Romantic. Feminine. Soft. Memorable. Those are a few choice words that could easily describe the Shabby Chic Interior Design style that evolved during the 1980’s – and continues to be a trendy and fashionable means of decorating your home today.
According to “The World of Interiors” design magazine, an interior designer named Rachel Ashwell is credited for coining the Shabby Chic term – which caught on like wildfire in the designing community and beyond. The concept of the decorating “Shabby Chic” is a brief reflection of a refined French Interior Design with a splash of British Elegance thrown in for good measure – but it’s also a term that defines a generation of home owners who have a soft side for restoring and refinishing furniture pieces from eras gone by.
What’s New Is Old Again
We’ve all heard the adage; “what is old, is new again”, right? To put a Shabby Chic Design in perspective, the twist is that it also works the other way around – “what is new, can be made old again”. Shabby Chic combines the respect and love for vintage antique pieces that are time worn and distressed, with soft pastels, roses, and air of romance that unite in a clever, comfortable style that has earned the respect of the interior designing industry and home owners alike.
How Do You Shabby?
- Go On a Furniture Safari: Stop by the local flea market, second hand store or find an Estate sale in the neighborhood. You are on the hunt for older pieces with curved lines and an undeniable vintage flair. Shabby Chic furniture tends to be on the large side; comfortable, soft and inviting. For those that are creative; painting and stressing a furniture piece to reflect the time worn look achieve your end goal, as well.
- Colorize Softly: White is recommended for the walls as it’s subtle and provides the perfect backdrop to the layers of soft pastels that will be interwoven; pastel pink, light beige, egg shell blues and other romantic combinations bring the color scheme full circle. Shabby wallpaper – which incorporates a floral motif – can be found in most stores and would also work well as it will play into the vintage elegance of this design.
- Bring In The Fabrics: No rules to follow here as long as it compliments your decorating scheme overall. Consider softer fabrics that you might find in your Grandma’s attic, cotton, toiles, lace and chenille in beautiful prints, stripes, flowers or other patterns. Anything goes. Use fabrics for slip covers, arm chair covers, as well as for your Window Treatments.
- Accessorizing: There is a certain sparkle to be added to a Shabby Chic flair, consider a beautiful chandelier that dances on the ceiling when the sunlight hits it, or picture frames that glisten with silver or gold – just enough that it will catch your eye. Toss pillows made with a vintage fabric on the sofa, and use a timeless throw made of vintage materials. You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers in crystal vases or live green plants.
Although a Shabby Chic Design may have roots in Britain and France as it reflects an era of large and quaint country houses that scattered the countryside, it was really born only a few decades ago as sort of a counter-culture movement when expensive home decor became a fashion statement with the upper middle class.
Recycle, Restore, Re-purpose
Shabby Chic borders on being referred to as “art” as the furniture element can often come from recycling and restoring vintage pieces that have long been forgotten. It is a unique, clever and almost crafty means of bringing a romantic, softer side to your everyday living. A Shabby Chic Interior Designer can help you learn more about bringing this style into your home.
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