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Using Shabby Chic To Bring Personality Into A Room

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Using shabby chic to bring personality into a room

Shabby chic is one of the biggest trends in interior design at the moment and its popularity is growing at a rapid pace. What started out as a way to spruce up old pieces of furniture during times of austerity has resulted in a massive cottage industry. Shabby chic is one of the top styles requested on eBay with over 3,000 shabby chic items selling every day in the home and garden departments.

The term shabby chic appeared in The World of Interiors magazine during the 1980s and it was used to describe old furniture that was colourful and homely. Min Hogg, the founding editor of the magazine, described shabby chic as being €œcharacterful, colourful, used but not abused€. The key to creating a shabby chic style then is in making a home look lived in and enjoyed, while at the same time being meticulously clean and tidy. This is essentially what is meant when people say a home has personality.

Although shabby chic as a style has been around for almost 30 years, it has only been in the last five years that it has really started to dominate home interiors. The main reason for this is thought to be the credit crunch and global economic crisis that started in 2008; shabby chic is a way to reuse old furniture, a way to obtain cheap furniture and for many people now, a way to earn some extra money.

Shabby chic DIY

The key to shabby chic is to create a distressed look. This is usually done by layering different colours of paint and sanding back to reveal older layers. Thin paints can also be used to give the illusion of a worn look. Corners of the furniture that receive the most wear are sanded down to the wood.

It is important to use traditional wooden furniture for the shabby chic look because wood with a heavy grain looks more rustic, even when painted.

Combining styles

Shabby chic, when combined with techniques such as upcycling, is a great way for you and your family to get hands-on in the interior design process. Turning an old family chest of drawers or Welsh dresser into a piece of shabby chic furniture is a fun way for a family to work together on a project that everybody can enjoy.

Upcycled furniture can complement shabby chic well to help create a very natural and organic look in a home that is friendly, warm and reminiscent of the past.

Shabby chic is certainly not just about furniture. Shabby chic cushions, throws, crockery and kitchen utensils are all becoming the rage. However, it is not as simple as just collecting some random objects from a second hand shop. For shabby chic to work you need to follow a consistent colour scheme and theme.

Remember, the key to a successful shabby chic project is to create a traditional family home that is, as Min Hogg described, €œcharacterful, colourful, used but not abused€.