Shabby chic kitchens are now one of the most sought-after kitchen styles, in the modern world; especially in country properties. However it is not by any means a new look since it originally evolved in the mid-twentieth century, when it became a popular method of creating an acceptable and charming way of decorating as money was tight after the second world war.
The essential element that conjures up the shabby chic look is a timeless elegance where furniture does not have to match, just so long as all your pieces have an inviting, slightly worn look, and are closely related in colour or tone. True shabby chic in your kitchen should reflect the grace and beauty of a bygone era, when life was simpler and altogether more natural.
Shabby chic kitchen styles are characterised by a rural style comfort coupled with old world whimsy. The décor, which is normally based around white, off-white or very pale unobtrusive colours such as soft greens, pale blues, pale yellows or muted beiges, should look effortless and completely uncontrived.
Before setting about creating this well-loved style take a good look round your kitchen and consider the existing style in terms of wall colours, cabinets, appliances, work surfaces and even cookware. Also take note of the size and layout of the room to determine if there is enough floor space to accommodate additional pieces or the necessary wall space for additional cabinets or shelves. If not, begin thinking about how you could change the current look to achieve a more rustic feel. Newly painted walls and certain paint effects on furniture, along with the right accent pieces will help change the whole look your kitchen.
In the main most kitchen walls are best painted in plain or lightly toned white to maximise the amount of light, however for something a little more unusual you could also try painting your walls in a pattern of wide pastel and white stripes. If however you prefer wallpaper, to make your kitchen appear more homely, it is best to choose a muted floral pattern, especially roses or tiny bunches of daisies or forget-me-nots.
Do bear in mind though that endearing as old fashioned wallpaper can look it should not even be considered if your kitchen doesn’t have proper ventilation to stop it getting overly steamed-up when cooking; otherwise you will soon be re-papering!
Concrete, grotesquely tiled or tacky linoleum floors are a complete anathema to the shabby chic kitchen style so they will need to be replaced with something more in keeping with your new soft and natural look. This of course can be a major and expensive undertaking, so if you don't want to completely replace your kitchen floor you can simply add lots kitchen mats or rugs in muted pink, blue, green, or floral designs; just be sure to choose colors that complement your walls and existing flooring.
Plain wooden floorboards can be given a new lease of life by being sanded and varnished to prevent splinters in bare feet! They can also be stained in a ‘natural’ wood colour but be careful that you don’t go too dark and make you kitchen feel grim and gloomy. Very pale wood may be stenciled in an interesting design before varnishing, but do ensure that the design ties in with your existing colour scheme. A clever floor design could be used to emphasise a special feature such as an old couch, a favourite rocking horse or a freestanding butcher’s block.
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