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Category:  Decorating

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 Shabby Chic and Interior Design


By Nikki Willhite

You've all heard the words Shabby Chic. Just what is Shabby Chic, and how can it save you money?

I like to call this style "the legitimized loss of control."  One definition of shabby chic is "secondhand stylishness."  It is a decorating style that appears to be here to stay. It is great for people who like to save money.

Shabby Chic can mean a lot of things. In the same way that Realtors use words like cozy or cute to mean small and crowded when it comes to houses, Shabby Chic can mean scratched, full of holes, bad paint job, lovable eyesore, etc.

However, the value of Shabby Chic is the original quality of the piece, and the fact that it are still around, and/or the character you give it when fixing it up. Whether it is an old piece of furniture, or a faded piece of fabric, the fact that it is worn, yet still useable, is a lot of its charm.

Shabby Chic is antiques without the price tag. It's finding furniture at flea markets and fixing it up. It's peeling paint, milk paint finishes, worm holes, rust, or anything green! Nicks and scratches don't matter. They are character. The underlying quality is what matters.

What does this mean to you? It means you can scour the basements of relatives and look for old, discarded items that they will be more than willing to let you have. It means that things you were once embarrassed to have in your basement can now sit proudly in your living room. It's freedom, it's creativity.

Some of the hallmarks of shabby chic are old faded patchwork quilts, old ivory lace curtains, and overstuffed chintz armchairs. Shabby Chic is comfortable. It's inviting. It's a style where one doesn't have to worry about shoes on the coffee table.

Recently I purchased some fabric on eBay to recover my dining room chairs. The fabric was inexpensive, because of a flaw in the material. It was a splurge on my part, because the chairs did not need recovering. However, it was a look that I wanted for about a dollar a chair- and as I've said before, being frugal can mean saving money on the things that aren't important to you, so you can have the things that are important to you.

This fabric is a good example of Shabby Chic, so I have put a picture of it on this webpage. It looks old (although it is new fabric), and it is covered with Cabbage Roses- which are a trademark of Shabby Chic. I have put the old chair next to the newly upholstered one, so you can see the difference. One is modern and hard edged; the other looks soft and worn.

Shabby Chic is not for everyone, but for many people it is a great money saver!


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