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Shabby Chic

The style of shabby chic has gained in popularity over the past several years, bringing a look of romance and charm. This particular style embraces whitewashed or distressed furniture, wrinkled slipcovers, and mirrors with chipped paint. The look is gorgeous, producing a fresh, clean appearance.

You could create the shabby chic look in your home by using loose slipcovers, vintage accessories, and white furniture. The great thing about shabby chic is that it can be achieved by using existing furniture and simply changing its color. You could turn a dark walnut dresser into a white, distressed dresser with new hardware and suddenly, you have a piece of shabby chic furniture.

Shabby chic would include a kitchen cupboard or china hutch filled with mismatched dishes, a living room with scattered lacy linens, throw pillows made from soft or pastel floral fabrics, crystal chandeliers, and white accessories of every type. You almost get the sense of walking into the past or visiting a favorite grandmothers home for Sunday brunch.

Another wonderful feature of the Shabby Chic style is fresh cut flowers that add a splash of color and a wonderful fragrance. Everything with this style is casual and elegant. Even fabrics that are tea stained are a part of this style. The key is to create a soft, faded and worn look that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Look for overstuffed pieces of furniture that you can literally plop down in and then cover with a ruffled or rumpled slipcover. To finish the look, choose a soft colored or floral throw draped over the arm or back of the chair or sofa. You want to keep your eyes open for architectural details. This would include old crystal or porcelain doorknobs, old fireplace mantles, iron corner brackets, and so on. You want things that will bring architectural interest to specific areas of a room.

Rather than look for accessories that are perfect, choose pieces that look old or might have a gentle crack or chip. For instance, a shipped floral teapot, sconces made from iron that can be painted white and distressed, old picture frames, or large, ornate candleholders.

You do not want furniture to look perfect either. Instead, you want it to look as though everyone loves sitting on the sofa. This does not equate to messy but comfort. You will enjoy shopping for metal headboards or chairs as well as flowerpots, books, needlepoint pillows, china, and anything that creates a casual yet elegant look, and never be afraid to mix patterns. Instead of avoiding mixing floral and check designs, mix them together.
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