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News > Interior style «Shabby chic» through Tatiana Antonchenko’s eyes.

Shabby chic (a mix of vintage style, Provence style, French country style).

In English the word «shabby» means «old», «worn».

The name «shabby chic» may be translated as «threadbare shine» or «worn glamour» what will be its essence.

Shabby chic partly overlaps with the Provencal style in an interior which judging by the title appeared in France. In its turn, the style of shabby chic appeared in America and became popular in the early 20th century. Also this style intersects with the country style, indicating some aspects of rural life of Americans and man-nature relationship. Great influence on the style of shabby chic has made the vintage style. Shabby chic can be called inside-out vintage as the décor in the shabby chic style implies some protest of excessive luxury.

The author of this style is believed to be Rachel Ashwell. She decorated old furniture and created illusion of an antiquity touch, made in delicate pastel colours. With time her hobby gave birth to a new style.

Pieces of furniture may be both old and new, but painted in bright pastel colours and sometimes worn. Characteristic of this style will be the presence of a large number of delicate textiles, napkins, pillows, blankets combined with covers on chairs and armchairs./

Shabby chic – this is eclectic, but it does not allow negligence. Harmony – this is the primary principle of any interior.

The colour scheme of the shabby chic style is rather bright, there are dark colours, but more often they are not applied in pure form, they are mixed, forming strange colour combinations and creating the effect of blurred colour. In combination with basic colours it is possible to use milky white tint, pale pink, light blue, light green and ivory colour is quite allowable. Range of tones should be fading, as if they are burned in the sun.

For the shabby chic style pretentiousness, vintage will be peculiar. Essential attributes of this style may include curved lines, artsy forms, numerous vignettes, curlicues, ornaments, instead of straight laconic lines. In the whole image of that interior elegance may be traced which is visible to a naked eye. This style is distinguished by elegance of the main elements, despite apparent chafe of furniture, it needs to look luxurious and solid. This style does not bear bulkiness, a room should be spacious and has lots of light. During the day its abundance is given by  large windows and free space, and in the evening plenty of light is given by artsy and elegant lamps.

Roughly cut and unevenly painted walls, which are specially aged, will look good. Peeling paint on walls will completely match shabby chic style.

Floor may be wood made from old cracked boards, old parquet or laminate imitating natural tree may also be used. Floor may be laid out with old and even shattered tiles.

Ceiling may be artificially aged to create an effect of peeling whitewash, grayish colour of a ceiling will match this style.

Furniture in the shabby chic style has a key position. Most often it is white or unpainted, partially aged by restoration or staining in white paint. There arises a feeling that this furniture serves more than for one generation of owners, because you may see cracks and traces of old paint, splits. It may even be torn or broken, the main thing is that the furniture looked like you inherited it from your ancestors who lived in the last century, wicker furniture also complements an interior.

In the shebbi-chic style it is necessarily should be an antique dresser and a rocking chair. The shabby chic style simply uses not only furniture of different eras, but also furniture of different styles in one interior. The best choice for that interior will certainly be genuine antiques, which was used by many generations.

Decoupage – a popular technique of the shabby chic.

Decoupage (fr. decouper — to cut) –  a decorative technique consisting from cutting colour images of different materials, which are then glued onto various surfaces for decoration.

In the role of “decoupage motif” (a picture which will be placed on a surface) also may be anything. But it is best to use classic materials: decoupage cards or napkins for decoupage.

Most often decoupage is used in the creation of interior items, gifts, imitation “semi antique”. For many people, needlewomen – this is a hobby, interesting and inexpensive.

All textiles used for interior decoration should be natural and of high quality. Windows may be decorated with simple curtains with floral patterns or heavy portieres in dark colours.

Besides abundance of textiles an essential attribute of the shabby chic style will be a  great variety of flowers. Flowers may be everywhere, but no floral compositions, just lush bouquets of freshly cut flowers, ideally a bouquet of roses. Very many roses... Fresh vegetation planted in wooden boxes or glass bottles may be added to an interior in the shabby chic style.

Abundance of ornamentation and decoration are peculiar to this style. Lots of details should appear in everything, but it requires stylistic homogeneity, several items will not be enough. Details and accessories will help to combine the composition together: mirrors, caskets, vases of various sizes and shapes, watches and other items. The main thing is not to overdo with accessories, otherwise the interior will resemble an antique shop. The interior in the shabby chic style may be called dualistic, because it simultaneously contains both scuffing and elegance. This style one needs to feel, to observe the harmony in everything, but initially it seems that the interior in the shabby chic style is spectacularly sloppy. But it only seems that way, to represent and uphold the deliberate negligence is rather difficult, because any “incorrectness” – is not the negligence of the owners, but thoughtful course of the designer.

Bathroom in the shabby chic style.

Finishing of walls in a bathroom in the shabby chic style primarily distinguishes by tender, romantic flowers. Colour of champagne, milk, sherbet, marshmallow, mint and other delicious colours will be appropriate here as anywhere else. It is important that the overall look of the room is light. There should be no sharp contrasts.

You are welcome to read the full article on the personal website of the author – designer Tatiana Antonchenko

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Specially for the International Association VATIKAM (Paris, France),
Tatiana Antonchenko.


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