shabby chic

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Though minimalism and 21st-century industrial look swept over the interior design scene in the past few years, their buzz was rather short-lived, and for a good reason, too. Barebones décors are not exactly a warm and welcoming environment to wake up to, and no amount of clean lines can compensate for dire lack of visual interest and coziness. Hail shabby chic, all breeze, charm and snugness! Inspired by love for vintage furnishings and playful, airy ambiance, shabby chic can completely transform the feel of your home, and it is relatively easy to pull off.

Whitewashed for charm

shabby chic interiors

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Evocative of sunny Provence and fresh springtime days, shabby chic relies heavily on use of whitewashed surfaces, distressed fabrics, and overhauled furniture. To achieve the note of casual elegance, you can use whitewashed vintage armoires, antiquated dressers, second-hand mirror frames, and coffee tables. Or, you can transform worn-out furniture into a piece of shabby chic décor by sanding the wood yourself, applying several coats of white or pastel paint, and brushing off the gloss to create a matte finish.

Décor in distress

Distressed fabrics are another feature typical of this style: from worn-looking upholstery to shaggy carpets, all materials in a shabby chic room look charmingly aged. To replicate shabby chic textile-wise, grab chalk paint or bleach/similar dye solvent and apply it to fabrics using cotton pads. Distressing upholstery for shabby chic look is similar to fading denim – just make sure you do not go overboard with tatty, as heavily whitewashed surfaces can spoil visual appeal of even the classiest vintage furniture.

shabby chic design

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A playful state of mind

In essence, shabby chic is an embodiment of childish playfulness and creativity, and eclecticism is an asset here. Furnishings in different sizes and styles, mismatched china sets, floral details, and abundance of textures are common in shabby chic. A splash of gentle pastel colors can help break the monotony of white surfaces and infuse the room with cheer and warmth. Beanbags, soft pillows, and fluffy throws will look perfectly in place in a shabby chic room, as will rattan elements, bamboo lamps, airy curtains in neutral hues, and accessories borrowed from different styles.

An inconspicuous makeover

Shabby chic is an ideal look for homes past their prime: rather than cramping the vintage feel, this décor will accentuate the best features of a time-honored house and conceal its downsides by seamlessly merging the exterior and interior look. An imaginative take on classic vintage, shabby chic is often deployed in house flipping as it strikes a fine balance between property age, function, and aesthetics. A simple way to add a crispy-clean feel to old houses, shabby chic is easier to pull off at a lower price than most other looks, and it can also be used in the garden to achieve seamless visual unity of outdoor and indoor space.

shabby chic details

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Shabby is classy, too

Though laid-back and airy, shabby chic can also incorporate elements of different styles, such as chandeliers, gold-hued mirror frames, Scandinavian-looking veneers, and Victorian-inspired nightstands. Shabby can by no means be classy: Delftware sets, porcelain figurines, mismatched cups and saucers, your grandmother’s linen napkins, your father’s battered chessboard, and other tidbits from the family heirloom will blend in nicely in a shabby chic home. You can find various quaint items at garage sales and local thrift stores, which will add charm to your informal living area without the need for costly hardware investments.

Shabby chic has been around since the ‘80s, and it does not seem to lose appeal among interior designers despite constantly changing décor trends. For this reason, going shabby chic in your home may just be the most rewarding home upgrade you can carry out on your own. Good luck!