EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHABBY CHIC
Boasting an enviably chic, I-woke-up-like-this-vibe, shabby chic interiors and shabby chic furniture can be a little intimidating to try one’s hand at. But when equipped with a few tricks of the trade, we promise, the ruffled-but-not-too-ruffled look is incredibly easy to master. So, if you dream in shades of whitewashed white, think crystal chandeliers are game for every room in the house, and are partial to believing that everything looks better with a slip cover, read on! We’ll show you the ins and outs of shabby chic décor and nailing the look.
5 ELEMENTS OF SHABBY CHIC STYLE
Whether you crave a full-on shabby chic love shack or just a shabby chic bedroom or shabby chic kitchen, here are five easy ways to achieve the look. Mix and match from the list below to get the romantic and artfully rumpled look!
If you’re among those who thinks the color white errs on the side of “safe” or even worse, “sterile,” think again. When used in a shabby chic bedroom or shabby chic living room, white transcends its normal connotations of a yawn-worthy neutral, and instead feels fresh and, get ready—warm. The key to luring out the avant-garde side of white? Use it in excess. White walls and whitewashed floors set a prime stage for shabby chic décor, allowing the style’s signature details—like floral-pecked prints and gracefully-draped upholstery—to take center stage. If you love the idea of going white-on-white, but can’t help thinking an all-white shabby chic living room would regulate you and your family to year-round outdoor living (and possibly hazmat suits), try opting for a monochromatic palette in another mum (but slightly pigmented) color like foggy gray or blush.
Florals, Chintz & Ruffles
At its core, shabby chic décor and shabby chic furniture work to evoke a sense of faded elegance—think of it as the equivalent of a basket full of white, sun-faded laundry hung on a line. In real life, the romance of these objects can be emulated with layers (and we do mean layers) of fabric. Some easy ways to work it in? Opt for shabby chic décor like floor-to-ceiling curtains whenever possible, looking for romantic materials eyelet lace or stone-washed linen. In a shabby chic bedroom, pile the bed high with more of the same (a literal interpretation of cloud 9 should be your aim) and don’t forget a bed skirt. In a shabby chic living room or bathroom, don’t be afraid of wallpaper. Break it up with picture moulding on the bottom half if you have reservations, though.
When it comes to new and vintage shabby chic furniture, upholstery pieces tend to assume large, roll-arm silhouettes, while case pieces and tables lean towards slenderer French Provincial or shaker styles. You might think the flowery French style or simple shaker style would be upstaged by oversized seating, but because these pieces are often slipcovered, they manage to deflect attention. That said, to prevent your upholstered shabby chic furniture from feeling too much like an anomaly, try working in other large-scale architectural elements for balance. Whether it be an ornate fretwork screen (you’d be surprised how well a Moroccan screen painted white works here), an oversized birdcage chandelier, or a double-wide floor-to-ceiling mirror, these oversized elements will anchor your seating and lend a theatrical flair.
The easiest shabby chic decorating idea, ever? Take your furniture and paint it. While some will maintain that shabby chic furniture is purely French in style, we think virtually any dresser can be rendered a shabby chic dresser with a coat of paint. For a shabby chic kitchen, paint several furniture pieces (such as a dining table and a cast of ramshackle chairs) and try a rough-hewn distressing technique to further unite the pieces. Will the effect rival a brand-new designer set? No, but it will look equal parts synchronized and carefree—which when you think about it, is the shabby chic mantra in a nutshell. Although it probably goes without saying, try to stick to light and airy shabby chic paint colors, which won’t weigh down your room.
Shabby chic accessories have the job of imbuing a room with personalization without adding too much noise. To do this, try rounding out your space with collectable items like colored bottles, cloth-bound books, or miniature oil paintings. Group like-minded items in small vignettes to maximize their impact, and don’t get too focused on the placement—there’s something about shabby chic style that makes “strewn about” a perfectly acceptable adjective for once.
- Shabby Chic Dressers and Chests of Drawers
- Shabby Chic Ottomans and Footstools
- Shabby Chic Dining Chairs
- Shabby Chic Beds
- Shabby Chic Benches
- Shabby Chic Storage Cabinets and Cupboards
- Shabby Chic Shelving
- Shabby Chic China and Display Cabinets
- Shabby Chic Desks
- Shabby Chic Credenzas and Sideboards
- Shabby Chic Nightstands
- Shabby Chic Headboards
- Shabby Chic Sofas
- Shabby Chic Dining Tables
- Shabby Chic Coffee Tables
- Shabby Chic Lamp Shades
- Shabby Chic Trunks and Chests
- Shabby Chic Suitcases
- Shabby Chic Armoires Wardrobes and Linen Presses
- Shabby Chic Dining Sets
- Shabby Chic Soap Dishes and Dispensers
- Shabby Chic Towel Bars
- Shabby Chic Candle Accessories
- Shabby Chic Salt Cellars
- Shabby Chic Outdoor Benches