Shabby chic kitchen decor

Current kitchen design trends: The Shabby Chic kitchen look, Part 2

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‘Shabby chic’ refers to a distinct home decor look that is certainly not new to interiors, yet is somewhat of a niche style.  Shabby Chic kitchen furniture and furnishings project a time-worn, aged look.  This style introduces a sense of relaxed charm and character to both the furniture itself and its surroundings.  Yet shabby chic furniture is easily differentiated from genuinely dated pieces; it exudes soft, usually pale or pastel colour tones, effecting a sumptuous yet comfortable and homely feel.

Shabby chic kitchen accessories

Retro kitchen accessories such as this bread bin will emphasise your shabby chic kitchen style.

Classic vintage pieces fit within the shabby chic kitchen look, but more often in modern home décor it is new items that are refashioned to recreate the appearance of outdated or antique goods.   A common example of this is distressed woods.  The distressed effect occurs when the top paint coat of a piece of furniture is sanded away to expose elements of the wood and/or paint coatings beneath.   This creates the appearance of furniture much older than it actually is.  At the same time it retains the quality and build of new furniture.  This is a massive benefit within kitchen design as knowing the source, build and quality of your furniture is key to its longevity.   We would emphasise this point as for any kitchen installation whilst you want to achieve the look you want, equally important is your kitchen still has to be working, functional and long-lasting.

That said, here are some ways in which you can combine different elements to effect a shabby chic style kitchen for your home:-

Shabby chic kitchen colours:-

There are no hard and fast rules for achieving a shabby chic décor but generally white is key to this style, with fresh white-washed walls and floors setting the backdrop for your shabby chic furniture and décor.  White will not overwhelm the soft pastel colours common to this look but instead let them stand out at their best and effect a warm, summery and relaxed kitchen tone.

Shabby chic kitchen cabinetry:-

Shabby chic rough cut wood kitchen

Rough cut wood kitchens make a great foundation for a shabby chic kitchen look.

The foundation for any shabby chic kitchen look is the cabinetry.  A Country style kitchen is ideal, with Shaker style framed door fronts, or else structured panelling to introduce a traditional/period feel. Painted wood veneer kitchen doors are available in a range of light pastel colours such as Agate Blue, white or cream. Alternatively rough cut kitchen doors are also well suited for the shabby chic look with the textured coarse wood grain creating a ‘lived in’ look and sense of well-being.  Glass front doors, integrated wood plate racks and open shelving will allow an easy and effective means for displaying all of your ‘shabby chic’ themed accessories.   Typically shabby chic kitchen cabinets are handled and with a wide array of handle options available you are certain to find a kitchen handle to perfectly compliment your theme.

Shabby chic kitchen accessories:-

Kitchen accessories for a shabby chic theme can best be described as pretty!  Typically they include furnishings such as cushions or vintage style bread bins, tea & coffee jars, and other decorative items adorned with floral motifs or sweet and catchy poetic phrases.   Cute glass storage containers will also complement the shabby chic theme whilst providing a home for some of your kitchenware.

Particularly for Country kitchens with a shabby chic decor, accessories might include wicker or wire painted baskets, plant pots and greenery, and if you have a kitchen island then ornate and distinctive bar stools will also emphasise the look.

Shabby chic kitchen lighting:-

Shabby chic kitchen lighting ideas

Use lighting to make a real statement within your shabby kitchen, particularly over an island. (Source)

With a typically pale and soft palette, soft and warm kitchen lighting is ideal for a shabby chic kitchen. Often for this theme people will select a charming focal point such as a chic rustic, vintage, birdcage or tiered chandelier as their main light; this is especially impressive if overhanging a kitchen island.  Lighting up glass fronted cabinets is also highly effective.   Whatever your choice just remember that kitchen lighting is not only decorative but must be sufficient for comfortable kitchen use too.

Shabby chic kitchen worktops:-

Shabby chic or country kitchen worktops

Light wood tones and pale colours may best suit the shabby chic look but ensure a worktop material that is also easy to maintain.

Hard wood worktops will best compliment your shabby chic kitchen look but they can be quite high maintenance so it may be better exploring other complimenting worktop options before pressing ahead. With such an extensive range of styles, colours and materials available such as granite or quartz we advise you ensure a worktop that doesn’t just suit your kitchen’s look but which is functional and easy to look after too.

Shabby chic kitchen appliances:

Unless it’s a stylised or feature appliance intended to compliment the theme such as a Belfast sink or range cooker then it is best to choose subtle integrated appliances that won’t detract from your stylised shabby chic kitchen look.  For example, if you have a white décor then you might choose white appliances that harmonise rather than stand out and steal attention from other ‘showcase’ aspects of your kitchen.

Personalise your shabby chic kitchen

One of the really nice aspects of the shabby chic kitchen look is that it is very flexible and allows you to blend furniture and accessories according to your personal tastes.  For example, you might decide to emphasise the ‘Shabby’ quality of this theme and combine an assortment of truly original and distressed pieces, even those that clash somewhat for a more eclectic shabby chic look.

Rough cut shabby chic kitchen

You might focus on the ‘Chic’ element of shabby chic like in this rough cut Champagne Oak wood kitchen; Shabby chic with a twist of glamour!

Alternatively it may be the ‘chic’ component that appeals more, in which case you may choose more glossy and contemporary kitchen cabinets with clean kitchen lines and more tailored accessories.

However you choose to make up your shabby chic kitchen it is a well-established look with an appreciable charm, guaranteed to appeal to friends, family and all of your guests.


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  1. says

    The article has revealed a nice idea regarding Shabby Chic kitchen fitting that is very reliable and flexible in the way people are looking for a durable fit these days. I like the colours and cabinetry of this system. Thanks for sharing this idea.

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