Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic originated in the 18th century, but only coined “shabby chic” in the 1980s. This interior style initiated in Britain as a means for the upper middle class to copy an aesthetic present in grand and opulent country houses. Most of these homes had been in the family for many years. The furniture in these extravagant dwellings are antiqued and dated because they were passed down from one generation to the next.

Shabby chic is a comfortable, laid back beautifying style with a look that uses vintage accessories, pastels, and comfy furniture. This interior trend is no particular style but rather balances trendy things with old and worn, shiny silver accessories with painted wooden furniture, soft throw blankets with rough old lace. 

This look is one that brings elaborate and clutter (carefully controlled disorder) together. Circumvent the messy and chaotic look by designating a place for each piece of décor and accessory you choose to display. If you can take an inventory of what’s on display, it will be easier to escape the disorderly look.

Shabby Chic
Architecture Arts Designs

Are you ready to start with your stunning Shabby Chic interior? Follow these 8 basic steps to get the look in your home.

  1. Soft Colors– It can be easy to want to incorporate pops of bright hues whenever possible, but this design scheme really is all about neutrals. When it comes to color in Shabby Chic, “less is more” is the rule for this style. Anything heavier than white or light beige can make for a hectic palette, while subdued neutrals provide a clean canvas. Of course, lots of washed-out pastels are seen on cozy fabrics.

2. Distressed Finishes– Patina is the name of the game when you are looking for furniture or accent pieces. Make sure to find wooden detailing with a worn-out finish. A little distressing can go a long way when you find a lustrous mirror, aluminum pot for plants or even a silver vase.

3. Shiny Details– Pair silvers with silvers and golds with golds. Nothing brings out the theme of shabby chic more than a touch of shine; add in a couple of stainless steel bowls or silver trays for a look of classiness. Hints of gleam are what you are aiming for.

Shabby Chic
Decor Aid

4. Light & Neutral Color on the Walls– It is essential to start with a neutral base on your walls because Shabby Chic interior designs are known for furniture and accessories packed full of character and personality. Light stormy grey, off-white, white and tones of beige make the best backdrop.

5. Look for Vintage Furniture– Seek out vintage pieces of furniture, but hunt for ones with personality. Don’t be afraid to mix furnishings. Try not to find all the pieces in the same patinas, colors and styles, or from the same era. Ideally look for pieces with some distressing or chipping.

6. White Linen is Your Best Friend– Go for furniture such as sofas and club chairs done in white linen which will emphasize the clean and crisp look that is the hallmark of Shabby Chic. Crease-free fabric will give a more proper appearance to a room while soft pima cotton and organic textures will have a soft, comfortable appeal.

Shabby Chic

7. Go for the Flower Print- To achieve the romantic look, (which is a must-have for Shabby Chic) pick out floral patterns for fabrics. This interior style needs a floral theme placed somewhere within the scheme. If need be add a vase of beautiful fresh flowers.

8. Add the Feminine Touches– Shabby chic is all about delicate feminine appearances. Add a curvy mirror painted in gold and a small, sparkly chandelier will make a sweet statement. Pleated “skirts” on chair cushions can soften the look on harsh looking furniture. Adding pastel colored fabrics within a room can add a soft and pretty look.

The rustic furniture, vintage décor and layers of comforting materials make Shabby Chic a timeless design style which is loved by many. Some people start by decorating a guest bedroom but soon find they want to dress up the entire home in this interior theme. Let me know if you have tried this style within your home and what you think about it.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Donna Poole

    I like this shabby chic! It looks so warm and cozy!

    1. Kimmothy

      Donna, yes the Shabby Chic look is very warm and cozy. It has almost a fairy tale look to it.

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