Friday, May 13, 2011

Shabby Chic: Blurring The Lines Between Elegant Taste & Old Junk

Pink Pig White Coverlet
by Jennifer Hicks, C.I.D

Fans of the decorating style known as Shabby Chic aren't exactly rule followers. Probably because when it comes to defining this style there aren't many rules.

What some may view as just another grandma's attic these style savvy enthusiasts see as a little slice of heaven- however covered in dust it may be. Those who appreciate the style are drawn to it for a slew of reasons; it has all the charm of an unassuming country cottage with the sophisticated touch of Great Britain's elegant chintz and fine linens. Its simple. Its comfortable. And can usually be very affordable (I'm talking garage sale affordable).

Ever since the term "Shabby Chic" in the 80's pro and amateur decorators alike have taken liberties with their own versions to create a style that changes constantly. While others may get bogged down in trying to decorate within the constraints of their style, Shabby Chicers buy whatever feels like home. If a wire basket found on the side of the road invokes nostalgia then it comes home to start a new life as a towel holder or mail basket. A mirror frame that has been beaten into submission by years of sun fading and nicks from multiple moves is just the thing to hang above the buffet. There are few rules and for this loyal fan base, if its faded, tattered, bleached, soft, or distressed in any other way, it has potential.

Pink Pig Hotel Key Rack
Now while there may not be text book outlines for this style there is a line to be crossed and that line we shall call "Junk". I know what you're thinking: "Isn't every one's definition of 'junk' different?" To a degree, perhaps. I've already listed some of the things Shabby Chic is. Now let's talk about what is isn't.

*It isn't broken trash. Bringing home items that simply look old isn't going to cut it. Broken items that you have no intention of fixing do not count.

*It isn't torn linens. Faded, yes. Ripped, no.

*It isn't neon colors. Think pastels or colors that look like they have been in the sun for years.
*It isn't from one era. This look is blended, collected over time and from many regions.

*It isn't just florals. Think like an adventurer; what would you bring home from your travels? Some iron, a little coral, old leather bound books- it isn't all roses and ruffles!

Pink Pig Mason Jars
Shabby Chic has been blurring the lines between elegance and just plain old for generations. My advice to anyone finding themselves enthralled in the charm would be this: follow what feels good. Whether you buy it 20 years aged from an estate sale or brand new from your favorite retailer, remember that Shabby Chic isn't simply a decorating style... its an attitude!

After studying interior design for four years in Oklahoma and becoming registered as a Certified Interior Decorator, Jennifer Hicks' passion for breathtaking rooms led me to introduce Designing Diva Interiors LLC. "I believe in livable, affordable homes that reflect the unique style of each of my clients and their families. A beautiful room can transform your life, and I truly love being a part of that process. With each new project arrives a new opportunity to create a space that will welcome you home at the end of a long day, or provide a cozy corner for rainy day reading, and everything in between!”