The trend became popular in Great Britain in the eighties where affordable and easy to acquire items were needed to decorate the house. Shabby chic styles rarely go out of fashion and the look of age on objects makes it an everlasting iconic design technique. The furniture has a feeling of history making it interesting to look at, potentially creating a talking point when hosting guests. The whole concept is to make something look old but still in brand new condition, which generally is hard to find – since the 'chic' part of the term. As long as something still maintains its original shape and style then it conforms to the true meaning of shabby chic.
There are thousands of ways to turn your home furniture into sophisticated pieces, and most of the time it is extremely simple to do. For instance, worn vintage chairs provide the perfect base for modern paint and fabric. Chairs that were once dull and unnecessary can now be converted into the center piece of a room with just a lick of paint and some TLC. Lighting is also essential in creating a quirky atmosphere and by simply adding a chandelier above a table the whole room will now have an antique ambiance.
Whenever redecorating or revamping is being considered, money is always the primary concern. It is for this reason that shabby chic is so outstanding, as it is simple to recycle old items into new and fabulous ones. By teaming old with new, floral with lace, furniture can look like it's worth hundreds of pounds when you really just found it in the attic. Since shabby chic is an English invention it is no surprise that using tea to stain linens and make them look vintage is a popular option among interior designers. This makes it so easy to make furniture look older at a fraction of the price that it would be to buy it new.
Other ways to incorporate the trend into your home include making your own quilts and cushions, allowing you to choose the fabrics and style that you want to match the existing décor of the room, all for a fraction of the price. For a romantic feel, purchase pitchers and old vases and arrange beautiful flowers picked from the garden in them – or even buy artificial roses to save them needing constant care. To add to this, an empty corner can be decorated with a wicker chair and a fancy cushion, and spray paint can be used to change the color of the wood to a soft pink or sage green in a flash.
Shabby chic style can even spread to the kitchen where fine china can add a touch of class when entertaining. Vintage tea cups can be multipurpose, holding anything from coffee to cocktails. Matching is definitely not the first rule when it comes to this type of decorating, and using different colors and patterns will instantly add interest to saucers and plates.
It is always important to take note that shabby chic should never be too 'shabby' and if material looks like it describes to be thrown away then do so. Use items where appropriate and remember to keep searching in charity and antique shops to find luxury items at a small cost.