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Interesting Facts You Should Know About Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic can turn the drab into beautiful, the old into 'new' - image from Shabby Chic can turn the drab into beautiful, the old into 'new'

Do You Love Shabby Chic? - Almost everywhere you look these days you see Shabby Chic in one form or another, from the smallest home decor items to large furniture up-cycling and restoration and even to homes that are extensively themed on the wonderfully inspiring Shabby Chic.

So what exactly is Shabby Chic?

Shabby chic is a look that takes relatively worn, antique furniture or vintage accessories and creates a visually appealing design to the eye of the beholder that is both elegant and popular. Their appearance is generally enhanced by painting and then lightly and carefully stripping back the paint by sanding or scrubbing the top layers, especially the edges to reveal the delicate features of the item. By creating this distressed look it is a beautiful way of transforming and bringing back to life a perhaps once dark or drab looking item so as to display it in a modern and fairly unique way. It must be noted however that it does take a certain degree of skill, because if over done the end result can be decidedly unattractive.

Colours other than white paint or glaze used in Shabby Chic are usually soft pastel colours such as pink, blue and green or any soft shade to create the trademark look of the shabby chic style. Of course, Shabby Chic is not to everyone’s personal taste but on the whole it does appeal to most people when used correctly.

The English dictionary definition correctly summarises Shabby Chic as ‘a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique' The following images show what can be achieved.


Where did Shabby Chic originate?

Shabby chic style had its beginnings in Great Britain back in the 1900’s when owners of country homes or estates suffered financial difficulty and had to ‘make do’ with the consequence that their furniture and other home contents faded and aged over time (becoming shabby). This shabby home decor ‘style’ however became popular in the 1980’s when the upper middle classes started to incorporate it into their interior designs by expressing it through their classically vintage furniture as a way of boasting that they had class and taste. In addition, hints from French-style interior design have also influenced the growing trend for Shabby Chic. Wikipedia  provides additional detail on the history.

The world of Shabby Chic style continues to grow in popularity and especially since the now popular trend of up-cycling has taken a firm hold. More and more people are experimenting by refurbishing second hand furniture pieces into attractive shabby chic ‘creations’ as an affordable way of refurnishing their homes. Of course, shabby chic is an ‘industry’ that now influences many other areas of our homes and lives. From decorative hanging hearts, refurbished jewellery and trinket boxes, picture frames, clocks and mirrors, the list is almost endless and it takes pride of place in our living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and even our garden and patio areas. Yes, the influence and attraction of Shabby Chic will definitely be around for some time yet.

More in this category: « How to Shabby Chic a Jewellery Box
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