How to Decorate With Shabby Chic Furniture

How to Decorate With Shabby Chic Furniture

May 29th 2020

Soft pastels and weathered woods create a comfortable yet elegant space that can transform any room in your home into a haven. With the right shabby chic furniture, you can add a relaxed and vintage look that’s both refreshing and timeless.

You might be wondering just what defines shabby chic as a style or theme, and what specifically constitutes shabby chic furniture? Is it any old rustic-looking antique you find at the flea market or in your attic, or is there a whole lot more to it?

Shabby chic is both a way of decorating as well as a lifestyle. It’s about a gentle and elegant way of approaching home decor while at the same time not being afraid to be imperfect and feminine. The shabby chic style has stood out among other modern furniture trends as a means of deep self-expression complemented by comfort with accentuating themes of rustic living and artistic luxury.

This guide will explain exactly how to bring the shabby chic look into your home with plenty of background and an array of techniques and inspiration that you can draw from. Perhaps the biggest thing to remember about the style is that creativity and comfort are paramount. There’s nothing stuffy about the shabby chic style; it should be whimsical and inviting rather than feeling overly refined.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the origins of shabby chic and how it became such a popular option for home decor.

The Origins of Shabby Chic Decor
Despite the fact that this style of decorating was used throughout the 1900s, especially in Britain where it enjoyed ongoing popularity, shabby chic didn’t fully take off as a distinct style worldwide until the ’80s. It is at this time that interior design publications and home decorators began to embrace it as its own style rather than an extension of the farmhouse or vintage looks.

The delicate colors and comfortable rustic themes of shabby chic furniture soon grew in popularity, and no wonder. There are few themes as adaptable as shabby chic while still remaining so distinct.

This combination allows for generous leeway in everything from the age of the furniture you would like to use, to how weathered or rustic you want your pieces to be, as well as the color scheme and other furnishings you would like to include.

Shabby chic is a creative framework more than anything, which is perhaps why so many people have fallen in love with it as a style. You have plenty of room to be yourself and infuse your ideas of comfort and elegance into your project and as long as you keep certain guidelines and style conventions in mind, the end result will always come out noticeably shabby chic.

What is the essence of shabby chic and how can you properly incorporate it into your home?

Soft and Muted Color Tones
One of the first defining aspects of the shabby chic style would have to be the muted and faded colors. In fact, some intrepid decorators will go out of their way to purposefully fade linen in the sun just to get that gently distressed look.

Very rarely are bold colors used in shabby chic. The color tones tend to be full of pale blues, pinks, and greens, with a liberal use of faded whites and buttery creams. Even the floral prints tend to have a muted tone to them. This plays into the fact that shabby chic employs a sort of comfortable minimalism at all times. Not too much color, not too busy. Just enough not to seem plain or boorish.

Black is something you don’t see much of in shabby chic decor, if it can be helped. The arrangement of a shabby chic room is defined by proper use of differentiating colors. A white bed, nightstand, and chair may all be accentuated with faded green linen, accessories, and upholstery. Use color to define space rather than harsh lines.

Color plays a large role in creating the dreamy feeling of a shabby chic home. Wood is often either painted or weathered, to better incorporate it into the theme. Oftentimes a new piece of wooden furniture will be painted in just such a way to make it appear weathered.

This is where the creative aspect of the style shines. You are free to create a narrative that speaks directly from your heart. How distressed do you want your furniture to be? How much of the paint is chipped, how faded are the curtains and cushions? You’re only limited by your own vision.

The Art of Tea Staining
One technique that is often used in shabby chic decorating is tea staining, which creates the appearance of faded and worn fabrics and linen, which can be added to any bed, chair, sofa, or even as a wall tapestry. A tea-stained piece can really create a feeling of lived-in coziness and rustic softness if used artfully. With only a few things you have lying around the house you can create this unique and charming look for yourself.

1. Gather up the fabric you want to stain, plenty of tea bags, a large basin or bucket, some newspaper or an art mat, and a large spoon or spatula.
2. Place a newspaper or a mat around where you intend to work for easy cleanup.
3. Fill your basin or bucket with hot water about 2/3rds full.
4. Tie the tea bags to your utensil of choice and begin to steep them in the bucket.
5. Pre-soak the fabric with regular clean water to ensure the tea dye spreads evenly.
6. Place the entire piece of fabric into the bucket or basin.
7. Leave the fabric to soak until it takes up the desired color you are looking for. You can expect that within a few minutes it will be lightly stained, but if you are going for a much darker and worn look, ten to fifteen minutes would suffice.
8. Squeeze out the water as you remove the fabric.
9. Hang the fabric to dry.

Tea staining creates a soft and sublime look that helps any piece of linen or clothing fit into a rustic or shabby theme. Bright whites, while versatile and pleasant to look at in their own right, can distract from the muted tones of a shabby chic theme. Everything should flow and create a dreamy tapestry of comfort that pulls you into a gentle caress. No one element should appear starkly against another.

Where to Find Shabby Chic Furniture
 So you’ve fallen in love with the shabby chic look and want to know where you can begin your search for the perfect little nightstand or other pieces to complement your home. Here at Eloquence®, we specialize in elegantly crafted furniture that is both high in quality and infused with luxury.

Many of our pieces have just the right essence of farmhouse practicality and romantic charm that make them absolutely perfect for any shabby chic space. Our furniture is designed with timeless beauty and attention to detail in mind. You’ll find our wide selection of furniture can be easily incorporated into your shabby chic vision, to create an inviting space that evokes feelings of warmth and nostalgia while at the same time being plush and livable.

Weathered woods, pastels, and floral prints that can completely transform any space and make it yours. If you are in search of beautiful and timeless furniture that is able to create the look you want for your home, Eloquence® has just the pieces that will capture your heart.

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