DECODING DESIGN | SHABBY CHIC

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Popularised in the 80s, it’s cosy, inviting and whimsical, if we want to call that shabby | If easy comfort appeals, it’s for you

Shabby chic is about classic simplicity and the opposite of everything shiny, new and glossy. It’s an easygoing and practical style with French, vintage and country influences. We’re thinking wood or iron furniture that is beautifully matured with furnishings in natural fabrics such as cotton and linens.

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An internet search will show you lots of pinks, flowers, and frills. But this is just one side of Shabby Chic. Its other aspect is all about understated natural hues with whites, decorated with French-inspired furniture, beautiful iron beds, and simple vintage chandeliers.

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”The beauty of imperfections explode in pastels, quality linens and upcycled furniture”

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The term was coined as recently as 1980 by Rachel Ashwell, for a style she found prevalent in homes where people were holding on to inherited armoires and period distressed chairs. According to her “Comfort, the beauty of imperfection, the allure of time-worn objects, and the appeal of simple, practical living; these are the cornerstones of what has come to be known as the Shabby Chic style.” Though the general color palette is quite feminine and all about light pastels; light greys, blues, olives, and charcoal can make for great shabby chic decor as well.

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Quality linens and old furniture are not inexpensive. But yes, you could also get a shabby chic look by being creative and sourcing a few solid pieces of furniture worthy of being up-cycled from flea markets across Delhi, Rajasthan, Calcutta, Gujarat, Mumbai, Cochin and so on.

Export fabric surplus shops across the country have delightful plain linens as well as cotton fabrics with the country and vintage French toile prints. Be prepared for some groundwork to find what you like though.

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Above all, the shabby chic style allows you to be truly creative with decorating. Create utility with anything you find that has a vintage element. An old window converted into a mirror, reclaimed wood used to make pretty shelving with metal brackets, metal lamps and lanterns painted in distressed light colors. Give your imagination a free rein. If you are a people’s person, who likes comfort and effortlessness, this for you.

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Here is how you can bring Shabby Chic elements to your home.


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