Shabby chic is an interior design style where furniture and furnishings are either selected for their signs of wear and appearance of age or where new items are distressed to create an antique appearance.
What is shabby chic?
Shabby chic furniture pieces are usually heavily painted and re-painted through the years, with different layers showing through obviously time-worn areas. The style is re-created in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away to show the wood or base coats, known as “distressing” the finish of the furniture. Furniture pieces that are not original antiques or vintages are generally selected for their similarities to older furniture designs, and can be reproduction furniture with a finish that was purposely distressed. Vintage motifs may also be added.
Fabrics tend to be cottons as well as linens, with linen being especially popular, enforced by vintage French linens. Worn or bleached out pastel colours and pure whites are preferred. Fabric is usually stained with tea to grant it the look of vintage fabric. Bleached and faded are terms often applied to the style. Old floral patterns with pastel colors, linen in earth shades or cotton-ticking patterns are definitely typical components of the shabby chic style.
Antique pieces like pie safes as well as jelly cupboards are very notorious in shabby chic decor ideas. Along with white, the shabby chic style also involves soft neutral tones like rose pink, beige and sky blue colors. Hints from French-style home design usually show in shabby chic interiors like Rococo-style lighting fixtures, wall paneling or furniture.
The shabby chic style is also expanding to the garden, with the equivalent design ideas of utilizing timeworn and vintage garden furniture. Roses gardens are notorious with the shabby chic style of decor.
Other very popular decor elements are pillows made of old bark-cloth fabric, chenille bedspreads, vintage linens, antique chandeliers, as well as anything with roses in the design. It is a gentle, relaxed, romantic style of decorating that looks cozy and appealing.
How Shabby Chic decorating began?
Shabby Chic style first started in England and evokes the kind of decoration found in vast country residences where there are faded and worn vintage sofas and curtains, old paintwork and unassuming ‘excellent’ taste. The final result of shabby chic decorating is to create an elegant overall effect, as opposed to the cute Pop-Victorian. Recycling aged fabrics and furniture is an important part of the design and was specially notorious with contemporary Bohemians and artisans that built up a sidelined counter-culture movement all along the 1980s when costly quality decor became very “in vogue” with the upper and middle classes. The first shabby chic interiors were often considered in themselves works of art.
The early shabby chic decorating interiors were rather grand but the style has evolved retrieving inspiration from numerous forms of decoration.
Some derivations to shabby chic style:
• Gustavian (Swedish)
• French country
• Beach cottage chic
• Cottage chic