Shabby Chic Style Furniture: Meaning and Characteristics

A meeting between country and vintage trends, the constant search for salvaged objects to transform and combine with flowers, lace and lace … this and much more is the shabby chic style. If you are wondering what the meaning and the features of this very particular furnishing trend, the guide that we propose here will surely be for you.

We will in fact go to reveal you everything you need to know about shabby chic style furniture, starting from the etymology of the term, up to accompanying you to the discovery of fantastic projects for interiors and exteriors that will allow you not to make mistakes in the choice and combination of furnishings, accessories and decorations.

Meaning of “Shabby Chic”

To fully understand the true essence of the shabby chic style we will start from an analysis of the name, that is, from the meaning that this particular type of expression assumes in the environment of furniture and decorations. The term “shabby” translates as unkempt, worn, worn and joins theexpression “chic” which, even in Italian, is interpreted as elegant and refined. The result is therefore a suggestive and highly sought-after one fusion of two polar opposites which translates into an equally careful selection of vintage elements and salvaged objects.

The shabby chic style was born in Great Britain as a simple reuse of furniture, accessories and utensils present in classic country houses, it definitively established itself when the magazine “The World of Interiors” coined the term in 1980. Embracing more and more the philosophy of recycling and recovery of old objects, the shabby style has now come to be highly sought after and to follow very specific furnishing rules, rules that we will now discover.

Shabby chic materials

The basic materials of the shabby chic style are undoubtedly the wood and the iron. Inspired by past eras and the use of natural or recycled elements, this type of furniture prefers wooden elements, perhaps pickled or that clearly present the effect of the passage of time, of the classic wrought iron used not only for the beds but also for chairs, tables and of course chandeliers, lamps and special accessories such as lanterns.

In the perfect development of a shabby chic style furniture you will have to try to avoid as much as possible the use of plastic and all those materials that deviate from the rustic and country look in favor of a brazen modernity.

Shabby chic colors

Another essential element and distinctive feature of this particular style of furniture is the choice of colors. Primary color definitely remains the White to match pastel shades always very subtle and elegant. Shabby chic has well-defined color palettes and combinations that can be used both for walls and to combine furnishings and accessories.

Shabby chic colors

In our guide to colors for shabby chic walls you will be able to discover an extensive photo gallery that will show you how to combine and use the different shades according to environments and destinations.

Shabby chic fabrics

Shabby chic fabrics for curtains

Let us now turn our gaze to the choice of fabrics which, in the interior and exterior furnishing and decoration phase, will add personality and define the essence of the real style. Just as for the materials, natural fabrics will be preferred, first of all cotton and then move on to linen, hemp, jute, without forgetting embroidery and lace as always in neutral and pastel shades so as not to weigh down too much the environment. Choose carefully curtains, cushions and linens, remembering that the character of this style comes from careful attention to detail.

Do it yourself and recycle

Born with the idea of ​​recovery, the shabby chic style finds perfect expression in creative recycling and DIY. The idea is precisely to give new life to any type of material and object by transforming it in a radical way.

For example, you can recycle old shutters to transform them into a bed headboard, into a cabinet to be placed in the bathroom or in the kitchen, into a hanger, a holder for vases and much more.

Shabby chic style furniture for interiors

Shabby chic home decor

If you are wondering how to furnish a shabby chic house in an impeccable way, you will first have to start with the choice of colors, always bearing in mind that white, beige and dove gray could be primary, then you can proceed with the organization of the spaces and the choice of furnishings. If you have the opportunity, choose old furniture to restore, perhaps furniture recovered from old dusty attics, otherwise choose solutions that seem as worn as possible.

For careful design of the different rooms of the house We invite you to take a look at our individual posts which will be the perfect source of inspiration on what to do:

Shabby chic style furniture for outdoors

Shabby chic gardens and terraces

Once the interior spaces have been designed to perfection, we can dedicate ourselves to the outdoors and in particular to the furnishing of terraces and shabby chic gardens. Also in this case, the style rules we have talked about so far apply and, as it is easy to imagine, you can have fun with an almost infinite variety of floral decorations as well as choosing furniture elements in wicker, wood or wrought iron.

Shabby chic accessories and decorations

As we have already had the opportunity to underline, the true essence of the shabby chic style lies in the care of the decorative details that will be placed side by side with the various furnishing elements. To create a perfect “scruffy and elegant” atmosphere, even inside an apartment, you can choose to lay shabby wallpaper that, for example, reproduces a suggestive brick effect, a peeling wall, a floral effect or a lines.

Further decoration for the walls can be made up of splendid shabby paintings with a vintage touch, perfect to embellish any room in the house. Do not forget the splendid table lamps with fabric lampshades or, again, the suggestive decorative fireplaces.