How to furnish your interior in a chic shabby style… Without regretting it after a short time!
Shabby chic, a word quite used today in terms of furniture. Or perhaps it would be better to say abused …
Yes, because not everyone knows exactly what they identify and is often associated with a chest of drawers, a table or a cupboard even if this furniture has nothing to do with the shabby chic style.
Shabby chic style : the meaning
To understand what we are talking about, let’s start right away from the meaning of the word:
Shabby is an English term meaning worn out, neglected, worn out, while chic is its exact opposite.
Shabby chic therefore literally means Spoiled Elegant: already from the name, you can understand some characteristics of the furnishing style.
The first time the term shabby chic appeared in the furniture world was in the now distant 1980s on the pages of The World of Interiors magazine, and from then on it has been talked about continuously.
But why spoiled elegant?
The answer is simple, because the shabby chic style of furniture is characterized by extremely elegant furniture, with classic and refined shapes, inlaid, but their paint seems ruined, worn, with the edges often of living wood.
But be careful! We said that this appears, which means that this is really not the case.
It would be more accurate to say maybe “with a worn effect finish”.
So it’s a rather definite style, in addition to the shapes and type of finishes, even the shades and colors must follow certain requirements.
The elements that characterize the shabby chic style are:
- never bright colors, but soft colors that revolve around shades of white (however numerous they may be).
- many details in fabric, cotton and linen on all of them
- objects with an antique look, or really vintage and romantic flavor: candles and candelabras, frames and mirrors.
- furniture and accessories that follow the Victorian style.
How to furnish your home in a shabby style
Unlike many other fashionable projects, shabby chic is a timeless style.
If to furnish in other styles, vintage for example, the watchword is freedom – always with good taste in mind – to furnish a house in a shabby chic style, you must follow very precise rules, first of all: coherence!
Chic shabby colors for furniture and walls
The main color of the shabby chic style of furniture is white.
If you wish to furnish your interior in a shabby chic style, avoid strong color contrasts, vary by playing with soft shades such as ivory, beige, dove grey or grey.
Don’t forget the other fundamental characteristic of colors: strictly pastel shades!
But beware: furnishing your home in this style is not at all simple, as you risk creating very disgusting or visually flat environments.
Shabby chic fabrics
The shabby chic fabrics par excellence are linen and cotton, but always chosen in the spectrum of chromatic shades seen above.
The shabby chic style of the furniture reminds a romantic atmosphere and, precisely for this reason, it is important to welcome lace: also in this case, the most difficult is to maintain the right balance.
To further intensify the romantic atmosphere, next to the roughest sheets and cottons, you can insert – with care – more refined details in satin or silk.
Here too, the design of the piece of furniture plays on a fine thread: the individual elements must be well balanced to achieve a harmonious result.
Furniture and objects of shabby chic style : how to choose them ?
It is often said that shabby chic furniture is a very cheap type of furniture because it is made with reclaimed and stripped furniture.
Of course, inserting details from a family attic into the furniture rooms is considered, but one should not fill the whole house in this way!
Remember what we said above: coherence and elegance!
Old objects taken at random from the basement of grandparents and uncles can be made similar by painting them in the same style, but several pieces of furniture with different cuts, with different decorations assembled in a room will never look good.
Shabby chic style objects and furnishing accessories
Thanks to the great and lasting success that has overwhelmed it, shabby chic furniture is perhaps the style for which it is possible to find the widest range of objects and furnishing accessories .
We have already talked about linen: in addition to sheets, curtains and tablecloths, enrich your shabby chic rooms or living rooms with stylish pillows and blankets.
Getting carried away by bird cages with plants inside, lanterns, candles, laundry baskets and wicker baskets is easy, but be careful not to turn the house into the set of a fantastic movie …
With shabby chic objects, there is only to please oneself but it is essential not to overdo it.
In this style in particular, the line that separates the elegant from the pantyhose is really subtle!
Combine modern furniture with shabby chic style
If someone tells you that decorating in a shabby chic style means taking antique furniture to give your home a vintage look, follow this advice:
Nod and pretend it never happened.
It’s not absolutely true!
It is partly correct to say that shabby chic style furniture can also be made up of antique furniture that has been given the typical look of the genre, but it is also true that this is not a fixed and above all generalized rule.
The true shabby chic, the one with an elegant and refined look, can only be obtained by buying furniture designed and manufactured especially for this purpose!
It is not easy but it is always possible, and above all of great effect, to combine some of the typical precepts of shabby chic with some of the most contemporary styles of furniture.
Of course, you have to make sure that the keyword remains white anyway.
Lots of white, but not only white.
Perhaps more than in other cases, for a shabby chic style furniture, using the help and experience of a professional is the best choice to fill your rooms with harmony.
The most modern furnishing styles are increasingly linear, thin and unadorned.
On the contrary, the typical shabby furniture is very worked, with rounded forms, far from simplicity, rich in engravings and decorations.
By carefully choosing each element, it is possible to obtain excellent results by combining the two schools of thought.
With the professional touch, the result will be incredible!
You don’t need to be careful only in the choice of furniture, but also on the possible combinations of colors that can go beyond the classic total white typical of Shabby, which, in the long run, could dampen enthusiasm and become boring and heavy.
Pure shabby chic is not for everyone!
But if it fascinates you, you can get help integrating certain details into more immediate solutions.
One of the greatest advantages of shabby chic, in fact, is its timelessness: shabby furniture can go well with the most modern.
Are Shabby chic and Provencal style the same thing ?
A lot of confusion has arisen around the shabby chic style: it is often confused with the Provencal style, as if the two terms were synonymous.
In reality, the Provençal style is close to shabby, but also has substantial differences.
Provençal style furniture is not marinated and has a greater variety of colors: natural wood meets pastel shades such as green, blue, pink, combined with the purple of lavender.
Here too, white can be professional, but the wood grain appears just below the color, in a natural way, without the aged effect typical of the shabby chic style.
In addition, the Provencal style is distinguished by the extensive use of wrought iron .
Shabby chic furniture: the mistakes not to be made
When you choose to furnish your home in a shabby chic style, there is one very important thing to keep in mind:
you are furnishing the house you need and want to live in, you are not going to fill the pages of a catalog or a magazine, so don’t overdo it!
Consistency is the key to a perfect shabby chic decor.
Combining a shabby buffet with an industrial table, if done with some sensitivity, can work, even very well.
But if that same buffet is placed next to a 50s look kitchen or a 70s sofa, the result will certainly not be as pleasant.
Pay attention to the variety of colors:
shabby chic is characterized by pastel tones, but too many pinks, blues and greens will turn your house into a candy box!
Freedom on objects and furniture but not too much, you don’t create a mess!
Too many objects and trinkets lead to one result: a heavy and suffocating environment.
Furniture with an antique effect is welcome, otherwise it wouldn’t be Shabby, but filling the whole house will give a disgusting effect.
White yes, but not too much! In addition to the taste, your eyes could also be affected!
Lighting is as important as the choice of furniture: shabby chic style and cold or neon lights are a waste, the mortification of the genre. Warm or neutral lights are ideal.
Is a shabby chic furniture project better or more modern ?
Now that you know all the elements that define the shabby chic style, you are probably wondering how to do it inside your home.
Know that it is a style of great charm (certainly a shabby house is a warmer house than a hypermodern house), which however also imposes some constraints.
Compared to modern furniture, for example, shabby chic furniture is on average less spacious than larger, more modern storage furniture.
A deconstructed house, i.e. a house with many small separate pieces of furniture, is certainly fascinating, but also less spacious.
In addition, the treated wood and uneven surfaces of furniture in poor condition make it more difficult to clean, requiring more time and attention.
In addition to evaluating the aesthetics, therefore, for your furniture project, you will also need to understand if the shabby chic style fits your needs and your daily life .
Taking into account all the important aspects for an objective evaluation is difficult: that’s why it happens so often that you choose a piece of furniture and regret it after a short time!
The objective of the 12 phases of the Living System is precisely to help you define your priorities and needs, harmonizing them with your aesthetic tastes, to create the perfect furniture for you.
Along the way, we explain all the pros and cons of each project, so that you can make truly informed decisions.
We put you in front of all the possibilities and give you all the tools you need to make informed choices.
Because there is no perfect project, but there is the perfect project for every person or family.
If you want to avoid making mistakes that you will regret in a short time, start immediately on the right foot by taking advantage of the Housing Diagnosis, an in-depth meeting during which we will analyze all your needs, tastes, way of living at home and your real needs.