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Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic is a comfortable, casual decorating style with a look that uses vintage accessories, pastels, and comfortable furniture. With no clearly defined style parameters, shabby chic requires a keen eye and confident choices to create a relaxing harmony by balancing elegant items with the old and worn, shiny silver accessories with painted wooden tables, soft throw rugs with rough old lace- with lots of room for manoeuvre it offers lots of room for personalisation.

Putting together a shabby chic look requires something akin to a treasure hunt rather than a trip to the shops. Though possibly a little more time consuming, you will find the process a really rewarding experience that saves you lots of money and ensures a totally individual finish for your home. Look around your attic or basement (or your mother or grandmother’s attic or basement).

Examine discarded or unused items and determine if they are usable. Visit flea markets and church sales. An old wooden chair that is still sturdy and has great lines might not catch your eye if it’s painted an awful colour. But imagine it with a fresh coat of white, pink or green emulsion. Forget about the original uses of furniture pieces, if you see something you love but don’t really need then get creative and find a new use for it- its all about the feel your furniture creates. How about using a sturdy, painted straight chair as a table at the side of a bed or sofa or in a corner to hold a vase of flowers?

An old picnic bench or trunk can serve as a coffee table. Stack wooden boxes at the side of a chair for books and flowers. What you are looking to create is lived in charm.    Collect fabrics from around the house or buy vintage-looking fabrics even if they’re new. To give the illusion of age, fabric can be made to look old, worn, faded, and soft by staining them with a brew of tea. Be sure to test a piece of fabric first to get just the right shade. You can change something that’s stark white to a soft creamy white which is just right for the look.

Be bold, be brave, experiment. Clean up a beautiful antique chandelier or table lamp and drape it with strands of old costume jewellery necklaces. Hang it in a young girl’s room. The result: a funky, one-of-a-kind, shabby chic masterpiece.Tassels are a great way to enhance the look of soft furnishings.

Think comfort. Toss extra pillows on your couch. Throw a quilt or blanket over your favourite chair. Make it easy for family and friends to get cosy in your home. Shabby chic is the opposite of intimidating – it’s warm and inviting.

Mix up patterns, textures, and colours. Forget the old rule that says a room should have no more than three colours and patterns. The key is finding (or creating, or recycling) things you love and making them work in your space. Make creative use of patterns that are not typical but fit with the ‘tone’ of the room or compliment some other element in use in the room.

Adding tassels wherever possible will add further elegance to curtains, settees and pillows whilst tying their various looks and finishes together. Unity of a subtle level is what makes this popular style really work.

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