Shabby Chic is a style of decorating that was introduced to the world by Rachel Ashwell in the 1980s and continued to gain popularity throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Unfortunately, earlier this year Ms Ashwell declared herself bankrupt and has closed her many Shabby Chic stores and warehouses in the UK and USA.

So, how do you Shabby Chic?

At the heart of Shabby Chic is the use of old furniture that is worn out and aged - with the either the original paint left on or given a fresh coat of white paint and some distressing to give the piece the worn and aged look.

Added to this is the use of fabrics in soft florals and pastels - stripes, plains & checks - used in soft furnishings such as cushions, bedspreads, quilts, curtains, throw rugs etc. Then you add a variety of accessories including lamps, wire and wrought iron baskets and candle holders, as well as vases filled with silk or fresh roses...all in whites, creams, pastel pinks, greens, lilacs, butter yellows and mellow blues.

Yes, it is a delicious recipe of colours and textures that create an atmosphere of comfort, simplicity and welcome to the home.

But, just because Ms Ashwell has bowed out the Shabby Chic limelight, it doesn't mean that Shabby Chic is obselete. In fact, Shabby Chic, has been evolving way past Ms Ashwell's particular style and taken on distinct variations with names such as:

  • vintage chic
  • country chic
  • cottage chic
  • rose chic
  • romantic chic
  • beach chic

Each and every one of the Chic's are delightful decorating styles and the best thing to do is work with your individual tastes and talents. The only hard rule about Shabby Chic (or any Chic) decorating is to avoid dark colours including black, browns, greys and darker shades of reds, greens, blues, purples etc. Dark pinks are the exception here - but personally, I prefer the softer shades of pink.

I think it is safe to say that Shabby Chic (or any Chic) is really about who you are as an individual - your unique creative expressions in designing a home or personal space that fills your heart with joy, love and satisfaction.