The Shabby Chic style is a unique and easy style to live with. Its about bring vintage and not so vintage pieces of furniture and tying at all together. Usually white is the basis of this look...but it also about what appeals to you. Its a mixer of eccentric thrown in with the traditional. And best of all its family proof.
Ok so lets start with the white palette.....and there are hundreds of variations of white so my choice in this is USA Antique white. Still a pure white but with softer undertones and not so stark. For me its pretty much if it stands still it get painted (still fighting with hubby on this but hey I know who will emerge the winner in this battle of wills :) ) I look for furniture with interesting character. This is where flea markets, antique stores and ebay come in handy. Just make sure the piece if its old has no borers (these little blighters can destory your cherished bargain with ease) again its a case be informed and ask questions.
Now you have the basis of shabby chic ...mix and match furniture styles...once its all painted white it will blend together magically. Colours...choose what appeals...being it a bold red or yellow or the soft undertones of pink, blue or green...it doesnt matter and if your not into colours then stay with the cool white to create your look.
Cushions and fabrics...these are the eptitomy of shabby. Big overstuffed sofas....lots of soft pastel scatter cushions...oh and don't forget the soft cosy throw rug thats purfect for curling up under in the cool of the evening. Mix and match your fabric until you find the ones that complement each other.
Lighting is also important from the sparkly vintage chandelier to a group of candles on the mantle. Its about what you like so if that big vintage pale green art deco lamp then go fot it.
Anything you have can be mixed in to create the shabby look from grandmas favourite teapot to the brand new electric kettle. Fortunatly for us today our options are huge with places like ebay...you can find that exact thing you have been looking for whether it be here in Australia or across the world in America. Magzines are another great source for inspiration.
Just remember it all about you...what you like in your home and dont worry about the kids chipping a cupboard with one of their toys cause this is what shabby is about...it adds to the character of the piece. Move things around and experiment, swap items with your friends to create a new look. If you have a favourite item that you want as the centre of your collection then find pieces that match it ether in colour or shape or use ...it really doesnt matter.
Most of all have fun with it....half the adventure is the hunt and the other half is creating the look that works for you.