WHAT IS SHABBY CHIC STYLE? A EVERGREEN!

Howdy folks! Have you ever wondered: what is the Shabby Chic Style? Today, we’re gonna talk about this very trendy decor of Interior Design, which combines cozy and elegance. By the way, do not be fooled by the name, because the overall effect is not at all unkempt. Actually, is well taken care of in the detail!

In fact, furniture and furnishing accessories must show an old, lived, old-fashioned look, in which the traces of time are not necessarily authentic, but well simulated and created purposely showing the characteristic light color, white or pastel, in brine, faded and a “ruined” and “dated” appearance.

It is a taste that loves the patina of the already experienced and the “dusty” effect of pastel paints.

 

ORIGINS

Shabby Chic Style was born in good and old Britain, where the first glimpses of it were seen in the beautiful and large country houses. In every stately home there were typical elements, such as worn-out chintz sofas, old paintings, wallpaper, white curtains and large chandeliers.

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

Shabby Chic Style Dining Rooms

It was not just the influence of English Country House and Victorian Era. Shabby Chic draws its inspiration from a wide range of styles of furniture, such as the Swedish, French Chateau (dating back to enchanting castles of the Loire) and even 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. Once he visited the Palace of Versailles and he decided to create a “New Paris” in northern Europe.

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.

Rachel Ashwell’s “The World of Shabby Chic”

Born in England and influenced by other European styles, as we saw, Shabby Chic Style was successfully exported to the US in the 80’s by American designer Rachel Ashwell.

She coined the name “Shabby Chic Style”, that was printed for the first time on “The World of Interiors” magazine in the 80s. From there on it became extremely popular in the United States in the 90s, with an increase in styles and variations.

In fact, Shabby Style can assume different shades depending 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 Romantic Chic, Rustic Chic, Provencal, Country Chic, Pickled, Total White to name a few!

THE SPIRIT OF THE SHABBY CHIC STYLE

A new way to redesign rooms, illuminating them with pastel colors, antique finishes, characteristic and personalized details. The furniture is flanked by furnishing accessories, with wrought iron details and simple fabrics such as linen and cotton, enhanced by soft colors.

Shabby Chic is the perfect style, not only to be fashionable, but above all, to create romantic and nostalgic atmospheres, to give new life to rustic environments embellishing them with details and colors, personalizing them with a unique and original character.

From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

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

The leitmotiv here is that of the old object, worn but revalued due to its vintage nature. Imperfection exalted to emphasize its vintage essence, is the soul of it.

From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

 

A bit like what happens to the Industrial Style, which makes the recovery and reuse (in this case of former factories and attached equipment) the cornerstone of its essence.

Both of them, Shabby and Industrial Style, give a second chance to the old furniture, letting it bloom and shine again with a new, romantic connotation, the vintage one.

There are so many affinities between these two Interior Design styles, that both find a perfect fusion in Urban Chic Style, which we can define as the Industrial Style with touches of white. More about how to furnish in Industrial Style in this post.

FEW PASTEL COLORS, WIDE GRADATIONS

The Shabby Chic Style admits a limited color palette in shades but really wide in gradations. Within this style the atmosphere is very cozy, relaxing, with soft and strictly opaque colors: white dominates with all its shades such as classic beige, ivory and light gray to be matched with pastel colors like pink, ivory, lavender lilac, beige, light gray, sky blue and sage green.

From Rachel Ashwell’s Book

FURNITURE AND DECORATIONS MATERIALS

First of all wood and then stone and terracotta for the surfaces, hemp and natural cotton for the fabrics, floral prints in moderation, romantic bed sheets with lace or flower details, soft linen curtains and, of course, lace.

Fireplace With Candles from Maison Lafitte, Mandeville, LA

FURNISHING ELEMENTS

  • 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 be used to decorate the fireplace in the summer, to be used in a traditional candlestick or to be placed 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 lovers? I am! In fact, I have a couple of things in that style, especially in the dining room and the master bedroom. I’ll post my pictures once I get back to Rome for summer vacations, I promise! Till then, why don’t you show us your personal Shabby Chic Style by posting some of your furnishing 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

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