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Channelling Shabby Chic

Think of the term ‘French shabby chic’ and it instantly conjures up images of feminine, Parisienne style that transcends the decades. Effortlessly stylish but with a careless quality, this look is ideal for those who love eclectic pieces brought together to create one cohesive, stunning look.
Design Inspiration

Shabby chic is an interior design style that seems to increase in popularity with every season. Effortlessly pretty, elegantly rustic, airily light and centred on soft pastel shades, eclectic pieces of furniture and beautiful accessories, it’s a versatile aesthetic that allows the decorator to bring their personality to the fore and create the ultimate in creative, casual, relaxing spaces – all over the home.

Shabby chic living room style

While it’s most often associated with a feminine bedroom, shabby chic style works beautifully in the living room. And it’s a look that’s relatively easy to achieve, especially if you’re handy with a paint brush and have an eye for picking out affordable vintage pieces.

Start with a shabby chic sofa or shabby chic corner sofa. This can almost be any style and shape as long as it’s not too formal and not too modern. Think oversized comfortable cushioning, or traditional details like a curved arm and a turned leg. And shabby chic sofasdon’t have to be, well, shabby. Neatly tailored upholstery in softly textured fabrics like brushed cotton and velvet in pale pastel or neutrals shades – or even a subtle floral – work wonderfully well.

Arrange your sofa with artfully non-matching armchairs, and a collection of wooden occasional pieces. Mix and match painted finishes with natural wood, and accessorise with plenty of cushions and a soft woolly rug. The look you’re going for is relaxed and comfortable so feel free to mix your shabby chic style with interesting artwork, a contemporary swivel chair or a mid-century modern sideboard. As long as the overall look is light and airy, you’ll be in shabby chic heaven.


Beautiful shabby chic bedrooms

White painted furniture is at the heart of shabby chic style, and this is a look which lends itself beautifully to the bedroom. A white painted wardrobe with matching chest of drawersand bedside cabinet always looks fresh and elegant, especially if you find pieces with charming French country details like sweeping cornices, decorative woodwork and shaped legs. This is certainly more chic than shabby so keep the look a little more eclectic by going for a traditional metal bedstead, perhaps, or a shabby chic bed with a pretty upholstered headboard.


The welcoming shabby chic guest room

Love the look but not sure where to begin? Start in a less-used room where you can experiment and try this new look on for size.

Introduce a shabby chic sofa bed as the focal point – something soft and well-cushioned and upholstered in a light or neutral coloured fabric. If your guest room is one that serves a couple of other purposes – overspill living room, teen hangout or home office – then add multi-functional furniture pieces that still maintain the shabby chic theme. You may want tointroduce other painted furniture in other colours, not just white, for a less bedroom-y feel, and use interesting rugs and soft furnishings to create a space that’s warm and welcoming.


Accessorising the shabby chic way

Shabby chic is a design style that works well with other aesthetics, and that’s good news if you like a more eclectic approach to home décor. Simply use shabby chic accessories and smaller pieces of shabby chic furniture interspersed with other styles of furniture for a look that’s uniquely you.

For example, you can accentuate the simple smooth lines of mid-century modern wooden furniture with a shabby chic couch. Or play up the high-gloss symmetry of modern lacqueredfurniture with the soft pastels or florals of your favorite shabby chic accent chair. Or give your Scandi-style living room a touch of vintage appeal with shabby chic framed mirrors and artwork.

However you decide to introduce shabby chic style in your home, remember to have fun and give your creative side free rein. That way, you’re sure to end up with beautiful, relaxing and elegant interior spaces.


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