What is Shabby Chic?
The “shabby chic” style has suddenly become a booming trend in the interior decorating and design industry. Regardless of the kind of furniture you have, and whether it’s décor for inside the house or out in the garden, it’s possible to give it the shabby chic feel and finish. You may have heard it before, but do you know what it even means?
Shabby chic can be used synonymously with vintage, but not in the actual sense of being a timeless antique piece of furniture. It relates more to the look of the furniture rather than how old it is. You could have a brand new desk and still have it look shabby chic. You might consider using it to describe décor you would usually find in a countryside cottage, or your grandmother’s house.
Shabby chic is a style in interior design that focuses on either 1) choosing furniture specifically because it shows the natural signs of wear and aging, or 2) intentionally giving newer furnishings that look of age and overuse. Décor with this style is primarily in pastel shades mixed invariably with shades of white, in order to differentiate it from period furniture. Some people will use old furnishings that have been refashioned into new pieces (i.e. an old and beat-up door and turn it into a center table; a damaged dresser turned into a functional desk) to push the shabby chic feel even further.
In simpler terms, the shabby chic style is taking home décor items – whether old or new – and giving it a rustic, country-home style design that shows “natural” signs of wear and tear. It puts aside the notion that pristine translates to quality, and instead highlights the beauty behind elegantly worn out pieces.
Origin and Development
The style originated in Great Britain in the 1980s, and the term “shabby chic” was coined in around the same era as well. It became popular in this time because contrarily, high-quality furniture was the “in thing” with the upper middle class. As a form of counter-culture movement, the artisans and those individuals involved in the arts rallied behind this style, which was then considered a work of art in itself.
In the 1990s, the style caught on in the United States, when people started wanting to use more affordable items to decorate their homes. Instead of throwing out old furniture and buying new ones, they picked up the style and redecorated. This was also the time when there was a sudden upsurge of the eclectic trend – both in fashion and in home decorating.
The shabby chic pieces during this time were quite opulent, but the style in this day and age has evolved to simpler forms. The evolution of the style has garnered influences from several different time periods, giving it a more mellow and relaxed aura. Some of these influences include French country houses and 18th century Swedish furnishings, where both minimalism and simplicity were the core principles.
Having Shabby Chic Window Shutters
Having plain and simple wooden shutters already adds the elegance that you need to your living space. Imagine adding an even bigger touch of sophistication when you have shabby chic window shutters. Your rooms will feel both elegant and comfortable at the same time, as if you’re stepping into your vacation home in the French countryside. For instance, visit s:craft to find out more on shabby chic window shutters.
Getting window shutters customized and installed won’t cost you too much money, especially if you know how to pick the right kind and material to use to maximize your budget. If you do it right, you might have enough left over to consider purchasing ready-made shabby chic window shutters. But why do that when you can always just do it yourself?
Grab your dirtiest paint overalls, some newspapers to protect your wall and floor, and get in touch with your artistic side. The following will teach you just one way on how to give your shutters and your home that shabby chic look.
Learn to Do It Yourself!
1. Choose what color (or combination) you want your shutters to be.
2. When you’ve decided, set up the surrounding area to make it paint-proof!
3. Use the appropriately sized paintbrush – depending on the size of your shutters and their slats – to start painting in short strokes. Don’t worry about it being uneven or having the wood underneath peeking through because that will add to the effect.
4. You can choose to paint over the handles, or detach them and leave them as is or spray paint them a more metallic, antique-looking color.
5. Paint the shutter in just one layer. You can choose to add a second layer in just some sections in order to enhance the uneven and worn out look. Let the paint dry overnight.
6. To give it a chalky, whitewashed look, use small amounts of white paint and drag it unevenly across the area you want to whitewash (don’t do it to the entire shutter, just little spots will do). When the white has spread out enough, use an even small amount of your base color to help it blend together.
7. Next is the sanding. You can use various grades of sandpaper, but the bigger grits will help you get the effect you want more. Use the sandpaper to make it rough around the edges, making sure to remove some of the paint so that it looks like it’s been knocked about with age. You can do this to some of the flat surfaces as well, not just the corners.
8. Lastly, finish it off with furniture wax. Darker wax will give it an even more authentic, tea-stained look, but make sure to use wax that will seal the paint in and keep intact.
Making your own shabby chic window shutters is a fun and easy do-it-yourself project, and it won’t take up that much of your time and money. The steps above outline just one way to achieve the look; there are so many other processes and materials that can be used. The best part about it is that whether you use the same technique or a different one each time, the outcome will always be unique, each one as beautiful and elegant as the last.