Friday, April 23, 2010

The Shabby Chic Life

You may have never heard the term “Shabby Chic” before, but if you’ve ventured outside your home in the last ten years or so you’ve definitely seen it in action.  That brand new yet vintage, antique, or distressed-looking item paired with a brilliant chandelier or similarly polished piece…classic shabby chic.  You could’ve come across it anywhere from a posh lounge or coffee shop to a commercial store like Anthropologie.  Although it has a tendency to be a little muted for my taste and not always polished enough for my Mom, there are definitely some aspects of this look that we really love.  Shabby Chic is somewhat of a phenomenon, and once you know how to pull it off it’s one of the most easily achievable high-end looks.  For a full understanding of just what this look entails check out any one of Rachel Ashwell’s 10+ books- she’s essentially the modern day authority on the subject.  I read ‘Shabby Chic Interiors: My Rooms, Treasures and Trinkets” cover to cover and I’ve gotta say, she has an interesting point of view.  Ashwell’s emphasis on comfort, functionality, the allure of time worn objects and the beauty of imperfections is very appealing to me.  In Ashwell’s estimation, an item you find at a flea market can be a hundred times more beautiful and special than an expensive designer piece.  If you like the idea of creating a comfortable and creative environment for your family but the thought of anything second hand makes your skin crawl than check out a few of these traditional shabby chic products and spaces.

Rachel Ashwell’s Simply 
Shabby Chic for Target

For the most inexpensive of all Rachel Ashwell’s lines, check out her Simply Shabby Chic for Target brand.  Her low-key
hydrangea and rose duvet cover is less than $100 and textbook Shabby Chic, especially when paired with any of the other neutral furniture and drapery her line offers.  Personally, we’re afraid a space made entirely from this collection could get boring so don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit!

Not Too Shabby

When going for a Shabby Chic look it’s important to play up the ‘chic’ as much as the shabby.  This 
five arm sage green Elizabeth Chandelier from Not Too Shabby was our favorite item on the site, but there are also plenty of area rugs, beds, fine linens, furniture and other lighting options available to play up the elegant factor of a room.   

Styled Spaces

The most fantastic 
pillows we could find are handmade on Etsy for $22 a piece.  Their burlap fabric contrasts starkly with the ornamental pattern they’re adorned with, a key (no pun intended) element of the shabby chic fashion.


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