Home Decorating & Inspirations

The Shabby Chic Attraction … not too ‘shabby’ at all!!

The Shabby Chic Attraction … not too ‘shabby’ at all!!

Shabby Chic

What does the word ‘shabby’ bring to your mind? Well once upon a time the word ‘shabby’ probably wouldn’t have been associated with anything nice but since some genius paired the words shabby and chic together you get a whole different reaction 🙂

Shabby Chic is what I would consider a ‘style’ that can be seen in interior design and decor and I have to say when it is done well it is up there with some of my favourite styles, as I feel it showcases an old world charm without appearing too ‘grannyish’ haha.  The Shabby Chic style is made up of the use of furniture, furnishings and decor that carries the appearance of age and wear and tear, old or vintage items that show their age are perfect for this style. That being said however even new items can be placed in the shabby chic category, these are usually items that carry a resemblance of an older style (such as reproductions etc) that are made to look aged through a faux finish and artificial ageing or distressing. Thus this style can be versatile, as both old or new pieces can be made to look shabby so to speak.

Shabby chic however doesn’t just apply to furniture; the actually Shabby Chic style can be incorporated in interior design through the use of fabrics, wall papers, furnishing and choice of decor.  Your typical Shabby Chic fabrics tend to be cotton and linens that are inspired by older styles, in particular French linens, no wonder they are so popular. The Shabby Chic colour palette consists of whites, creams, neutrals and muted colour tones such as washed out and pastel colours, which tend to feature a lot in both the fabric and furnishings, including some elegant floral patterns, cotton ticking patterns or earth tones which are a few of the many ways to achieve the desired look. Vintage floral patterns usually feature muted and washed out colours that appear aged or even faded and these tend to be among some of the most effective ways of showcasing the Shabby Chic look. Some of the wonderful fabrics are paired with dainty lace trims which add elegance and depth.  

Antique pieces or their modern replicas that are popular choices in shabby chic decor and design are pieces such as meat safes,  peacock cane chairs and furniture that tends to be heavily painted and aged or distressed creating an old world charm. Fixtures such as vintage chandeliers or Rococo style lighting and even wall panelling and patterned wall papers are all effective ways of achieving this style. The shabby chic look is not confined to the home however, it can be applied to the garden through used of timeworn garden furniture and accessories and the right colour palette in the choice of flowers with roses being particularly popular.

Shabby chic can also be applied to decor, featuring the typical colours or even distressed finishing including lovely fabric window coverings, bed spreads, cushions or throws, old vintage jars and tins, washed out or dry brushed cane ware such as baskets, wicker hearts etc . You can even apply the principals of this style to stationary through your choice of patterned papers and colours. Use the elegance of the Shabby Chic style in the planning of parties and events such as high teas, weddings or garden parties by incorporating some wonderful shabby fabrics or patterns in the use of invitations,  bunting flag banners, table coverings, napkins, serviettes, paper straws, cup cake wrappers and even pastel icings on cakes etc. A great array of vintage crockery including the use of a mismatched or ‘crazy’ tea set and floral cake plates can be another way to add a little shabby elegance to your parties. The possibilities are endless.

Shabby party

Shabby Chic is a great style that can be achieved even for those on a budget, pieces don’t have to match and can be picked up from flea markets, garage sales or second hand shops. Distressed pieces are great if you have small children running around and knocking the furniture because those marks just tend to blend in with your furniture rather than standing out. If you want some stand out pieces of furniture but don’t want to spend a small fortune on the modern manufactured replicas, there are some awesome pieces available through small businesses that upcycle old furniture in these styles. It’s great that you can pair a modern or new room with aspects from the Shabby Chic look and add a great softness, warmth and elegance to your home and with the right choices and a little imagination you will find that this look really is not too shabby after all 🙂

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