Shabby Chic, cottage and French/Nordic styles are decorating trends that continue to be strong among numerous age groups. They evolved from the large English country houses with their worn and faded old chintz sofas and curtains, old paintwork and a sense of unassuming "good" taste. The term was coined by TheWorld of Interiors magazine in the 1980's and became part of the Rachel Ashwell genre.
Defining "Shabby Chic" is as varied as our customers are: however, it tends to imply semi-sophisticated, warm, weathered, and comfortable. Recycling and up-scaling old furniture and fabrics is an important aspect of the look. Furniture and accessories are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear or newer items are distressed to achieve the appearance of age and use. Less is more, natural comfort, and purity all add to the style. Antique pieces such as bead board cupboards, metal racks and containers, chippie white accents, all contribute to the ambiance. Old cotton ticking, burlap and linen are just a small sample of the preferred textile accents. Furniture surfaces that show wear combine well with pieces of antique pottery, glass and silver hollow ware. If a piece of old furniture does not quite fit, a fresh look can come from white paint and a little distressing. Shabby chic extends to the garden with the same principles of using timeworn iron and wicker garden furniture and accessories.
Antique malls and flea markets are a never-ending source for all the elements needed to provide a serene, classic yet elegant shabby chic home.