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The term "shabby chic" is directly linked with one designer, Rachel Ashwell. What started as one woman making slipcovers for herself and her friends has become a design movement. Her ideas focus on combining elegance with a sense of ease. While one can purchase products with her name and trademark, the term "shabby chic" has come to refer to not just her label, but a style of decorating characterized by comfort and livability as well as quality.
The Shabby Chic Home
A home is meant to be lived inthis is the essence of the shabby chic style. Objects in the home are enjoyed not just for their beauty, but also for their feel. Home is a place where people are meant to feel comfortable. It is not a museum. Those that enter the living space are invited to not only look, but to touch, and ultimately, to relax.
Where to Find Shabby Chic
The flea market and the thrift store are the places where shabby chic has its roots. A bit of wear and tear can be just right. A comfy chair is a comfy chair, no matter where (or for how much) it is purchased.
That's not to say that there is no room for new items. The most important thing is being able to enjoy what you have. The pieces you purchase should be durable enough to withstand daily use. Individual items are prized for their quality and craftsmanship, and should be able to either tell a story, or last long enough to have stories created around them.
Shabby Chic on a Budget
The brilliant thing about the shabby chic look is its variance. The individual chooses items that look and feel good, and then arranges them in a manner that feels cohesive. Organizing a room in the shabby chic style doesn't necessarily mean matching everything to everything else. Each piece in the room should have its own merit, which earns it a place to be.
This particular style lends itself to the monetarily impaired. Here are a few tips on making a statement without straining your wallet.
Check out places where things can be found cheaply and take your time. Many thrift stores get new (to you) items every day. Hold out for quality. There are good finds out there, but patience is imperative.
Many homes already have that "lived in" feel, but are too eclectic. Try moving things around from room to room and see if anything looks better elsewhere.
If in doubt, choose comfort. When it's time to unwind, furniture that feels good compliments every room.
Simple is better. The less busy the room, the more relaxing it will be.
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.