It might be easier to tell you what this style of decorating is not. It's not clutter and filling every square inch with "stuff." The original Shabby Chic Style was a brain child of Rachel Ashwell and was completely clutter-free, to the point of being almost bare. It relied on "found" objects and furniture and simplicity.
Somehow or another this has morphed into some sort of hybrid combination of Country French, Victorian, and only the good Lord knows what else.
I've actually seen worse than the picture below, which is enough to make your eyes bleed and your nose run from the dust that is no doubt trapped in the folds of all that fabric.
Warning: Scary picture. If you suffer from asthma, DO NOT LOOK!
The pictures that follow more closely resemble what Rachel had in mind. There is a calmness to the rooms. This style lends itself to many color schemes, not just white or gray.
Notice no sofa in the room above? Interesting...
I would have to move that curvy little table to the side of the sofa (where I suspect it usually lives when the room is not being "staged" for a photo.) It is quite similar to my table that is on its way to a date with a can of paint!
I love this kitchen eating and prep area above. I think it is a close to perfection as you can get. (MM - you must admit the table has a sense of history and charm. It wouldn't look right with a fresh coat of paint.)
In this room I would have to switch out those armless chairs for similar ones with arms. They simply do not look comfortable.