Shabby chic style -- made famous by Rachel Ashwell, who found beauty in flea market discoveries -- is defined by slip-covered sofas and distressed furniture, along with antique pieces, old-fashioned patterns and romantic/feminine touches. Jill Keig, allied member of ASID and an interior designer with Wiseman and Gale Interiors in Scottsdale, Arizona, says that the shabby chic style tends to invoke thoughts of comfort and relaxation, with key elements including neutral or faded furnishings and found items.
Shabby chic builds off of a white background, but there are many shades of white you can work with. Mixing brighter whites with aged whites is just fine. The usual accent colors are light blues, roses and sage greens, but you can certainly throw your own colors into the mix as long as they are muted, light or washed out. Remember that you are going for a gracefully aged look!
Keig warns, "There is a fine line between looking cozy and comfortable and looking undone." If you choose shabby chic furniture pieces, make sure your throws are a bit more formal. Also, make sure that items don't appear too distressed or used as this will cheapen the look of your room.
The great benefit to the shabby chic style is that it is recycling/reusing at it's best! According to Keig, you have the opportunity to find something old and give it new life, plus, you can "invigorate your setting with an item that is 'new' to you." Keig continues, "Shabby chic style adds a sense of personality and uniqueness that you can't simply purchase from a [home décor] catalogue." Instead of a new bedspread, cover your bed with one of your grandmother's old handmade quilts. Search antique stores and flea markets for unique finds that can add personality to your bedroom!
Forget matching your dressers, headboard and nightstands – instead try to find antique pieces that complement each other. An old armoire, delicate side table, or an antique vanity table would all be great choices. Also, make sure you're linens aren't too matchy-matchy. Think about complementary colors like rose and sage versus going overboard with pinks.
Place a lace doily on the nightstand alongside the bed. You can also decorate the nightstand with some old pictures in antique silver frames. Utilize iron – scour antique stores for wrought iron chairs, tables, candle holders, picture frames, even chandeliers. If the wrought iron includes decorative flowers, all the better!
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