WHAT IS SHABBY CHIC STYLE? A EVERGREEN!

Howdy folks! Have you ever wondered: what is Shabby Chic Style? Well, if not, do it now. In fact, today we’re gonna talk about this very trendy Interior Design decor, which combines cozy and elegance.

Do not be fooled by the name, by the way, because the overall effect is not unkempt at all. Actually, it is very accurate in details!

In fact, a proper Shabby Chic Style, means your furniture and furnishing accessories show a lived, old-fashioned look. That’s the way you can find traces of time in them, even if they are not necessarily authentic. The thing is these traces must be well simulated and purposely created to show their characteristic light colors. That’s what is Shabby Chic Style all about… White colors, rather pastel colors, “faded” and “ruined” and “dated” to give the typical Shabby appearance.

Not by chance, it is a taste that loves the patina of the already experienced and the “dusty” effect of pastel paints.

What is Shabby Chic Style: decorations
Shabby Chic Style decorations

 

WHAT IS ABOUT SHABBY CHIC STYLE ORIGINS?

THE SYLES THAT INFLUENCED SHABBY CHIC STYLE

We must recall that Shabby Chic Style was born in the good and old Britain. The first glimpses of it were seen, above all, in the beautiful and large country houses. As a matter of fact, there were typical elements in every stately home, such as worn-out chintz sofas, old paintings, wallpaper, white curtains and large chandeliers. So, to begin with, this gives us a sense of what the Shabby Chic Style is.

It is no coincidence that Shabby Chic Style has much in common with period furnishings, especially Victorian Style. Although the glamorous and eccentric element makes the difference between Shabby Chic Style and other Interior Design Styles.

What is Shabby Chic Style
Shabby Chic Style Dining Rooms

By the way, it was not just the influence of English Country House and Victorian Era. In fact, Shabby Chic Style draws its inspiration from a wide range of styles of furniture. For starters the Swedish, further more the French Chateau (dating back to enchanting castles of the Loire) and finally the American Shakers Style, for which the essential simplicity reigns supreme.

Talking about the Swedish influence, the Gustavian Style, in particular, owes its name to the king of Sweden, Gustav III. They say that, once, he visited the Palace of Versailles and he decided to create a “New Paris” in northern Europe.

As a consequence, the Gustavian Style was a fusion between Neoclassicism and French Rococo. However, pruned from any excess and adapted to the sobriety of the Nordic style.

What is Shabby Chic Style: a book to know more about it!
Rachel Ashwell’s “The World of Shabby Chic”

THE SUCCESS OF SHABBY CHIC STYLE IN THE US

Shabby Chic Style was born in England and influenced by other European styles, as we saw. Then, it was finally and successfully exported to the US in the 1980’s by American designer Rachel Ashwell.

Indeed, she was the one who coined the name “Shabby Chic Style”. This name appeared for the first time on “The World of Interiors” magazine in the 80s. From there on it became extremely popular in the United States. To be fair, the 90’s were its most popular period, especially because of an increase in styles and variations.

Certainly, Shabby Chic Style can assume different shades. It depends on whether you use French Style furniture and light colors or more rustic furniture with strict lines and darker colors. Among Shabby Chic Style we find, therefore, Romantic Chic, Rustic Chic, Provencal, Country Chic, Pickled, Total White to name a few!

THE SPIRIT OF THE SHABBY CHIC STYLE

ROMANTIC AND NOSTALGIC ATMOSPHERES

So, what is Shabby Chic Style, again? We can say it’s a new way to redesign rooms. As a result, concerning how illuminating them with pastel colors, antique finishes, characteristic and personalized details. Hence, next to the furniture, you can add wrought iron details and simple fabrics such as linen and cotton, enhanced by soft colors.

In conclusion, Shabby Chic Style is the perfect style, not only to be fashionable, but above all, to create romantic and nostalgic atmospheres. That’s because the intent is to give new life to rustic environments. How? By embellishing them with details and colors and personalizing them with a unique and original character.

What is Shabby Chic Style: pages of the book
From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

Moreover, the Shabby Chic Style arises from the need to recover objects forgotten in the attic and give them new life. In effect, thanks to the “elegant shabby” technique, the dent is deliberately seen and, as if by magic, the defect becomes valuable because of a coat of paint.

Consequently, the leitmotiv here is the old object, worn but revalued thanks to its vintage nature. Therefore, imperfection is exalted to emphasize its vintage essence: hence, it is the soul of what Shabby Chic Style is.

What is Shabby Chic Style: pages of the book
From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

Similarly, it’s a bit like what happens to the Industrial Style. In fact, this particular style makes the recovery and reuse the cornerstone of its essence. Specifically, the Industrial Style wants to transform former factories and attached equipment connected to them.

Eventually, the both of Shabby Chic Style and Industrial Style, give a second chance to the old furniture. The result is that they bloom and shine again under a new, romantic connotation: the vintage one.

Definitely, there are so many affinities between these two Interior Design Styles, that both find a perfect fusion in Urban Chic Style. We can, maybe, define it as the Industrial Style with touches of white. If you’re interested, you can find more about how to furnish in Industrial Style in this post.

WHAT ABOUT SHABBY CHIC STYLE COLORS?

A FEW PASTEL COLORS AND WIDE GRADATIONS

So, as we already said, the Shabby Chic Style admits a limited color palette in shades, but really wide in gradations. That way, within this style, the atmosphere is very cozy, relaxing, with soft and strictly opaque colors. For instance, white dominates with all its shades such as classic beige, rather ivory and light gray. You can match these basic colors with pastel colors like pinklavender lilac, beige, light gray, sky blue and sage green.

What is Shabby Chic Style: pages of the book
From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

SHABBY CHIC STYLE’S FURNITURE AND DECORATIONS MATERIALS

WOOD, STONE AND TERRACOTTA

What about the materials used for Shabby Chic Style? First of all, as regards the surfaces, we have wood and then also stone and terracotta. In addition, hemp and natural cotton for fabrics. Moreover floral prints, in moderation, romantic sheets with lace details or flowers, curtains in soft linen and, of course, lace.

What is Shabby Chic Style: a fireplace as an examle
Fireplace With Candles from Maison Lafitte, Mandeville, LA

FURNISHING ELEMENTS TO INCLUDE WITHIN SHABBY CHIC STYLE

NOT TO FORGET THE DETAILS

  • Cushions, whose colors and patterns must always have a country and natural touch
  • White porcelain, vintage porcelain services with floral motifs, unpaired dishes
  • Lace: linen or cotton curtains, embroidery, lace under the shelves, floral fabrics, inspired by the French style
  • Tin utensils that you can easily retrieve in second-hand markets
  • Flowers with delicate tones such as hydrangeas, roses and camellias, country flowers, lavender, roses arranged in rustic vases, like those made of metal
  • DIY objects such as a wooden frame recovered and repainted in washed white
  • Candles to decorate the fireplace in the summer; you can also put them in a traditional candlestick or in simple glass jars
  • Antique chandeliers, classic, of iron with glass or crystal drops
  • Rustic or rural theme paintings, bucolic, like flowers, fields and poultry
  • The inevitable bird cage

TO EACH HIS SHABBY CHIC STYLE

Are you Shabby Chic Style person? I am! In fact, I have a couple of things in that style, especially in the dining room and the master bedroom. So, why don’t you show me your personal Shabby Chic Style furnishing by posting some of your furniture and decor? I am very curious ^_^ If you have questions, please don’t esitate to ask me in the comments below. See you soon,

Arianna

HAND HELD CITRUS SQUEEZER: IS IT JUST A DESIGN DECOR?

Hi guys today we dive directly into design by talking about the most controversial hand held citrus fruit squeezer of the 20th Century: Philippe Stark’s Juicy Sailf for Alessi! Here it is. Those who have never seen this thing will probably be wondering “what is it?” and right after “what is this for?”

Fortunately for you there is me ^_^! I already spoiled it… it’is a lemon juicer, an old fashioned (is it really?) hand held citrus squeezer to be precise. Now, to better understand what we are talking about, let me show you briefly how it works:

Instructions for use: just place a cup underneath the Juicy Salif, press and twist the half citrus against the top and then you’ll see the squeezed juice flowing down the grooves into your very cup.

 

Alessi Juicy Salif citrus squeezer by Philippe Starck features:

• aluminium casting, mirror polished

• Iconic design by Philippe Starck

• Hand wash only

• 5.5″ l x 5.5″ w x 11.5″ h

Juicy Salif is made of die-cast aluminum, so it is absolutely light and functional, very easy to use thanks to the polished finishes.

The material used is excellent for getting in contact with food, so it does not alter or even deteriorate liquids.

In order to preserve it at best it is advisable not to let it come into contact with atmospheric agents and above all with sea air which could cause the oxidation of the metal, thus making the material unusable.

The use of aluminum makes the structure quite delicate at high pressure, but it is resistant and suitably practical as well.

It’s not dishwasher safe, so wash it under running water to avoid damages. Once used and washed, you can place it on a shelf as a decorative design object.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Alessi’s Company was founded in 1921 as a workshop with foundry for sheet metal and metal processing which soon became one of the leading Factories of Italian design.

At the turn of the 90’s the Company opened to plastic, wood, glass, porcelain and ceramics. During the first decade of the 21st century, Alessi collaborated with designers of various nationalities to create functional objects aimed at capturing people’s imagination.

Philippe Starck, born in Paris in 1949, is one of the most original and creative designers of our time that worked with Alessi. He talks about himself as a Japanese architect, an American art director, a German industrial designer, a French artistic director, an Italian furniture designer.

THE IDEA BEHIND IT

Once upon a time a brilliant, creative mind, named Philippe Starck, was having lunch in a restaurant on the Amalfi coast. He ordered a plate of calamari.

His thoughts were focused on finding a brilliant idea for the design of a tray, commissioned by Alessi, when he realized that he had no lemon to squeeze out of his squid.

Right before beckoning to the waiter, he was struck by an intuition. In order not to lose everything that was going through his head, he threw down some sketches on the restaurant’s paper towel.

Then, he sent it directly to Alberto Alessi, the manager of the company. When the paper came into his hands, Alberto did’t really realized what it was at first.

At the end he saw scribbles representing, in all likelihood, a squid swimming between grease stains and tomato sauce.

From left to right these scribbles gradually took on the shape of today’s Juicy Salif lemon squeezy.

Alberto Alessi says “A true design work must move people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against common thinking” and we have to give it to him that this is exactly the point with Juicy Salif.

Nowadays it is one of the Italian brand’s most iconic products and, still, is listed as the most provocative article in Alessi catalog.

FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION?

We said that this citrus fruit squeezer is the most controversial of its kind. It is rumored that Starck himself said that “it’s not meant to squeeze lemons, it is meant to start conversations”.

This makes sense from the standpoint of Alessi’s design concept that ennobles objects by merging art and poetry in them. It is no coincidence at all that his company is also known as the “Dream Factory” whose products make people’s dreams come true.

So, how do they explain such a debated object? The President of the Italian design brand said he considers Juicy Salif “a big joke to everybody”, because it goes deliberately against the idea that form must follow function.

This leads us to a “very complex theoretical explanation for the project”, he says,”The explanation has to do with what semiologists call the decorative veil.

The decorative veil is the space that always exists between the function and the design of an object. There is never a complete overlap. In this case, Philippe (Starck) exploded that little space.”

Many assert that Juicy Salif is not a practical object and does not perform its function properly, claiming it creates a disaster on the kitchen counter… and what about the seeds, by the way?

There is no device that breaks their fall inside the glass! True, but you can place a strainer just above the glass to work around this inconvenience ^_^!

Others celebrate it as an object whose form goes beyond the function. Whatever your opinion, Juicy Salif earned its own place at MoMA in New York City. That said, it means that you have a work of art in your kitchen, no matter what.

ULTIMATELY:

If you like it here’s where you can find Juicy Salif. Does it work? Does it not? You watched the video above: did you get your own opinion on it?

Please, share your comments and if you own a Juicy Salif let us know what your experience with it is like.

I’m looking forward to read your opinions, so come on and give a sign! I leave you with the video interview to Alberto Alessi about Philippe Stark’s Juicy Sailf:

Arianna

VINTAGE CHIC HOME DECOR FOR INDUSTRIAL STYLE LIVING SPACES

Hi folks, today I’m gonna show you where to find vintage chic home decor objects to set your own urban industrial style. If you missed my post about industrial design style in which I explain its principles and rules, catch up right here!

We have seen how industrial style is based essentially on discovering rather than on hiding, so brick walls alternate with concrete walls, leaving wires and piping in evidence.

Though, this may involve the risk of making the environment seem too cold and inhospitable, but we do not want this; we want the atmosphere to be warm and welcoming and we can do this with the help of vintage chic home decor items. With no further ado let’s begin with some wall decorations.


WALL CLOCKS

Some of the most fashionable objects are wall clocks. If you like to visit flea markets you’d be able to find ancient and original ones, but you can also buy them from online stores that offer perfect objects for urban industrial style, even if brand new.

Just remember that industrial style doesn’t mean shabby! All the objects must be kept in great care, even showing their factory defects and the joining lines. For example, metal objects must be polished and stain-free. Keep it in mind!

Reminding us of recycling and reuse, the wall clocks should be made from other objects or remind of the clocks that were used in the factories or warehouses of the past.

Rounded and sweet ornaments become useful to contrast the hard and squared lines of brick and cement. And here comes the sweet harmony of rounded wall clocks.

Would you ever say that you could get a watch from a bicycle wheel? Imagine it hanged on an exposed brick wall, don’t you find it fits perfectly with the style in question? If you have a bike you could think about hanging it on the wall as well… and it seems to be in a warehouse instantly!

Since a bicycle and a wall clock bicycle wheel would be redundant, you could opt for an oversize roman numeral wall clock… tres chic!

What about the one made from a porthole? It is very original and perfect for a concrete wall, where the metal stands out with its sheen contrasting with a matt background. As well as the beige vintage fan wall clock! Or the vintage-aged clock as well.

What else remind the most a factory if not gears? Here some gear works wall clocks:

If you have a wall that makes a corner this double-sided iron wall clock would be very nice, so you can read the hour from mostly every part of the room! It has the power to transport you back in time like if you were in an old train station.

And finally a collection of floor clocks made from tripods and other metal systems that reminds of those floor lamps used in photographic studios.

WALL DECORATIONS

A decorated wall is the core of a warm house. Bare walls make it seem like an inhabited and abandoned environment, don’t you think? Plus there is a lot of elegant and funny stuff you can find to defuse a too serious environment.

Now, I no longer have to remind you to lighten the environment, so as not to risk having a too heavy effect!

FLOOR DECORATIONS

Another important aspect of urban style is light! Light is a key element in industrial style, that’s because factories and warehouses used to have large windows that brought a lot of natural light and heat into environments otherwise, by their nature, dark and cold.

So, let’s take a look at these vintage floor lamps on a tripod. I added a tripod fan too… it was too cute not to show you!

Usually the urban chic style is well-matched with open spaces, like lofts, so kitchen, dining room and living room share the same space.

Especially in the kitchen we find pendant lamps with wires in plain sight made of metal like copper (that’s more warm than others).

Then light on the kitchen peninsulas and above the tables, where people gather to share friendly moments tasting good food and sipping Italian wine, of course!  ^_^


SIDE TABLES AND POUFS

Here’re some side tables made of copper, wood, fabric and leather and fabric poufs. These elements of furniture can not be missing at all!

We need them to warm up the atmosphere to make our living room a pleasant place to lie watching TV or chatting with our friends! Some cool items can come handy to add a vintage touch as these here.


DID YOU FIND THE RIGHT STUFF FOR YOUR PERSONAL INDUSTRIAL STYLE HOME DECOR?

We have made a detailed excursus on the objects that help us to attribute an urban chic flavor to our apartment. Do you already have a room or a whole house furnished in this style? Show us the pictures of your rooms and tell us how you have furnished your spaces, where you have found the various objects and give us your suggestions and tips on how to create an industrial atmosphere.

I’m looking forward to reading all your comments, so go ahead! See you soon.

Arianna

Here’s my Urban Chic Collection for Industrial Design Home Decor:

INDUSTRIAL STYLE: A CHIC TOUCH FOR YOUR HOME FURNITURE

Hello everyone, today we talk about a very peculiar interior design style: industrial chic and the rules to avoid mistakes with your home furniture. Do you have in mind the new York lofts furnished with all those objects recovered from disused industries? That’s it: industrial design style within its industrial style home furniture as well!

It’s a very popular kind of home furniture, but it has its own principles to make it work. How to do that the right way without running risks? Let’s begin this journey through industrial design style.

First thing first a bit of history:

Manhattan’s overview from Rockefeller Center – Top of the Rock

We are in New York city back in the 50’s, where and when it all began.

The industrial design style took place as a trend that is still much in vogue today for home furniture.

As former offices and industries fell into disuse recovering those buildings became a need, so they were turned into private living spaces.

That’s how industrial design style was born. Reconverting spaces by keeping intact their original imprint: this is what it’s all about. Still, today there’s a great lofts demand in the market.

Lofts are cool, let’s say that! Though, not so “cool” anymore when you have to warm them up! ^_^ (Actually, heating an industrial chic room is usually done with a cast iron stove, or large gray radiators mounted on the walls, with recovery objects lying on the floor).

The idea of bringing beauty within disused and abandoned buildings, was an intriguing challenge for the creative minds of the time: a beauty that was meant to show her imperfections, with elegance and a touch of irreverence.

Not to mention the fact that Andy Warhol gave life to “The Factory”, his studio based in Midtown Manhattan, and turned it into a thriving and active aggregation center for the Big Apple’s artists, hipsters and socialites.

Then it was the turn of American movies and TV series set in those big lofts; people began to fall in love with the retro and vintage style in which the warehouses, they saw on the screen, were changed into.

Nowadays that industrial style from the 50’s is also called industrial chic or urban industrial, let’s say it’s a bit “sweetened” version than that of the past, and definitely less raw.

Design:

Essential and spartan, industrial style is also well combined with an environmental sustainability subject, because it comes to reuse. Basically the industrial style is made up of bare pieces, such as recovery and vintage objects accompanied by furniture with sober, essential and clean lines.

It’s motto is “showing not hiding”! So brick walls, large and simple fixtures, high ceilings and antique wooden beams are highlighted.

Rigorous minimalism with a few component to connote the environment.

Sobriety of colors and shades aims to enhance the single elements to emphasize a modern, dynamic and at the same time whimsical environment, in which metallic reflections are intertwined with rigorous monochromes, giving life to a classy and minimalist atmosphere.

Furnishings:

Functional, absolutely basic and made of resistant materials, the furnishings have a strong simplicity and a grunge charm that allows them to be placed in any environment, from the living room to the kitchen, as from the bathroom to the bedroom, in a very original way.

Materials:

Metals, wood and stone are matched wisely to give life to a captivating and unique simplicity of its kind. Just be aware not to make the environment too cold by using too many ferrous metals, which are clearly the most popular.

Wood and copper come in handy to avoid this risk, not to mention leather, especially the brown one that warms up the atmosphere. You have to create welcoming environments, don’t forget it’s your home we’re talking about, it has to be a comfortable place to you, your own safe spot.

Colors and light:

Gray within all its shades up to black is the base of the color palette here, but beige and brown are good too; white is also allowed to spread a little light to the environment.

Natural light is essential because it manages to lighten the atmosphere, elements such as metal furniture can be visually heavy. Bulky and large lamps bring light into the room and hold the industrial spirit of the 50’s New York lofts.

As well as floor lamps and spotlights alternate with suspended ones (whose wires must be clearly visible to recall perfectly the factory structure).

Versatility:

Indeed, one of the main advantages about the industrial style is that it coexists with any other decoration.

For instance, it does not happen that marble fireplace clashes with exposed bricks, metal table and industrial lamps. On the contrary, this anachronistic touch obtains a very special effect in the living room bringing a sense of warmth and hospitality.

Industrial chic of your own:

We’ve talked about industrial chic or urban industrial and I hope this post has been useful to you. Why don’t you share pictures of your personal industrial style corner of the house or some beautiful items you found at a flea market that really made your day? Need tips on which furniture to choose for your urban chic decor? You’ll find a few ideas on my post about vintage chic home decor.

You really don’t know which could be your design style? No worries. I have the solution for you! Go to Davona’s Home Decor web site, she has the answer. You’ll find your design style in 4 simple steps.

I look forward to see your photos and to read your ideas about this topic. Thank you for stopping by… See you soon!

Arianna