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Decorating: How to Get the Shabby Chic Look

If you know how to get the Shabby Chic look, you can create a warm, elegant, and inviting space. The Shabby Chic look combines gently aged fabrics and colors in a warm, comfortable palette.

Shabby Chic design, created by Rachel Ashwell, combines the elegance of English Country living with the comfortable casualness of a California lifestyle.

Incorporate vintage furnishings and soft colors as part of Shabby Chic design. [Credit: www.shabbyc
Incorporate vintage furnishings and soft colors as part of Shabby Chic design.

Vintage is the key word when decorating in the Shabby Chic style:

  • Incorporate flea market finds.

  • Use distressed painted furniture where possible. Your paint job doesn’t have to be high quality; the more chips, nicks, and dents the better.

  • Upholstered furniture should be overstuffed and slipcovered.

  • Use lots of pillows that are overstuffed and preferably covered in vintage fabrics.

  • Chandeliers and crystals are the best light features.

  • Mix and match patterns, from fabrics to dishware.

  • This faded-glory style paints everything within sight white — antiqued and softened to ivory or linen white — which resonates strongly with lovers of genteel furnishings that appear to have seen better days.

  • Incorporate vintage in the room (in the fabrics, prints, and just about anything else).

  • Use fresh flowers extensively.

  • Fabrics should be soft cottons, poplin, and faded and worn vintage fabrics.

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