The words “shabby chic” seem to contradict each other but despite the sound of them, this is a decorating look that can really work. Just ask Rachel Ashwell who created the style of decorating and coined the term in the 1980s.The shabby chic theme was inspired by homes in Britain from the 1900s and up to the 1950s that were decorated in an understated yet still stylish manner that did not follow any particular theme. Worn furniture and antiques combined to give homes a look of comfort and simplicity. Think of how welcoming, warm and comforting your grandmother’s home was and you will then be able to get an idea of what shabby chic décor is all about.
What You Need for Shabby Chic Décor
If shabby chic décor appeals to you then you will need to balance out elegant pieces with pieces that are worn and old. You will need to mix and match rough old lace with softer throw rugs and mix painted wooden tables with accessories that are shiny silver.
What else will you need to do to complete the shabby chic look?
Delicate and Soft Colors
Shabby chic is not about bold colors at all. It is based on the concept of freshness and simplicity and for that reason it is centered around a color scheme of white or off-white. The white is then complemented by other soft and delicate colors such as pale pink, light grey, yellow and faded, mint green.
Old and Stained Fabrics
It is hard to imagine that an old or stained fabric could be in vogue but if you are talking about shabby chic then that is exactly the case! Look around your home to see what type of fabrics you have or troll vintage shops to find fabrics that have the look that you seek. Remember that shabby chic fabrics must have an aged look to them. No new fabrics will do! If you have fabrics that are too white for your tastes then mute them a bit by turning them into a softer and creamier white. If you must buy newer fabrics then you can gently stain them with a little bit of tea in order to make them look old and faded. It sounds strange but it works!
Paint Furniture White
Practically any piece of furniture can fit with the shabby chic look as long as it is painted white. Take a look around at the furniture you already own or do some shopping at flea markets and yard sales. Take the item and spray it with white paint. Then sand off any of the corners if they require it. If it is an older piece of furniture then it is likely that it will already have a few nicks and scratches. Now you have shabby chic furniture! Never downplay the importance of what a coat of paint can do for a chair, a bureau or a table.
Mix and Match Colors and Patterns
Mix up colors and patterns however you like. It is perfectly fine to combine florals, stripes and checks in order to bring about a warm and comforting look to a room. While you do not have to follow any specific rules about colors and patterns it is recommended that the background color is kept the same. Good choices for background colors include white, off-white, cream or ivory. Then choose one color to run through the rest of your fabrics such as a pale pink, a soft green or a light yellow.