Shabby Chic Design

While decorating your home can be a fun project, you can easily become overwhelmed with so many things to think about. Besides space planning, you will need to consider elements such as flooring, walls and ceiling colors, and window treatments. Then there is the look you want to achieve. One of the most popular interior decorating styles today is Shabby Chic, first introduced by fashion designer Rachel Ashwell in the late 1980s.

Shabby chic has a very forgiving, warm, and friendly flavor that resembles Country French. The shabby chic concept does not embrace a particular style. Instead, the approach leans toward distressed paint and a balance of elegant old and worn items, such as soft throw rugs with rough, old lace borders, painted wooden tables, and shiny objects to accessorize the space.

Find inspiration on our Shabby Chic Pinterest board.

Elements of Shabby Chic Décor

In some ways, the Shabby Chic movement will remind you of your grandparents’ home. The setting may include sheer curtains hanging from wrought iron curtain rods, an abundance of pillows, pleated skirts on the edge of chair cushions, and a small glistering chandelier. Some of the keys to achieving the shabby chic look include:

  • Shabby Chic Furniture — The furnishing for a shabby chic interior may consist of pieces you find in your attic, a garage sale, or resale shop. One of the most popular shabby chic techniques is to combine mismatched pieces, such as an old dresser, an oversized chair, and a beat-up table with a white “distressed” finish. You can achieve this look by painting a furniture piece with white paint, then sanding the edges and corners for a roughed-up look.
  • Delicate Soft Colors — For shabby chic paint, think mint green, soft white, and muted grey for your walls and ceilings. Many homeowners who desire a peaceful living room choose a classic white tone for the interior paint, furniture, area rugs and sheer drapes. A modern day shabby chic style kitchen typically has a scheme of white or pastel-painted cabinets, accented with vintage hardware, fixtures, and accessories. We found these beautifully coordinated colors on Sherwin-William’s site: 

  • Tea-Aged Fabrics — Many homeowners love the look and feel of genuine old fabrics because of the worn, distressed look. However, even if you were to find vintage material, it could be rather expensive and may not withstand the rigors of daily wear and tear. To achieve the cozy, antique look needed for your shabby chic design, you can dye the fabric by using a mixture of tea and water. Different types of tea result in varying colors. For example, a solution of orange pekoe tea and water creates a sepia-colored appearance (brown) and the fabric will look old, worn, faded. Make sure that you perform a test first to get the right shade. If tea-aged fabrics are not your style, opt for a soft floral or lace curtain.

Mix-and-Match Colors and Patterns

Shabby Chic encourages the blending of patterns and colors to create a warm and inviting appearance. Shabby chic does not limit you to the traditional rules of combining prints such as floral, stripe and checks. However, make sure that you maintain a consistent shabby chic paint color in the background, i.e. ivory or white. In addition, choose one color, such as light blue, pale pink or soft green, to appear in mostly every fabric.

Whether you need to paint a small space or plan a large interior or exterior painting project, contact ProTect Painters. As experts in both commercial and residential painting, we use our knowledge and experience of colors and painting techniques to bring your vision to life. We will treat your home as though it were our own, and leave you with “Quality that lasts!”

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