Popular in interior design, shabby chic's furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their age and signs of wear and tear, or new items are distressed to look old, providing the ultimate "secondhand stylishness". Shabby Chic is antiques without the price tag. It's finding furniture at flea markets and fixing it up. It's peeling paint, milk paint finishes, worm holes, rust, or anything green! Nicks and scratches provide character, and quality is what matters in this popular and versatile design style.
Wood furnishings are painted in white, pink, yellow or green. Naturals, including wicker, sisal, and bamboo work well in this environment and may also be painted. Vintage fabrics of bark cloth or chintz exhibiting floral patterns in these same colors tie the look together. Accessories such as foot stools, step ladders, lap trays, magazine racks, and plant stands are painted and distressed, and most often, used for a purpose other than the intended one. The dining table is set with mismatched floral china pieces and a porcelain tea set takes center stage. Chandeliers, floor lamps and table lamps are softly lit and pastel in color. Found objects such as sea shells, twigs, leaves, dried flowers all make their way into this environment.
Currently trendy in arts and craft projects, this style involves distressing or aging various elements to give a look that is "shabby chic." The techniques may include paper crumpling and scrunching, sanding, aging, using transfers and transparencies, water spritzing, burning, bleach applications and more. This design style uses deliberately worn and deteriorated items to achieve an elegant overall effect.