma's lace tablecloth. If you have several tablecloths then sew them into a gauzy set of patchwork curtains. Keep the look light and airy by skipping the valances and hanging it from more casual rings that will ensure that the fabric has an ethereal feel to it.

You can also use garden benches around your table but you won't be able to move these as easily as chairs. It will make a big statement and will make your dining room feel like a conservatory or sunroom. If your afraid of color then stick with cream on cream. This works well if you already have taupe carpet. Make the space glamorous with a lot of crystal, fresh flowers, sparkling silverware and textured linens.

If you want a shabby chic dining room and he wants a modern space compromise. You can paint the room a medium gray tone. Accent with white shabby chic furniture. Bring in an oversized cherry blossom centerpiece and cover the back of your chairs with a rose or lime green velvet. By mixing the two styles you'll reinvent how you think of decorating and create a space that you can both be happy with.

Shabby chic artwork usually focuses on iron work or fabric instead of traditional paintings. Look for an iron mini Eiffel tower to hang on the walls. You can also stretch a patterned fabric over canvases and staple it on the back of the cushion. Use several of these pieces to mimic more traditional wall panels and add pattern and life to a neutral room.

For a modern shabby chic dining room just play with the way you use accessories. Sure, hanging china on the wall is so shabby chic. Instead, look for more graphic plates with bold patterns. Mix in bright colors like hot pink. Hang dozens of the plates together on the wall for a contemporary collage that also shows off your china. Vary the sizes of the plates for interest. A shabby chic room usually focuses on the chandelier. For a contemporary look that is still whimsical look for a wall sticker that looks like a graphic chandelier. These elements are usually just one color so they are bold. This way you can have a chandelier without having to worry about electricity and your shabby chic room will be different from all of your friends'.

Shabby chic ideas can make your dining room into a space that you'll actually want to use. Makeover your existing furniture pieces with a little bit of paint and then accent with all the heirlooms boxed up in the attic. This way both you and your dining room will have a story to tell.