In this article we will talk about such a fashionable and popular trend in interior design as shabby chic or “shabby chic”. Consider what features and characteristics have allowed shabby chic to gain popularity among designers and homeowners in various countries of the world in a short time..
Shabby chic as a style of interior design originated in Great Britain in the 80s of the last century, so in comparison with classics, country and even hi-tech it is quite young. Literally, the name of this style is translated as “shabby chic”, which fully corresponds to its main features.
The founder of shabby chic was an Englishwoman, professional designer Rachel Ashwell. She came up with her new style by walking through flea markets and choosing decor items. The designer decided to oppose shabby chic to minimalism, which was gaining popularity at that time, which she considered an unsuitable option for decorating a cozy home..
Any room in the house can be decorated in shabby chic style. In this case, thanks to its use, a very cozy, nice kitchen turned out.
To get a better idea of the color scheme inherent in “shabby chic”, look at the paintings of the late Claude Monet. All these blurred colors, the absence of bright accents and contrasting combinations are used very widely in shabby chic..
The color scheme of this style is pastel, the most romantic shades, as if burnt out in the sun or washed out by streams of rain. The main colors are white and pink. Moreover, if white, then slightly yellowed from time to time, if pink, then as pale and delicate as possible.
This painting “The Grand Canal” of the late period of Claude Monet’s creativity perfectly demonstrates all the shades inherent in the style of shabby chic
In addition, the following shades are used in the shabby chic style:
- Creamy, milky, creamy.
- Pale lilac, lilac, purple.
- Pale blue.
- Light green.
As you can see, shabby chic has collected all the most neutral, but at the same time romantic shades, managed to avoid both bright colors and dullness at the same time. Thanks to this color scheme, the “shabby” interior will have a calming effect and evoke associations with the fabulous times of childhood..
Shabby chic furnishings are designed to help create a romantic, sentimental interior that should be associated with years of tradition and a conservative approach to room design..
So, a shabby chic finish is:
- For the walls, rough plaster can be used, wallpaper with faded floral or lace prints or smooth, under the fabric, just a plain color. Wallpaper in this style can also imitate cracked plaster or peeling paint from time to time. Wallpaper in a pale, weakly expressed cell or wide strip is also used.
- For flooring, you can use matte ceramic tiles, natural boards, parquet or laminate imitating aged wood..
- For finishing the ceiling, you can use such an achievement of modern technologies as a stretch ceiling, but always matte, of the appropriate shade. In addition, wood beams painted in a light color are used in the ceiling decoration. Stucco molding and cornices are required.
In this living room, wallpaper in a small flower is adjacent to simply painted plain walls.
Wooden beams on the ceiling can be called one of the striking characteristics of shabby chic.
In a style with such a self-explanatory name as “shabby chic”, furniture simply cannot be new and ultra-modern. Even if the piece of furniture is brand new, just bought in the salon, it should look like a real vintage..
Furniture in shabby chic style is wooden objects painted in light colors. Here a pot-bellied “grandmother’s” sideboard, a chest of drawers with a façade that has faded from time to time, a table with a tabletop painted white, but does not hide the texture of wood, antique Viennese chairs, a soft sofa with pale floral upholstery will certainly take its place.
You can not use leather furniture, too formal and cold, as well as shiny chrome parts. Do not get carried away with glass surfaces either – it is better to leave the glass for the sideboard or sideboard door, and not for the table top. But in shabby chic there is a lot of upholstered furniture with fabric upholstery – all kinds of ottomans and armchairs.
Antique items will fit perfectly into such an interior. If your modern coffee table looks too new, decorate its countertop using decoupage technique, I’ve already written how to do it. New chairs can be covered with linen or lace covers, a regular dining table with a matching tablecloth, and a knitted blanket can be thrown over the sofa.
Furniture in the shabby chic style is distinguished by smooth lines, diligently avoids sharp corners and even supposedly shabby by time looks luxurious and expensive, in contrast to items inherent in country country or Provence style.
Usually, shabby chic is dominated by very light furniture, simply painted in white, creamy or milky colors. In this bedroom, both the front of the dresser, the wrought-iron headboard and the playpen hide their texture under a layer of white paint. An exception was an old cabinet lurking in the corner.
That’s really something, but there are really a lot of shabby chic textile elements. When decorating this interior, one cannot do without such important details as light curtains, possibly thick curtains, tablecloths, napkins, pillows, bedspreads …
Basically, in the shabby chic style, natural fabrics are used – chintz, cotton, linen, wool, even burlap. Lace, knitted details are very widely used, embroidery is welcomed. Shabby chic curtains are usually complemented with lambrequins, ribbon garters are used, but fringe is not so often.
In addition, in this style, lampshades for lamps made of fabric are often found, and the pillows are decorated with an applique.
As for the colors of the textile elements, it is, of course, pastel-romantic, like all other details in this “shabby” interior. Whole greenhouses of plants can bloom on tablecloths and upholstered furniture, but usually the pattern is small and weak. Textiles can also be checked or striped, but geometric patterns are rare..
A tablecloth with delicate flowers, a cover with frills on an armchair, pillows on a sofa covered with a pale pink bedspread, lace capes on the seats of chairs – there are really a lot of textile elements in this room and they became the main details of the decor
For the first time, getting into a room decorated in the shabby chic style, the thought arises – “how many things are there!” Decorative elements in this design option play a very important role, you simply cannot do without them.
If you decide to decorate your “shabby” room, choose the following items:
- Don’t hide family photos – let them take their places on the shelves, bedside tables, living room wall. The frames can be chosen very different, but it is better – simple enough so as not to overload the room with details.
- Antique mantel clock that can be put on a shelf.
- Candlesticks and candelabra.
- All kinds of vases. Be sure to put a small bouquet of lilacs, delicate daisies, peonies or wildflowers in one of them. It is these flowers that are best suited to a romantic shabby chic interior..
- Scrapbooking albums.
- Paintings depicting pastoral landscapes. Embroidered paintings are also suitable – everything that is done with your own hands in this design style will definitely find its place.
- Antique telephones and other items “with history”, albeit not always appropriate, but evoking pleasant memories.
- Mirrors in traditional shabby frames.
- Numerous boxes decorated with ribbons, jewelry boxes and all sorts of little things.
- Dolls in vintage dresses.
- Glass and crystal dishes.
As for lighting, the “shabby chic” uses romantic bedside lamps, classic wall lamps and massive chandeliers with crystal trimmings and beads..
There are no particular restrictions on decorating a room in a shabby chic style, but remember that you can get carried away and turn a cozy living space into an antique shop. So don’t overdo it!
This room is an example of how easy it is to go overboard with a shabby chic room. As a result, the room looks like a real collection of antiques.
As the creator of this direction of interior design Rachel Ashwell herself noted, in order to decorate a room in a shabby chic style, you need:
- Throw away, sell, donate everything that is not currently used in the interior, does not fit into the “shabby chic” or is simply tired of freeing up space for new decor.
- Be sure to cover the existing furniture with light covers, which, if necessary, can be removed and washed.
- Paint all pieces of furniture and surfaces that were previously painted in shades corresponding to the style. To age too new things, tidy up the old a little, but not zealous.
- Get the items you need, such as a chandelier with crystal trimmings, an elegant coffee table, a rug and an antique mirror. Choosing such items at flea markets or furniture stores is an incredibly exciting experience.!
Shabby chic, despite its “shabby” and adherence to antiques, always looks unusually elegant. This luxurious living room is a prime example.
Of course, “shabby chic” is best suited for decorating the interior of a boudoir, a children’s room for young ladies, a bedroom for a romantic girl. This is, indeed, one of the most feminine design styles, but if you use only its individual elements, it is quite possible to decorate a room in which all family members will feel comfortable..