The History Behind Shabby Chic Furniture

The History Behind Shabby Chic Furniture

The term Shabby Chic was first used by The World Interior magazine back in the 1980s. Its use has become popular ever since. Shabby chic is a style of interior design where furniture and other accessories with a worn, torn or an antique look are chosen to express elegance. They can be painted over the years with several layers to depict areas that have been worn out over time.

Origin of the Style

Surprisingly the style has its roots here in the UK. This was the period when many large country homes and their contents suffered fade and wear out due to the financial problems of their owners. The re-use of old furniture was a crucial part of the shabby chic look and was especially popular among the lower class artisans in the 1980’s. Only the middle and upper classes could afford the very expensive distinctive décor (for instance, pop-Victoria) that was available at this time. The original shabby chic interior designs were much valued as they were considered as art works. The style quenched people’s desire to express how much taste and class they had. In making the style part of their interior décor design, they were able to take pride in rare vintage furniture that had an historical background.

Modern Shabby Chic Designs

The original forms of the style have undergone much transformation; but the antique look has not been abandoned. Modern shabby chic tables have taken inspiration from different types of décor that include Swedish painted decor, American Shaker and French Chateau style which emphasised plainness and simplicity.

The First Production of Shabby Chic Furniture

Furniture pieces that were not genuinely old were treated to give them an antique look. Techniques applied include distressing and antiquing to make pieces look old and accord them a vintage finish. White glaze and paint were often applied to the furniture followed by careful scrubbing and sanding of the top layers, particularly at the edges to transform the new furniture into something resembling an antique. Additional furniture appliqués showing flowers wreaths, cherubim and other modifications may be incorporated. Now in the 21st century a number of hand crafted  workshops have emerged in the UK that specialise in creating fine shabby chic furniture pieces out of reclaimed timber.

People also often purchase smaller ornaments and bric-a-brac at places like second hand shops and car boot sales to further enhance the shabby chic look of their rooms and create vintage furnishing designs for their homes.

Advantages of Shabby Chic Style

The utmost significance is its attractiveness and a sense of antique wisdom. Vintage furniture, may that be dining tables, chairs, beds or dressers, add elegance to the home. Secondly, this interior design type does not need to be expensive. It provides an option of integrating simple furniture pieces to produce a fresh, but extremely elegant appearance to the home.

Thirdly, antique style is very versatile. Be it the kitchen, dining room, lounge or bathrooms, vintage décor works for all. Gardens can also utilise these designs by using time-worn garden furniture. Furthermore, it has several variants to choose from which include the French country, cottage chic, beach cottage chic, and Gustavian styles.

So, to summarise!

Since the 1980s, the shabby chic style has shown no signs of dying out; in fact it has grown in popularity with more and more people subscribing to it over the years. Homes, hotels and offices alike are increasingly adopting it because it is a real statement maker in interior décor.