There is inspiration to be found all over the place if you are looking for ideas on how to transform your living room, bedroom, kitchen or dining room. The trouble is that watching DIY shows or buying the latest copy of Homes & Gardens is great if you have lots of cash to spend, but not so great if you are constrained by a limited budget. But don't worry because there is one design style that needn't cost you a fortune: shabby chic.
What is Shabby Chic?
Shabby chic is the latest design craze to hit the nation's homes. It is versatile and relatively inexpensive, which is why it has become so popular in recent years. You don't need lots of money to give your home a shabby chic makeover—in fact you don't even need to buy new furniture at all! The great thing about the shabby chic style is that there are no rules whatsoever. You can renovate an old table or accessorize your room using vintage floral print fabrics or pretty glass vases. As long as you stick to a pale, pastel colored palette with an abundance of cream, you can't go too far wrong.
Go Green with Shabby Chic
Recycling old fabrics and furniture is very much part of the shabby chic ethos. Mix and match new pieces with older items of second-hand furniture. Re-use fabric and turn an old pair of floral curtains into a set of cushion covers. Pick up some vintage lace from an antique shop and make a tablecloth or a pair of pretty curtains. There really is no limit with what you can do with a paintbrush, a sewing machine, and some imagination.
Transforming your home with a bit of ‘shabby chic' style has less to do with salvaging junk and more to do with buying furniture that has a comfortable ‘vintage' feel. Many manufacturers have jumped on the shabby chic bandwagon and you will be able to find new pieces with a vintage feel and a ‘shabby chic' price tag. But if you are willing to spend a bit of time looking for interesting items in junk shops or online auction websites, there is no reason why you need to pay over the odds for a new look in your home.
Create a Shabby Chic Look
Whites and creams are the base color for a shabby chic look. For example, if you have an old pine dining table and chairs, make a shabby chic design statement by buying some cream eggshell gloss and spend the weekend giving each piece a few coats of paint. Complete the look by waxing the surface to give it a distressed, vintage look. And finally, to complete the transformation, re-cover the chair seats in a patterned fabric. Alternatively, buy some pretty floral fabric in pale pastel colors and make some shabby chic cushions for your sofa.
Beware of Poor Imitations!
Because shabby chic is so popular right now, it is easy to fall prey to cheap imitations, especially if you buy from online auction websites such as eBay and Gumtree. Just because a piece of furniture is advertised as shabby chic, it does not necessarily follow that it is a bargain. Look closely at the accompanying photographs to make sure you are not inadvertently bidding on a naff 1970s G-Plan table that has recently been re-painted with some cheap white paint. Good quality shabby chic furniture is made from solid wood and has been renovated with lots of loving care and attention, so bear this in mind before making an offer. And remember, you may be better off buying an old pine table and painting it yourself.
For more information and inspirational design ideas, look at sites such as Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr—you will find all kinds of pictures there to pique your interest and get those creative juices flowing.