Home Decorating For Dummies
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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
Credit: www.shabbychic.com
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.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

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