Finding Your Style: Shabby Chic

Worn is no longer worn out. Used becomes new and original purpose becomes just a suggestion with shabby chic style. In this genre of design, an old suitcase becomes an interesting end table and an unused typewriter is rediscovered as a conversation piece. Shabby chic allows the old to be appreciated rather than discarded. Incorporating shabby chic style into your own home pushes you to think creatively and can give new life to family heirlooms and almost-working sewing machines. But be careful to remember the “chic” of shabby chic and avoid making your home look like a scrapyard.

Here’s how.

Go chic not cheap

Shabby chic is not license to showcase junk. A well-done shabby chic space uses older items intentionally. Repurposed items should be thoroughly cleaned and made to function for their new role in your home. A rusted door only earns the “chic” label once its been converted into a thoughtful new coffee table. Likewise, an old canoe can become a cool bench – once the barnacles are peeled off. Restoring and repurposing old items takes time and money. You may even need professional help – or at least a lot of YouTube tutorials. But the end goal is to create a beautiful space, not a cheap one.

Forget the floral

Grandma’s old floral couch is just not cool. Deal with it and move on. Too often shabby chic disintegrates into a sludge of flowery anticlimax. While shabby chic can incorporate a touch of feminine and even a flower here or there, too much lace and doily make Johnny a dull boy.

It doesn’t all have to be old

Repurposing with a purpose is the backbone of shabby chic style. But that doesn’t rule out adding a bit of New. Too much Old and you’ve got an antique store in your living room. A more modern sofa immediately brings a bit of relevance to your space. Consider choosing clean lines for your new room additions to offset the quirkiness of your older or rehabbed pieces.

Chic does not shag

Shabby chic brings its own quirk and jive to a room. The flooring you choose should be simple, timeless and most definitely not shag carpet. While a retro rug can add to a shabby chic space, wall-to-wall carpet may not be your best bet. Of course, your space might just prove that wrong, but on the whole shabby chic style may be best complemented by hardwood floors or engineered indoor flooring. That doesn’t mean you have to use our flooring, but please, please don’t use shag.

Remember in your design that both words in “shabby chic” are necessary to pull of this funky look.

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