Welcome to Shabby Chic Guru. This site is dedicated to everything shabby chic, from furniture to furnishings and accessories.
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What is shabby chic?
Shabby chic (pronounced “shabby sheek”) is a style of interior design where the furniture, accessories and furnishings appear to be aged and the more signs of wear and tear, the better. In fact, shabby chic furniture might be new or old – it doesn’t matter – new furniture can be deliberately distressed to achieve the characteristic worn shabby chic appearance. Typically furniture is heavily painted with the ‘older’ layers showing through having worn through time. It is often also embellished with furniture appliques such as flower swags, garlands, cherubs and french writing.
Shabby chic furniture is set off with soft, cottage style fabrics and decor. The usual fabric to use is cotton or linen with linen being most popular, taking a cue from old French linen. Pure white, ecru and worn/bleached pastels are all used, and vintage florals are also really popular, making use again of pastel colours.
The term ‘shabby chic’ was coined by The World of Interiors magazine in the 1980s and has spread around the world ever since!
Please view the most recent posts on shabby chic furniture, decor and interior design in the blog.
The history of shabby chic
Wondering where the whole ‘shabby chic’ style started out? It was in good old GB, where glimmers of this style could be seen in our beautiful large country houses. Typical items included faded, worn chintz sofas, old paintwork and curtains, mixed in with the grand chandeliers and embellishments so often seen in English stately homes. Indeed, shabby chic has similarities to vintage and Victorian style decor, with some shabby chic items being vintage or Victorian – but it is that element of glamour and eccentricity that makes shabby chic something different.
Shabby chic has also seen an increase in trend because of the popularity of upcycling – that is, taking something old and making it into something new without recycling it. This is better for the environment as you don’t get the pollution involved with the recycling process, and it retains the beauty of the original item.
Besides the English country house, vintage and Victorian influences, shabby chic has inspiration from a wide range of decor styles, including for example 18th century Swedish painted decoration, the French Chateau as well as the American Shakers where simplicity and plainness was essential.
Nowadays, the shabby chic trend has spawned a thriving industry, particularly in recycled furniture which has been repainted and given the characteristic ‘worn’ treatment. If you’ve thought about turning your love for shabby chic craze into a business, you might like this article on the Tomorrow Studio website which explains exactly how you can make money from this hugely popular trend, with tips for buying and preparing old furniture, together with how to market your business.