When shabby chic invades your home – tips and 52 charming decor examples
What does shabby chic make you think of? As for me, the first thing that comes to mind is “Alice in Wonderland”. So, when I discover these pompous homes of yesteryear on the pages of magazines, I would like to transport myself to this magical universe that seems to be out of this world. Yes, trips to the distant lands of the imagination, I love them! But finally, why not materialize my dreams of wonderful interiors. If you are a shabby chic lover like me, stay on this page because I will show you the panoply of tips for adopting this style in your interior. And trust me, you’re not even going to need a magic wand.
What is shabby chic and where did the idea come from?
In order to define the shabby chic style, it suffices to explain the words that make up this term. The word shabby which means “worn out” characterizes the style which draws its inspiration from the vintage tradition. Chic, on the other hand, refers to the majestic side of this style which has the property of giving the faded a pretentious aspect which often borders on kitsch. Originating in the 80s, shabby chic finds its origins in cottage-type houses, characteristic of the English countryside. However, it was in the United States that the style was able to unfold its potential, popularized by designer Rachel Ashwell. Soon, we see the new aesthetic spread to Los Angeles and San Francisco and thereafter – the whole world. The Mediterranean style, as it occurs in France and Italy, as well as the French country chic style and the Baroque then become a main source of inspiration.
The play of colors – a subtle mix of colors
As far as colors are concerned, there we focus on light tones which give a cocooning feeling. White is the real star of shabby chic decor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean uniformity. Next to white, we often see pastel appear, breaking up the monotony, while bringing a touch of softness. Among these, blue, green, yellow and pink are the most present. On the other hand, we do not recommend bright colors, even too energetic, which are incompatible with the shabby chic aesthetic. In general, the walls are repainted with the colors already mentioned and especially in white. But apart from the latter, we also quite often see walls dressed in splendid wallpaper and always with floral prints.
The choice of furniture – the triumph of retro
Vintage – this is the word that will guide your choice of furniture to furnish the room of your dreams. Old furniture that carries with it the nostalgia of the past is a main feature of this decorative style. But where do you get them from?… Several answers to this question! The first option is to consult the ranges of shabby chic furniture offered by online stores. You will find quite a few suggestions that represent real masterpieces, made with particular attention to detail.
However, this first alternative could prove to be a little too expensive. This is why the second piece of advice we could give you is to go and search flea markets and garage sales. You can come across real antique finds there. Or how long has it been since you visited your grandmother? Its attic probably hides some forgotten treasures… an old cupboard, a dresser or perhaps a chest of drawers. Thus, you will kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you will not invest even a penny and secondly, you will participate in the transmission and preservation of family memory.
Except that if you decide to opt for this second option, you must be ready to invest the effort to breathe new life into the furniture in order to adapt it to the rest of the decor. Yes, it is true that sometimes it is better to keep the piece of furniture as it is at the risk of detracting from its antique charm, but if you find it in a catastrophic state, it is better to act. A good sanding, a coat of white paint (or pastel color paint) and then some patina. That’s all you need to do to bring that aged look back to your antique.
To achieve the patina, once the paint is dry, sand with abrasive paper the surfaces that are generally the most exposed to wear. We are mainly talking about edges, angles and moldings. In this way, you will make the wood appear in places, which will naturally bring the expected aged appearance. Indeed, you can obtain the same effect, by passing a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol over it.
Otherwise, another characteristic feature of the shabby chic style is the tendency to dress furniture in slipcovers. They are most often seen covering sofas and chairs, but of course you can cover other furniture with them as well.
The choice of materials and materials – refined textiles with cheerful patterns and wood in all its splendor
The materials should be natural and create a warm and welcoming feeling. For this reason, cotton, linen and muslin are a fairly common choice. The prints are often floral or striped. Pretty floral sofas are very present in shabby chic living rooms, while in the bedroom, they are replaced by floral bed linen. Be careful, however, not to overuse the floral element. For example, if you decide on several types of floral prints, make sure that only one of them is large. The others – must sport a rather minimalist look.
When it comes to materials, wood is the clear favourite. In rather light shades, wood gives a warm appearance to the home. The use of metal is also quite common, but be careful because the effect created is rather industrial.
The small details and decorative accessories that will transform your room into a cocoon space
The choice of accessories you choose to decorate your home will largely depend on the concrete atmosphere you want to create. If, for example, you want the furnished space to exude country chic style, you will focus on the beautiful flower arrangements of fresh flowers, lace decorations, crystal and candles. On the other hand, the shabby seaside style is characterized by the omnipresence of pastel blue, water lanterns and decorations with shells for example. Whatever it is, flowers must necessarily be present. They are a source of freshness and irresistible charm.