How to furnish a house in shabby chic style
The shabby chic style has spread since the eighties and has immediately enjoyed considerable success. It was born from the need to transport the typical furnishings of the cottages of the late nineteenth century into the modern era. The aim is to retain the beauty of this furniture and its ability to make rooms feel familiar and cosy and, at the same time, to freshen up the atmosphere a little. Through the use of light-coloured paints and wood bleaching techniques, the result is furniture with great personality and a romantic appearance.
What are the distinctive elements of a shabby chic interior?
The expression shabby chic is actually a bit of a paradox, as shabby stands for something shabby and worn, while chic stands for something extremely refined and elegant. Although these two concepts may appear to be antithetical and difficult to reconcile, shabby chic furniture shows that their coexistence is not only possible, but allows the achievement of excellent results.
The shabby chic style manages to be romantic and elegant at the same time, thanks to a skilful use of colours and great attention to detail. The real protagonists in a house furnished in shabby chic style are the furniture, treated and painted to give them an aged and dusty look.
The perfect shabby style furnishing involves the recovery of antique furniture, to be repainted and decorated according to one’s preferences. Victorian-era furniture or furniture salvaged from country houses are perfect for this purpose. Through pickling and varnishing, the appearance of the furniture is transformed. You lose the refinement of antique furniture and the splendour of its high-gloss varnish and gain furniture in which the shape and grain of the wood are emphasised by the use of light varnishes.
White, pearl grey, pastel shades and cream are the most frequent shades in shabby chic furniture. To give the furniture a delicate and romantic look, matt varnishes are used, which give the wood fibres a somewhat rough and unkempt appearance.
How to compose furniture in shabby chic style
Furnishing your home in a shabby chic style is a great idea for DIY enthusiasts and antique lovers who like to browse through flea markets in search of vintage furniture. Using reclaimed furniture from country houses can also ensure a truly personal result, because it is based on the use of unique pieces.
The kitchen is perhaps the room in the house where the shabby chic style can best express all its charm. The shelves full of details and mouldings immediately catch the eye and the use of delicate tones such as light blue or lavender give a sophisticated look to the room. Handmade ceramic plates or retro decorations such as old wall clocks can be added to enhance the country house atmosphere. Kitchen textiles are made from natural and organic fabrics: cotton is a timeless classic, but those who want to emphasise the more rustic aspects of this style can choose linen or hemp dishcloths and tablecloths.
The living room and lounge are the spaces to share with family and friends. A comfortable padded sofa, a few rocking chairs with soft cushions and a wicker tea table immediately create the right atmosphere for spending a few hours in pleasant company. All this with sideboards, glass cabinets and cupboards in the background.
Shabby chic bedrooms are characterised by a perfect balance between delicate colours and abundant decoration. Wrought iron beds are particularly suitable for this style, as is the use of blankets recovered from grandmothers’ trousseaux. Lace and hand-woven sheets blend perfectly with the rest of the furniture. To add a touch of colour to the room, you can use cushions with floral patterns or carpets, even long-pile ones, in the pastel colours typical of this style.
In the bathroom, mirrors with iron frames, ceramic soap dishes and wooden cabinets for towels can be used. Washbasins are also often used to sit on reclaimed furniture. For an even more original result, you can choose a washbasin made from special objects such as buckets, stone washbasins or old decorated ceramic basins.
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