So I am in the midst of decorating my home at the moment and I’m thinking of which styles to adapt for my personal space. I adore shabby chic décor, the washed out pastels and wood hinting at that period French home vibe. It’s personal yet inviting at the same time. So when Plantation shutters offered me some tips I wanted to share them.
The shabby chic look is easy to achieve. The first thing to address is the overall colour of the room. Usual colours for shabby chic style are pastels; soft colours that are easy on the eye. A good starting point is to paint the walls in an off-white colour. This allows furniture and accessories to provide the colours of interest. Other good colours include powder blues, soft pinks, dove greys and duck egg greens.
You don’t have to buy new furniture to achieve the style, in fact, it is probably best not to. Rather, upcycle existing furniture pieces by painting it and then sanding down some of the corners to show the wood beneath. There is no reason to paint all the furniture the same colour. Paint some white, with other pieces blue or green.
For a shabby chic bedroom, be creative and paint or stencil floral designs onto bedheads and footboards, or onto the front of a chest of drawers. Replace door panels on wardrobes with full-length mirrors or fixed curtains. Some furniture, if it has an old look, can be left as natural wood, while something as simple as changing the handles can make a new piece look old.
Turn old style suitcases into storage solutions. With some design flair they can become a coffee table or a footstool, with interior storage. Paint or buy plantation shutters in different colours to hang on the wall and use as a notice or post board, a place to hang utensils in the kitchen, or an apron and oven glove rack.
The little things
Accessories can help to achieve the shabby chic look. You can get anything like verdigris-stained candlesticks, and pewter plates and bowls from flea markets and scatter them around your home, use bowls as jewellery holders and candlesticks can be places in the bedroom or bathroom. Jars and tins can be upcycled too, and look perfect when used as flower vases or herb pots. The same goes for empty wine or milk bottles.
Use highly decorative picture frames or church candles grouped together. Create unique artwork with box frames covered in discarded pieces of patterned fabric. A gilt-edged mirror would add a little sophistication to a room, and help to make it appear airy and large. And of course nothing makes it complete like a stunning chandelier!
Good fabrics for shabby chic include cottons and linens. They have a pure, clean look and can easily be embroidered to add interest, whilst lace and silks would add a layer of luxury. As shabby means comfort, a variety of fabrics could be used to cover cushions and pillows, or upholster chair seats and footstools. As these will be used as accents, the colour of the fabrics can be a little bit bolder, as can the patterns. Damask would be in keeping with the style, as would toile du jour, but bold stripes, as well as subtle ones, or any type of floral design, would work just as well.
Photo from the incredible Rachel Aswell’s site.