Shabby chic and vintage rooms often use lots of whites and neutrals on the walls, typically making use of plain emulsion – combined with vintage prints. On this page we’ve given you lots of ideas for wallpaper and wall coverings that allow you to achieve a look for your shabby chic or vintage room that’s unique and a bit different, without breaking the bank.
Typical choices for shabby chic wallpaper are Cath Kidston inspired delicate floral prints, birds and bird cages, butterflies, written script, French motifs, music notes and postage stamps and postmarks. However, don’t feel limited by this description – shabby chic style is really about finding something that looks a little imperfect but has a grand feel. It’s about finding a backdrop to your furnishings and accessories that will enhance them without making the room feel overwhelming. You don’t need to stick absolutely to any particular print or style because shabby chic is all about mixing it up!
Some shabby chic wallpaper designs can be rather expensive but you don’t have to paper the whole room with them! You could cover a feature wall, the area behind the shelves in a bookcase or display unit, the tops of drawer units, alcoves or any other small area of the room where you would like to add colour and interest.
Please note: All product prices on this page are served via an API and are therefore believed to be accurate as of the viewing date. However, any price and availability information displayed on the supplier website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1. Nature trail butterfly wallpaper
Brought to you by the innovative guys at Superfresco (we all remember the adverts, right?), this detailed pattern (also pictured in our featured image above) is the perfect wallpaper for a shabby chic room or feature wall.
A dark brown-grey pattern on an almost white background with an intricate design of dragonflies, butterflies and branches and silvery highlights, this is a great neutral choice for those who love lots of light, bright spaces in their home.
Price per roll: £14.00 – click here to buy.
2. Nature trail duck egg wallpaper
Take the beautiful design above and add in more than a splash of shabby chic colour – duck egg blue, vintage pinks and a hint of yellow – and you have this stunning wallpaper that would look incredible wherever you hang it.
Another amazing design from the folks at Superfresco, this lovely quality wallpaper brings a touch of vintage style to your home. It’s also a paste-the-roll paper and if you’ve ever wallpapered before, you’ll know this means that it’s super easy to hang.
Price per roll: £8.99 – click here to buy.
3. Birds and butterflies wallpaper
Wallpaper doesn’t get any more shabby chic than this stunning birds and butterflies design, brought to you by Holden decor. Their ‘Phoebe’ wallpaper has three background colour options: green, beige and white, with the detail of the wallpaper the same across each option.
We’ve pictured all three options here together with a room photo so you get some idea of the scale of the print. We’re totally in love with the muted vintage green and how the gorgeous accent colours perfectly set off this beautiful print.
This paper is priced around from £8.00 per roll, but prices vary a little depending on which colour option you would like and the delivery option you choose. You can click here to see all the pricing and delivery options.
4. Driftwood wallpaper
Cladding works well over small areas, painted in a white or light shade and then either left as-is or slightly roughed. However, a cheaper way to achieve a similar effect is through imitation wallpaper featuring wood designs. ‘Driftwood’ effect wallpaper and similar provides a great effect to use with feature walls – for example, a wall behind your bed – rather than a choice for the whole room.
This stunning driftwood paper from Rasch has a washed beige-blue colour theme – the neutrals fit perfectly with shabby or vintage room decor and look superb in an otherwise fairly simple room scheme (such as neutral emulsion walls).
Price per roll: £12.67 – click here to buy.
5. Paris print wallpaper
NB: This design comes in pink or grey. On the order page, please make sure you choose ‘Full roll’ and then choose your colour – otherwise you may end up with a sample! Price varies depending on the colour chosen.
Price per roll: around £7.85 – click here to buy.
6. Stamps and scripts shabby chic wallpaper
It’s hard to get any more quintessentially shabby chic than this vintage-look paper from Holden. With a beautiful faded colour scheme of pinks and purples, it has all the elements that you’d expect to see and it’s gentle enough to work well as a full-room covering.
Featuring a delicate design of scripts, stamps, postmarks and the good ‘ole Eiffel Tower, it’s got French vintage quite literally written all over it. Like all Holden wallpapers, the quality is excellent and it’s very easy to hang.
Price per roll: £10.95 – click here to buy.
7. Balloons and ships shabby chic wallpaper
This is an incredible print from vintage favourites Holden, featuring ships, postcards, maps, music and written text. It has a wonderful old-world feel that adds a huge splash of vintage to your walls.
A really beautiful and unique design that is perfect for feature walls and smaller projects. As an added bonus, we were frankly astonished to find this paper at the quoted price, given that it’s on sale for three times as much elsewhere.
Price per roll: £7.49 – click here to buy.
8. Bookshelves wallpaper
If you’re a fan of all things vintage and shabby chic, we defy you not to fall in love with this whimsical wallpaper. Designed with a trompe l’oeil feel, it is perfect for adding interest to a smaller area of your room.
Brought to us by Arthouse who are well known for this style, the lovely scene with covered books, bunting and shabby chic colours will make a really beautiful addition to your home. Try adding it to panels of a wooden door, a narrow wall or a fireplace wall for a eye-catching feature.
Price per roll: £7.00 – click here to buy.
9. Frames wallpaper
Price per roll: £7.91 – click here to buy.
10. Flowers and branches paper
A slightly bolder design than we’d usually choose, this still made it onto our list of favourites thanks to the lovely colour scheme and shabby chic style motifs which just work so well.
Brought to us by Muriva, this lovely design features pretty birds and butterflies with metallic detail on the leaves to make the paper really pop. A super choice where you have a room with a vintage theme but you’re looking for a fresh design that will add light and brightness.
Price per roll: £9.00 – click here to buy.
11. Embossed wood wallpaper
Driftwood and reclaimed wood is the perfect backdrop for any shabby chic or vintage room (see number 4 above) – but this paper goes one step further, adding beautiful embossing to the ‘planks’ for more interest.
It’s a subtle design with neutral greys and whites that works very well as a whole-room covering or simply for a feature wall, adding that lovely worn shabby look to your room theme. Brought to you by Fresco, it’s a traditional paste-the-paper product but fear not, as a good quality wallpaper it’s easy to hang for beautiful results.
Price per roll: £10.99 – click here to buy.
12. Tiny floral wallpaper
If you had to sketch out what shabby chic wallpaper looked like, you’d probably draw this – tiny florals with a vintage colour palette of blues and pinks, and a splash of green thrown in.
With a distinct Cath Kidston style (NB: this isn’t actually made by CK), this is a really pretty delicate print that would work well in the bedroom, kitchen or any other room crying out for a splash of chintz vintage.
Price per roll: £8.99 – click here to buy.
13. Songbird teal wallpaper
Sure, this isn’t a traditional shabby chic print. But picture yourself wandering through the elegance of Île de la Cité or Île Saint-Louis with its cobbled back streets and charming buildings .. wandering into one of the doorways with fading, chipped painted nested beneath an elegant wrought iron balcony .. and stumbling across this elegant paper as a backdrop to a grand crystal-laden chandelier, against a worn, rich velvet chaise longue, casually placed on washed driftwood floorboards…
This beautiful paper from Arthouse has our imagination running wild – it’s perfect for a feature wall in a vintage-themed room with a splash of grandeur.
Price per roll: £8.83 – click here to buy.
14. Songbird yellow wallpaper
If you didn’t quite share our vision for teal songbirds with a touch of shabby splendour, we think it’ll be hard to turn away the same beautiful print in a softer lemon and grey colourway, more akin to a shabby chic colour palette.
Dash our dreams of French grandeur if you dare, but this stunning paper with muted grey detail has every bit earned its place on a list of vintage and shabby chic favourites.
Price per roll: £8.94 – click here to buy.
15. Vintage floral wallpaper
Brought to us by Julien Macdonald for Graham & Brown, this stunning wallpaper has a wonderful muted colour palette that adds a vintage splash to any room.
Because it’s Graham & Brown, you know this wonderful floral pattern, laden with birds, flowers and splashes of colour, is also accented with glitter. If you’ve never bought a Graham & Brown paper before, you’d be forgiven for wondering if this might look a little bling. Trust us (the writer has a hallway adorned with a G & B Glitterati paper), it doesn’t look bling at all and simply adds brightness to the room.
Price per roll: £20.00 – click here to buy.
16. Fading bricks wallpaper
A different way to create a vintage backdrop for your room is to use faded painted bricks. Of course, unless you’re lucky enough to have an exposed wall with suitably ageing brickwork, you’ll need to imitate the effect with a quality wallpaper. Ta-da!
We’ve chosen this paper because it’s highly realistic and we love the metallic touch that the designers at Debona have added in. Whenever you get a little splash of metallic in paper, it always makes the paper – and the room – look so much brighter. This paper is incredibly good value and given that you’ll likely want it for a feature wall or two, it costs almost nothing to create a brilliant painted brick effect as a backdrop for your vintage room.
Price per roll: £6.94 – click here to buy.
If you’re not keen on this brick paper, click here to see lots more options.
17. Teapot wallpaper
We’ve come across quite a few vintage and shabby chic designs where pots and crockery feature heavily. Here’s a particularly quaint design which would look lovely on a feature wall or lining the back of a dresser:
It comes in a number of colour options which affect the price slightly but we like this Grey/Pink/Cream colourway the best. As noted above, the brilliant thing about shabby chic is that it’s fine to mix prints and styles – so you could use this on the panels of a door but still choose a completely different print for the walls.
Price per roll: around Currently out of stock – click here to buy.
18. Birds and stamps wallpaper
Combining some of the most classic motifs in shabby chic prints, this delightful wallpaper features birds, postcards, stamps, butterflies, flowers, tea pots, tea cups and more. It’s a great print with lots of lovely detail that is sure to attract an admiring eye or two.
This paper is free match pattern repeat (see below) which makes it a lot easier to hang. Brighten up a feature wall, line your cabinets, spruce up your drawers or create elegant door panels with this fantastic quintessentially shabby chic design.
Price per roll: around £8.50 – click here to buy.
19. Trinket box wallpaper
An absolutely darling design for wallpaper – there really is no other word – this Fresco paper features lots of little trinket boxes adorned with worn vintage handles, old labels and prints.
Not too easy to track down but fabulously good value, this paper is a wonderful choice for feature walls and small panels.
Price per roll: £8.50 – click here to buy.
20. Old map wallpaper
Old maps have such a feeling of nostalgia combined with detailed elegance, they are the perfect backdrop for a vintage or shabby chic room.
This superb design offered by home decorator’s favourite Fresco has a wonderfully detailed design that will have you and your guests staring at the wall in admiration! This paper comes in the more traditional paste-the-paper format but as it’s Fresco quality, it’s easy enough to hang.
Price per roll: £7.92 – click here to buy.
21. Blossom wallpaper
The writer can say hand on heart this is one of the prettiest wallpapers around – because it’s hanging in her hallway! Although not a traditional vintage design, the soft white and grey colours do make a very lovely backdrop for shabby chic accessories. The photo sadly doesn’t do this lovely paper justice, but the reviews certainly do.
The paper has a lovely touch of glitter in the design which makes it really stand out from the wall and freshens the room. From experience, it is a little soft and you need to take care hanging it, but it’s not too tricky and the end result is worth taking your time.
Price per roll: from £12.50 – click here to buy.
22. Beton script wallpaper
Price per roll: £9.99 – click here to buy.
23. Light blue scroll wallpaper
Price per roll: £12.99 – click here to buy.
24. Damask wallpaper
It’s hard to convey just how stunning this super-expensive, super-striking cherub damask wallpaper really is. The reason it’s not cheap is because you have to import it – but don’t worry, the supplier takes care of everything (and we should hope so for that price!).
The paper is pre-pasted so it’s ridiculously easy to hang and at Currently out of stock a roll, we do wonder if the decorator comes included. Having complained about the price twice now, we have to say that this is just ridiculously perfect wallpaper for a small area such as panels of a door, a narrow feature wall or the back of a dresser. Splash out – it’s worth it.
Price per roll: Currently out of stock – click here to buy.
25. Regency damask wallpaper
Just while we’re doing slightly more pricey wallcoverings, we had to drop this stunning vintage paper into the mix.
With an absolute breath-takingly beautiful old-style design and perfect vintage colours, you won’t even care that it’s easy-peasy paste-the-wall paper (simple to hang) – but it is.
Price per roll: £41.60 – click here to buy.
26. White regency damask wallpaper
If you love the look of the above wallpaper but you’re a little hesitant to go bold with your colours, you’ll be pleased to know there are other options – such as this wonderful ivory colour palette in exactly the same design:
Price per roll: £41.60 – click here to buy.
27. Damask stitch effect wallpaper
If the above designer styles have caught your eye but you’re worried about the price tag, feast your eyes on this super-elegant stitch effect wallpaper from brand favourite Crown.
Its textured effect and grand design makes it a wonderful backdrop for stylish vintage furniture, lace, pearls, chandeliers and all the prettiest accessories that you’ve chosen for your shabby chic room. Of course, as a bonus, the price tag is substantially less than our designer choices.
Price per roll: £11.99 – click here to buy.
28. Decoupage shabby chic wallpaper
Feast your eyes on this extravaganza of decoupage, perfect for adding style to a feature wall or panel. Lace, damask, scrolls, labels and other quaint vintage details make up this superb highly-rated design from brand favourites Crown.
With so much ‘scrapbook’ detail, don’t be surprised at just how effective this beautiful design is at drawing the eye.
Price per roll: £15.02 – click here to buy.
29. Hanging decor wallpaper
Price per roll: £10.95 – click here to buy.
30. Ditsy floral wallpaper
Price per roll: £8.99 – click here to buy.
31. Scrapbook effect shabby chic wallpaper
Price per roll: £16.61 – click here to buy.
32. Forest creatures vintage wallpaper
Price per roll: £13.93 – click here to buy.
Got some wallpaper left over from a roll? Here are 39 awesome uses for your wallpaper scraps!
Shabby chic wallpaper and wallcoverings : style notes
If you plan on having a lot of prints – vintage florals, ticking stripes etc – for your fabrics and accessories, you may want to keep the walls quite plain so that the room doesn’t look too cluttered – either a white, pastel or ecru emulsion. Here’s a gorgeous colour card with some example colours that would work really well:
Shabby chic colour schemes tend to feature whites and neutrals heavily, with pastels mixed in:
This colour palette has some lovely ideas for accent colours that would work well:
Although, Cath Kidston designs use stronger, bolder colours:
Things to watch for when buying shabby chic wallpaper:
Thin paper – let’s face it, hanging wallpaper isn’t an easy job and it gets a whole lot harder when the paper is too thin! You’ll find it tears easily when you’re trying to trim it at the top and bottom of the wall or around plug and light sockets. Buy a good quality, thicker paper for decent results.
Pattern match – if the roll is 10 metres, don’t expect to get (for example) 4 times 2.5m out of it unless the pattern match is stated to be 0cm (e.g. for plain or striped paper). There are different types of pattern match to look for:
Straight match – this means the pattern matches across the width of the wallpaper. The label of the wallpaper will tell you how often the pattern repeats – for example, 53cm.
Offset match (or ‘half drop’) – this means the match is obtained by halving the repeat. For example a label might state a 53/26.5cm offset match. This means the design repeats every 53cm and the point at which they match from left to right is every 26.5cm.
Free match (or pattern match = 0cm) – this means there is no matching required. If you put strips of this wallpaper side by side, it will match no matter what the position. It is the easiest type of wallpaper to hang and it also means there is less wastage. You’ll find this match type on plain wallpaper and also usually on stripes, such as driftwood or cladding design (although check each item description carefully).
Unless the pattern match is ‘free match’ (or 0cm), you’ll need to budget in extra wallpaper to complete your job.
Source: Wallpaper Direct
Other ideas for wallcoverings:
Stencils can help you create a beautiful original design in the exact colour scheme you need for your room. This gorgeous damask stencil is a perfect example:
In the kitchen or a wet area, tiles are the obvious choice – here’s a lovely example of plain white tiles mixed in with different patterns to achieve that shabby chic ‘mix of designs’ look. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to retile, you could achieve this look on a plain white wall using a mix of tile transfers.
For small areas, a wall mosaic can make a stunning feature – perfect for little alcoves, or areas of broken plaster that need a repair. These can be made cheaply with broken plates and china. Here’s an idea for a shabby chic wall panel: