Comfort, the beauty of imperfection, the charm of time-worn objects, combined with the pleasure of a simple and practical life: these are the foundations of what we know today as the Shabby Chic style.
In England, in the 80’s, a style of furniture was born that was destined to become very popular and always at the forefront of the major trends in interior design. Shabby Chic literally means a shabby, inhabited and abandoned style. Furnishing in the Shabby style actually implies a continuous attention to small details. From the very beginning, this trend in furniture has focused on the recovery of antique objects, which are then subjected to restoration work to give them that lively and fascinating look. Every corner of the house is marked by pieces of history, which still have much to tell.
How to furnish your home in the Shabby Chic style : choice of colors and materials
The colors that characterize the Shabby Chic furnishings are light, pastel tones such as beige, ivory, light gray and white. A touch of powder pink, sugar paper blue and mint green is preferable here and there to revive the white tones.
The materials used are wood and linen, possibly in the washed white version. The painting of Shabby Chic furniture does not have to be perfect, but it must give this particular sense of vintage. Country and Provençal inspirations are elements present in any Shabby Chic home, but be careful not to exaggerate: you could go beyond the rustic style.
In the choice of furnishing elements, it is important to take into account the difference between styles, so as not to create confusion. Shabby chic style furniture does not have a particular and defined shape, but “only” a vintage look, given by the technique of “stripping” and imperfect painting. Provençal style furniture, on the other hand, is distinguished by its soft, rounded lines and a more intense color palette, with the presence of lavender and blue.
Shabby Chic interior : the old style in the kitchen and bedroom
The domain of this ancient style is the kitchen. All the elements of Shabby Chic are best concentrated in this domestic environment. It starts from the table, which must be round and strictly made of wood in order to respect the canons of the type of furniture. The chairs can be made of the same material, or you can opt for the “bistro chairs”, with the elegant straw seat.
One thing everyone agrees on when it comes to furnishing a kitchen in the Shabby Chic style: the sideboard. This element should never be missing. Whether high or low, open or closed, the sideboard must be there, with its inevitable showcase to display plates and glasses.
In any self-respecting vintage room, everything must be marked by romanticism. The absolute protagonist of the environment is the bed, to be preferred in the large and comfortable versions. A particularly high mattress, like those of the past, resting on a base, raised from the floor, made of wood, wrought iron or upholstered.
Special attention must be paid to the headboard, usually combined with the structure, but in this style it can also be customized to your taste. In many examples of Shabby Chic furniture, the headboard is made from pieces of antique furniture. In all cases, in order to respect the “antique” style, the most appropriate bed for the Shabby Chic is the four-poster bed or the one with a draped bed canopy that reminds us of the country world.
Chest of drawers and dressing table are the furnishings that complete the antique bedroom. A real must is the dressing table with mirror, which reminds us of the rooms of yesteryear, where women used to spend hours getting ready by sitting in front of the mirror before going out, or by combing their long hair before going to bed.
Shabby Chic objects and decorations : fabrics, materials and crafts
When you choose Shabby Chic linens, you can focus on textiles. More or less raw cotton and soft silk for sheets, blankets and bedspreads, but also for pillows, table runners and decorative plaids. Here and there, you can’t miss a touch of precious macramé lace to complete the pieces impeccably.
Shabby Chic curtains with their delicate patterns and subtle shades are a must have: floral patterns, foliage and natural prints, two-tone stripes, hearts, polka dots and elegant decorative finishes such as trimmings and embroidery. Among the materials most used for the manufacture of glass curtains, it is best to opt for fresh and natural materials such as linen, cotton and silk.
For accessories, imagination is free. The absolute stars of the Shabby Chic style are the cushions, with a country touch. Shelves in the kitchen to accommodate antique porcelain services, odd plates and dishes decorated with floral motifs. Pewter utensils are also very present. Small watering cans become chic vases full of flowers in delicate tones, such as hydrangeas and lavender. Beyond any rule dictated by style, it is the do-it-yourself furnishings that make the difference. Shabby Chic lovers? get out of the attic all the old stuff from your mothers and grandmothers that you think would have no place in your modern home. With a little cutting and a lot of patience, they will become precious allies for the realization of perfect Shabby Chic furniture.