Shabby chic is a term for classic country furnishings with a vintage, aged look. More often than not shabby chic furniture and accessories are painted in pastel colours with white and off whites playing a big part. Do not be fooled by the term shabby, this look is what we call imperfect elegance.

Below are some useful tips to help you achieve this shabby chic look, so you too can achieve this vintage, elegant and classic style.

 THE STARTING POINT

Where do I start? The starting point are the walls, floors, ceiling and woodwork. The shabby chic style is all about pastels. Stick to whites, off whites, sage, light blues and greys to get your blank canvas and avoid strong bold colours. (Bold colours can be incorporated using accessories, more about that later).

Walls should be plain though a feature wall can be done with wall paper. The art here is to keep it to one wall only, inside an alcove or either side of a fire place etc. and this will be a focal point for the room. Plain walls are the blank canvas for your accessories and will keep your room fresh, clean and elegant.

Woodwork ie. skirtings, door frames, window frames and mouldings should always be white gloss.

Keeping the ceiling white will make your room look bigger and push the room up making it feel airy and bright.

Floors should be plain, ideally old floor boards sanded naturally or painted white. Rugs can be used to soften floors and give warmth and again these should be in a plain pastel colour.

The above pictures demonstrate perfectly the building blocks of the shabby chic style. Pastel walls, white ceiling, white woodwork, timber and plain floors. This is just the starting point, the foundation, and the room can then be built around that.

BUILDING THE ROOM

Now we have our foundation we can start to build the room around our plain canvas.

Every room should have a focal point; an accessory, a feature wall, a piece of furniture etc. that the eye automatically turns too when entering the room. The room would usually be built around this. A collection of white photo frames in the larger picture sets the tone for this room. The eye is drawn to the this clean classic display of photographs giving the room a very personal and, though white, warm feel. 

The above picture uses a grand chandalier over a shabby chic table with a simple display of coloured flowers in a plain white jug to bring this room to life, a focal point in the middle of the room.

Two old doors as a headboard are used as a focal point in this bedroom  with a stunning crystal chandalier overhead. Perfect, imperfect elegance.

It's all about the furniture in this room! A distressed, shabby table is used to show off a collection of vintage suitcases, hat boxes etc.

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Choose an accessory or a piece of furniture that you can build the room around, this will give your room identity and focus.

CHOOSING ACCESSORIES

Choosing accessories and furniture is all down to personal choice but to achieve this country, shabby chic look it is important to follow a few basic rules.

Every piece of furniture or accessory should have a purpose and not just 'dumped' there because there is no other place for it. How many times do we all do that? All the pictures demonstrate that every piece has a place in the room either as a an ornament or as a use. Distressed, aged furniture is the name of the game. A modern, pristine, contemporary piece of furniture would look out of place in this style of room. Accessories and furniture should have character as though they have a story to tell.

It is important not to clutter the room. There is a fine line between clutter and organized clutter. Less is usually better than more if you are not sure how far to go. Select your pieces, let them tell a story and give them space. The above picture is a great example of showing off personal items that tell a story and each item has its own pride of place.

It doesn't matter if items don't match, it's better they don't! This is the style, mix it up and try not to be to perfect.

ACCENT COLOUR

Shabby Chic Style is not about bold colours and if you are a lover of masses of colour then this style isn't probably for you. Accent colours of pastel pinks, greens and blues are the order of the day. Flowers are probably the best way to inject colour along with natural woods.

FABRICS

Fabrics add warmth and texture to a room. Again, keep it simple and plain and mix whites, off whites, creams and beiges. Cushions, throws, rugs and curtains will soften the room and add a luxury element.

We hope this will give you some helpful tips and ideas for you to produce a stunning room like the examples above. We would love to hear from you so please contact us about any of the above or any of our products we supply.

 

Edward & Ellen