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About Shabby Chic

Shabby chic is a form of interior design that recreates the style associated with antique furniture and the accompanying accessories. The pieces are selected according to age, or they are deliberately altered to take on the shabby chic presentation. The style was invented by Rachel Ashwell. Her spartan upbringing trained her to spot the potential in items sold at flea markets. She developed a business that transformed abandoned furniture into stylish, desirable pieces. The term 'shabby chic' was coined by The World of Interiors magazine in the 1980s. Reminiscent of the refinements found in stately homes, the style soon gained widespread acceptance. The appeal of shabby chic rested on the understated beauty of objects that had a well-worn character. The fashion has now grown in popularity. The versatility of the style, coupled with the relatively low-priced availability of shabby chic items, has found an enthusiastic market for these pieces. The concepts of recycling and sustainability have become increasingly popular. Elegant yet simple, the designs often revolve around the use of white and its subtle variations. These shades are typically employed to contrast with delicate pastel colours and floral patterns. The distressed style is also prevalent. The intention of this look is to recreate furniture so that it looks very worn. The effect is achieved by deliberately flaking the paint and highlighting chips and gnarls present in the wood. Fresh flowers are often considered to be an important addition to the look. The style avoids anything that is ornate, or has perfect, polished finishes.