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Creating a Shabby Chic Look

Sep 5, 2007
What is Shabby Chic?

Shabby chic is a decorating trend where you basically take something new and make it look old. Sanding and denting are some of the more common ways to achieve the look.

Finding Some Shabby Furniture

Light weight furniture collected from yard sales and dime stores could do very well here. Strip the paint off and give a coat of white paint so that tones of the old color and the wood are visible through the new coat. The corners and edges should be sanded to achieve a naturally worn out look. A very light beige tone or cream color would be ideal and this should be so for all pieces big and small. Strip the room bare of dark or bright colors and go for white washed walls with one feature wall in red or in various tones of red.

Arrange the freshly painted old furniture and decorate with old world cushions in clean, faded slips; doilies, throws, table runners, and lamp shades. The basic tones should be the same antique white mixed with tiny floral prints or pastel stripes that spell cozy comfort. Anything from an old tea pot to a paint tin can do duty as a flower vase filled with red and white blossoms, perched on an occasional table.

Throw in a Little Color

Spice up the bare white walls with a bold painting in red or related colors. The feature wall can be left alone as a background for the white sofa with a quilted throw draped across, or serve as a dramatic setting for framed black and white photographs. The end tables could become the center of attention with some antique candle sticks or a tea-set retired from the kitchen.

Shabby Chic Not Just Plain Shabby

The whole idea is to maintain a contrasting tension between the crisp, clean white elegance and the dull shabby red elements. The various pieces of furniture do not have to belong to the same set or even match, but a balance is maintained and held together by the rest of the decor. The end result is a hand made, handed down look that spells a great bond with the past while looking to the future.

Shabby chic stands for a clean, neatly preserved look and is not a tag to cover bad housekeeping gone to the dogs. The key word here is clean, squeaky clean to grandma standards.
About the Author
This article has been provided by for GreatPricedFurniture.com. Recently ranked in the top 500 by Internet Retailer 500, Great Priced Furniture has some of the most inspiring furniture collections and carry only the very best manufacturers.
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