Shabby Chic is a term used to describe a particular way to style and decorate your home. The term shabby chic (pronounced shabby “sheek”) was coined to outline characteristics of furnishings that have worn naturally over time, showing their age gracefully and having their own unique beauty and gracefulness in the imperfections they hold. The term also relates to new furniture and decorations that have been produced to deliberately look old, mimicking signs of wear and tear to create an almost antique-like look. The term can also be used to simply describe furniture and decoration from a past time, bearing the characteristics of a country style home or cottage theme.
Shabby chic allows for the subtle use of colour, soft textures, unfinished and distressed timber, iron and other period style décor, and it is often styled with a more feminine touch.
It is a great way to give a snug and comfortable air to your home, with the warmth of timber furniture and soft textiles creating a cosy atmosphere. Today we would like to show you some great examples of shabby chic, which may inspire you to move away from the often over-used and over-emphasised trend of sleek modern design and minimal interiors.
When designing in shabby chic, white should be your staple colour of choice. Of course the subtle use of colours can be added, but white should be your mainstay, no matter which room you opt to design in this way. This elegant sideboard with coat hangers has been given a fresh coat of unpolished pale white paint, in keeping with its antique style, but without showing any signs of its age. A beautifully styled entrance to greet you into your home with a warm welcome.
One often used characteristic of shabby chic is unpolished timber, adding character to the furnishings, letting the signs of use be visible and allowing its story and history to be told. Unlike the timber sideboard shown above, this 20th century cupboard highlights its past, rather than being given a new life with fresh paint. Here you can see the previous lives of the cupboard, sanding back any remnants of the last coat of paint to reveal the pale blues of its previous life. Leaving it unfinished will only allow the timber to show more signs of wear, adding even more character over time.
Trying to look a little like how you may remember Grandma's house from your childhood, we love this bedroom décor, fitting perfectly within the shabby chic motif. A bright white space, the timber furniture, white linens, patterned quilt cover, and antique bedhead are all reminiscent of shabby chic design. Shabby chic can often feel busy, and maybe even cluttered, but this bedroom is styled perfectly to give that cottage feel without the need for lots of decorations.
Another great room to decorate in shabby chic furnishings is the kitchen. The kitchens of past centuries, the periods shabby chic likes to imitate, were very different places from the kitchens of today. No electricity meant no modern appliances, leading to many more hours spent in the kitchen preparing the meals for the family. Modern kitchens are a much more pleasant place to prepare food, with appliances and other utensils allowing cooking to be more fun, rather than a chore. This alluring kitchen is in keeping with shabby chic, with the use of timber throughout, which is often left exposed or painted in soft pastels or off whites. Notice in the corner the mid-century style fridge, a modern fridge mimicking a classic design.
Shabby chic is undoubtedly a feminine interior design style. Soft pastel linens should be abundant in a shabby chic bedroom, and the same goes when styling a dining setting. Pretty pink tones, set upon antique furniture, with bread baskets and freshly picked flowers are all typical of the shabby chic theme. What a great place to sit and enjoy a morning cup of tea with a friend, sharing breads, scones and other delightful treats.