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