The most important rule when creating a shabby chic look is that chic is more important than shabby! Many people get this wrong and look for worn and battered things to fill their rooms in the hope of creating this classic timeless look.
Instead remember that this look is trying to do is marry the elegance, sophistication and style of chic furnishing, with a comforting worn in look that is homely and screams of effortless style.
Three key elements: Soft furnishings, small pieces and classical furniture.
Soft furnishings, this is where you need to be most careful with purchasing shabby or worn looking additions to your home. It is very easy for a throw or cushion to cross the line from shabby into old and dirty! My advice here is stick to clean block colours, small detailed patterns are fine but limit these and create your shabby look with how these are positioned. For example a plain white throw can still look elegant and clean, ruffled over the back of a chair or sofa arm.
Do the same with cushions and other soft furnishings, buy chic and classical and use how you present them to create the homely (shabby) part of your shabby chic design.
Top Tips: For a traditional look use more lace or even add a lace throw over a piece of furniture, however if you are looking for a more modern look shabby chic room avoid lace as much as possible. Try to find soft furnishings with straight edges and block colours.
A great way to add to your shabby chic look is to scatter small trinkets and elegant ornaments around the room. Choose white or silver pieces for a really stunning effect but don't be afraid to move away from these colours if you find an unusual trinket, enamel jug or other piece. These are the things that will really add to the shabby side of your shabby chic look and will make your room an interesting and homely place to be. Not having many of this can make your room look formal especially if you are going to use lots of white to create a traditional look.
Top tips: Flea markets are a great places to pick these pieces up, especially if you are doing this on a budget. You will find more unique and interesting things which is part of the goal here.
When putting them in your room try not to create too much symmetry and think of alternative uses for them. For example put flowers in your jug or use a jewellery stand to put photographs on.
Shabby chic furniture,
This is possibly the most important element.
Finding the right shabby chic furniture can be difficult. Remember you're looking for chic first and in the case of furniture you're looking for something that looks hand crafted and not massed produced. Too many people fall into the trap of cheap furniture, massed produced and given a quick white wash by another machine. Shabby chic furniture should look like a timeless classic piece of furniture that has been a loving addition to your home for generations. If it looks and feels like it will fall part in two years, it doesn't look shabby chic. Find our range of shabby chic furniture here, http://chosenbyjessica.co.uk/collections/crafted-shabby-chic.
So how do you achieve a shabby chic look without spending £10,000 on French antique furniture? Due to the popularity of French style furniture many great businesses and family firms do still make gorgeous pieces, reproducing the elegant curved legs, flowing underside detail and classical bowing drawers and then hand finish the paint work to give a subtle aged look, they look and feel great without breaking the bank!
You don't need to go overboard here two or three pieces will set the tone and give the impression that this isn't a room that's been made to look shabby chic with the odd mismatch, but is a truly stunning room and a real talking point.
Top tips: Furniture is the back bone that will hold the look of the room together, spending a little money here can make the room look £1000s more expensive than it was and is a true design tip.
However if you are on a real shoe string budget just getting one piece of beautiful furniture and positioning it in a focal point such as opposite the door for when you walk in or in the centre as a coffee table can still lift the feel of a room by a long way. If you're doing this try to avoid TV stands and table nests, you need more pieces for these to work.
Finally bring it together with colour,
Shabby chic is traditionally done in white or antique white to be absolutely proper. However you are going to need colours to break the room up and soft pastel colours are great for doing just this. Soft greens and pinks offer a more traditional looking shabby chic, pink particularly works well if you're using a lot of lace whereas olive green looks fantastic in the kitchen. But if contemporary shabby chic is more your goal slightly brighter colours offer this alongside baby blues, browns and golds.