"Style is the image of personality." - Edward Gibbon
Selecting a style for interior design projects is a challenging task. Entering the customer's mind by identifying with his needs, creating a comfortable environment, and choosing the type that reflects his personality, requires the interior designer's careful and thorough study. There are countless styles born over the years - from Minimalism to Ethnic, from Scandinavian to Provençal, from Country to Pop - each with exciting peculiarities adaptable to all natures. Sometimes, new styles are generated by the fusion of matching trends, such as Japandi - Japanese Scandinavian style - and Shabby Chic - Vintage Country style.
Shabby Chic, born by the English interior designer Rachel Ashwell, appeared for the first time in 1980 in the magazine "The World of Interiors". This style describes the decor of the British countryside. Homes rich in ornaments, filled with furniture full of friezes and inlays, pastel-colored curtains, and massive chandeliers, all with a "worn" look. Its "worn, neglected, lived" characteristic makes Shabby Chic a unique style.
Shabby Chic furniture has two sub-categories: the authentic Shabby Chic and Shabby Chics’ style. In the first case, old and worn elements are used, often handed down for generations or bought in the antique market; in the second case, the objects are treated with specific materials - enamels, paints, plaster, and pastel colors - to create the impression of aging.
The predominant white color combined with pastel colors - such as ivory, light blue, beige, powder pink, lavender and pearl gray - gives the environment a sense of naturalness. Natural fabrics also provide a sense of lightness - linen, cotton, hemp and juta - all embellished with lace doilies and embroidery in neutral and pastel shades.
Pickled wood for furniture (chests of drawers, wardrobes, sideboards) and the classic wrought iron used for utensils (beds, chairs, tables and chandeliers) are the primary materials used in this style that prefers natural or recycled elements. A great protagonist for an environment in perfect Shabby Chic style is the chandelier, large and imposing, with crystal drops.
Attention to detail is an essential style factor. Decorative elements such as table lamps with fabric lampshades, lanterns, tin elements, birdcages, candles, wallpapers (brick effect, peeling wall, flowers, and stripes) and vintage paintings are essential.
The garden is the other important environment. Chairs, tables and accessories in light wrought iron, plants (aromatic essences, lavender, lemongrass, daisy and violets) shaded by a light awning or a retro gazebo give the garden a sense of peacefulness.
Shabby Chic, influenced by other styles such as Victorian, French-Provencal, Swedish and American, has undergone several evolutions: Modern Shabby Chic, Fusion Shabby and Neo Shabby.
The Modern Shabby Chic combines soft and retro lines with more linear and innovative furnishing accessories, a style where past and present coexist perfectly.
The Fusion Shabby Chic, born from the experiment of the Italian architect Francesca Blasi, reinterprets the original features of Shabby chic in a contemporary key. Harmonic environments where both styles stand out without prevailing over each other.
The Neo Shabby, is a Shabby Chic contaminated by the Nordic and Industrial styles. It prefers darker paints and additional materials - glass and ceramic - thus breaking up the original shabby look.
Shabby Chic is an authentic creative style, increasing the reuse of objects and antique furniture, otherwise thrown away, and the skill of individuals. Thanks to it were born the concept of DIY (Do It Yourself) and various techniques to decorate and embellish the house.
The Craquelé technique gives a piece of furniture a very aged and crumbling look;
The Technique with a material effect created with the help of elegant powders and nuances - cream white, beige, honey - giving an elegant and timeless look;
The Gradient technique, by combining various shades to create color gradations;
The Dry brush technique, suitable for furniture with inlays to highlight them, consists of paints or colored wax to give the effect of depth.
Essential furnishings, few but of quality, with a tremendous visual impact, make Shabby Chic a humble but luxury style.