The Charming Effect of Shabby Chic Home Decorating

Shabby chic is a particular kind of design and decorating technique that replicates furniture and art pieces from a former design era as far back as the 1800s. The design is meant to look as though the pieces are old and shabby and have been passed down through generations. The look is appealing to those who appreciate antique design and would like to incorporate in into their home.
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The real shabby chic style originated in Great Britain in an attempt to reproduce the appearance of old country homes. The style was centred on brightly printed sofas and curtains with large flamboyant designs and old paintwork on walls and furniture. While the 18th century embellishment proved impressive, the concept evolved when Rachel Ashwell started her own shabby chic home decorating company in 1989. With a quest for an exquisite and practical product, she began selling washable furniture slipcovers and time-honoured accessories reminiscent of past years. Today, Rachel Ashwell has many stores and is noted for her poplin and linen bedding, decorative home accessories and furniture in a popular range of prints and styles. The majority of her goods she handpicks from antique and flea markets.

Shabby chic has become quite trendy in the interior design industry, particularly because of its simple grace and style. Those attracted to the shabby chic appeal can purchase furniture and home decorating accessories that have aged over time or they can obtain up-to-date items that have been intentionally designed to have a shabby look. Intermingling your furniture and accessories with vintage pieces and with new furnishings and decorating pieces will give your décor a pleasing and distinct look.

Slip covers designed for comfy, oversized couches or chairs are a fundamental aspect of the shabby chic style. Not only are they practical, but they help protect your furniture from everyday wear. Whether you want to have ruffles, go silky or obtain a plain appearance, you can be very versatile in achieving the desired look.

The materials used in shabby chic are typically white linen or cotton fabric and cream or pastel colours with a mix and match of patterns, such as stripes, checks and floral prints. A scruffy appearance is achieved by lightly bleaching the fabric or using a tea-staining method to give new linens the impression of being worn. White cotton lace retains the tea stain very well and adds a distinguished balance to the shabby chic decorating style.

The shabby chic look can be obtained in new furniture by painting the item and then sanding off sections of the paint where expected wear would occur, such as the corners and edges of the wood. This will give the appearance of a classic furniture piece that will harmonize the shabby chic design.

Accessories are the icing on the cake when it comes to shabby chic decorating, and here you can be as flexible as you want. Table coverings such as an old lace tablecloth or doilies are a perfect complement, especially when accompanied with vintage candlesticks, an old vase or other knickknacks. Lace or sheer curtains can also be used in this decorating style. Family heirlooms that have been collected over the years are a very rewarding addition to the home design. Not only will family members enjoy having them displayed, but they are forever a great conversational pieces for friends and guests to enjoy.

Shabby chic can be a cost-effective approach to decorating, especially if you utilize what you already have in the home rather than starting from scratch. Going to garage sales or thrift stores is a great way to pick up vintage pieces to include with modern furnishings. The ultimate goal of shabby chic decorating is to find bits and pieces that are appealing to you and that would fit well into your design scheme to make your house feel like home.