Beginning in the UK, the interior design style known as “Shabby Chic” has grown in popularity since the 1990s. The overall effect is one of understated elegance and is reminiscent of old country homes where worn fabrics and upholstery, antique furniture and aged paintwork would be common. Unique and artistic, Shabby Chic interiors can be grand and fashionable or more simple and bohemian. Common characteristics include the use of distressed finishes and wall treatments; delicate patterns and pastel colours; soft fabrics and a general appearance that is neat yet rumpled.
One of the reasons the Shabby Chic style has maintained such a high level of popularity is the fact that it allows for the creation of completely unique interiors. For many people, having an interior design and decorating scheme that is complimentary to that of the home and completely individual in its look and feel are extremely desirable. Shabby Chic allows for this in a way that few otherinterior design styles do, since the mix-and-match quality enables a wide range of different furnishings and accessories to come together to create the look.
Colours and shades
Another reason for the popularity of the Shabby Chic style is the colour palette selection. White is a very common base colour, as are shades of beige, including those achieved through tea-staining. Tea-staining may also be used over pale of pastel coloursto give them an aged appearance. Popular Shabby Chic shades range from rose and sage green to mushroom and powder blue.
Furniture, fabrics and accessories
Wood furniture, including sofas and chairs with turned legs; china cabinets and bookcases; wash stands or dry sinks; trunks, chests and other wooden pieces are typical of the style. Many pieces used in a Shabby Chic kitchen or living room have been repurposed from their original use; for example, trunks or chests may be used as coffee tables or television stands, while china cabinets may be used for jewellery storage and display. Upholstered furniture, even a bulky recliner and cornersofa, can easily be integrated into a Shabby Chic interior. Slipcovers are one option; they are available in a variety of soft colours and rich fabrics that coordinate with the style perfectly.
Many accessories used in a Shabby Chic interior are also common in the rustic vintage or luxury vintage styles, which also share many of the same textures, fabrics and colourpalettes. Cottons and linens are popular fabric choices, with floral patterns, such as lilacs and roses and ticking stripes being among the most popular. Vintage cloths, chenille and velvet are other fabrics and upholstery choices that are typically seen. Antique chandeliers and light fixtures; table and floor lamps and hearth paraphernalia are frequently seen in Shabby Chic living rooms and bedrooms. Delicate fabrics can also be brought into these pieces, in the form of lampshades and trims. Artwork that features floral motifs of any kind are excellent accent pieces, and pillows and throws add softness and comfort to any room.