From Shabby to Chic: How to Give your Home an Easy Upgrade

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Have you been looking at the décor and style of your house recently and thought ‘This place could really do with an upgrade, but I simply don’t have the money to buy anything new’. This is something that goes through the heads of hundreds of people everyday. We are often so busy with our day to day lives that we forget to really look around at our surroundings. The items in our house can quickly become worn and old. They can easily become scratched, dented and simply worn down after years of constant use. This can make a house look old and uninviting. There is a solution to this situation, and it won’t cost a lot of money. Consider using a shabby chic style in your house to upgrade older furniture into a fresh new design. You may need to source some cheap second hand furniture to upgrade, or you may already have everything that you will need. There are many ways to upgrade your house to a shabby chic style. homify has found the very best ways to introduce this wonderful style.

A Focal Point

Whenever you walk into a room there is always something that immediately catches your eye. It may be a large bright painting, a crackling fireplace or an amazing sofa set. These are wonderful focal points and can create a great atmosphere in a space. There are also some much less appealing items that can sometimes unintentionally become the focal point such as a television, a blank wall or a misplaced cupboard.  When redesigning your shabby chic house consider what you will use as a focus item in every room. Great room designs often have items such as a wonderful view, a texture, a colour or even a light fixture. This wonderful shabby chic living room has the focus point as the unconventional sofa. It provides a effect that attracts the eye.

Something Organic

rustic Dining room by Modish Living
Modish Living

Provence Painted Dining Table

Modish Living

One of the most important elements of shabby chic is the natural and organic. There are many ways that you can incorporate the natural or organic into a design. Consider using natural fabrics such as wool, linen and cottons in bedrooms, living spaces and even in the kitchen. Using plants is another way that you can incorporate an organic element. Place both cut flowers, potted flowers and wonderful leafy plants into living spaces to bring a vibrance to the design. Another wonderful way to incorporate something organic into your new shabby chic design is with timber. You may already have timber furniture in your house, remove any paint to reveal the wonderful timber hues and patterns to bring another element of nature into your design.

Different Textures

  by Shabby Chic & Co. - Isabell Kruse
Shabby Chic & Co.—Isabell Kruse

Dekorationsideen für Garten, Hof oder Terrasse im Shabby Chic & Vintage Stil

Shabby Chic & Co. - Isabell Kruse

Shabby chic began as a way of creating a style in your house when you had limited funds for expensive new items. Furniture, fittings and objects were sourced from second hand shops and markets. Clever and creative people found a wonderful way to bring mismatched styles and designs together using some clever tricks. One of the most recognisable of these was in the use of textures. One strong bold surface was often paired with a contrasting texture to make both of these items stand out. This may include placing a distressed white dining table next to glossy new tiles, or a shiny copper bowl against a stone wall. This picture is a good example; the green painted cupboard contrasts with the texture of the cool rough stone wall to create an interesting space. This piece was created by Shabby Chic Co.

Personal Effects

One of the best things about the shabby chic style is the flexibility to include any personal items to a space. Use personal items individually around a space, or use groups of personal items such as pictures, photos and framed art in a cluster on a wall to create a point of interest. Personal items can be incorporated into any room in the house, you are only limited by your imagination. Include favourite items and objects to a bare shelf in the bathroom to bring an element of personal style. Use a collection of similar coloured items to the top of a side board or cupboard in the living space. Consider also using personal items in the kitchen; a large painting can be a great addition in this space.

Classics of Design

mediterranean Dining room by Massiv aus Holz
Massiv aus Holz

Landhausmöbel Weiß

Massiv aus Holz

In any particular style there are some classic items that should be used to achieve that desired style. In the shabby chic style this is painted timber furniture. When the shabby chic style was first created it was built on the concept of creating a design that used cheap or free items which were adapted to create a unique style. The furniture was usually sourced from second hand stores and as such were often different styles. To create a uniform style amongst the different styles people used to paint them the same colour. White was the most popular colour at the time as it created a sense of lightness and brightness. As the style became more popular it is often identified by the recognisable white painted timber furniture. In recent years people have begun to use different colours such as green, blue and yellow.  This piece was made by Massivholzmobel.

Surprise

The shabby chic style is a wonderful style to use if you are looking to put your personal mark on your house. There are so many different ways that you can incorporate your own personal items, artwork, photo or object into the design. These can fit seamlessly into the space, or they can create an element of surprise if they are unusual items. This element of surprise is a wonderful way to introduce an unusual item such as an industrial, decorative or just plain weird item.  This lantern is a wonderful addition to the style. It is unusual but it fits into the design due to its white colour. Consider painting different interesting object white to incorporate into the design.

If your house is looking a bit tired and worn, it may be time for an upgrade. If you are on a budget, a shabby chic upgrade is the perfect solution. Shabby chic simply uses cheap second hand furniture and your own upgraded furniture in a fresh new design.  Start by creating a focal point for the space, this may be an item, a view or a piece of furniture, next include elements of nature such as a plant or floral textile, then add a personal item to make the space your own. Finish by adding an element of surprise to complete the design. Upgrading to a shabby chic design is a wonderful way of bringing a lightness and freshness to any space. For more ideas see Shabby Chic.

Does shabby chic have to be white? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.
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