The news cannot stop reporting about how 2015 is going to be a tough year financially, over and over we hear about oil prices and while we are enjoying lower gas prices we will feel the effects of the oil pricing situation.
The fashion and design industry is always quick to follow suit and as a result, shabby chic is the big ‘in’ for 2015. Retro, repurposed items are rising in popularity as we try to stretch our dollars – you can even buy replicated retro items which look like older pieces of furniture!
Shab is in for 2015 like never before and it is very stylish to have used items in your home.
Small companies are making cash on refinishing old furniture to customize it to your homes as traditional chic items are often coated in several layers of paint which have been sanded or worn bare with time.
Using old world hues of pink, azure blue and cream, unique pieces of furniture are set apart from the sleek monotone furniture we see today.
Older pieces generally have embellishments, curves and interesting appliqués which make them independent works of art.
The beginning of shabby chic actually started in England as items of great value were passed from generation to generation.
These items had either sentimental or monetary value and were considered a legacy for the younger generations. As the items were passed through households they naturally became worn and well loved as people were more apt to refinish and reuse these pieces of furniture and carpets instead of just disposing of them.
Thus the shabby chic movement arrived with generations old furniture pieces suddenly becoming collector’s items.
Fabrics and textiles were also passed from generation to generation and were cared for and laundered by many ladies’ maids.
Over the years the fabrics became soft, worn and faded looking but were still considered very valuable as some fabrics represented family lineage (such as plaids and tartans).
Now fabric manufacturers are using computers and modern printing technology to make fabric look worn and tea stained to invoke the feeling of soft nostalgia.
Shabby chic or boho chic refers to a re-using and repurposing of products. Shabby or Bohemian refers to something to be despised or looked down on but chic gives us a feeling of stylish elegance making either of these terms more fun to say and way trendier to use.
If you love antiques and enjoy the history and story behind these items they will be shabby chic, if you want modern clean lines then they will just be plain old shabby. Perspective and appreciation for history will either make it chic or not so chic.
The idea of buying recycled items may seem like a budget friendly proposition but unfortunately it seems that now when someone titles something ‘post-modern’, ‘shabby chic’, or ‘mission style’ it immediately drives the price up!
Anything that is in style, no matter how old or rundown someone might think it is will always fetch a top price as we are always drawn into buying what is trendy.
Maybe we should take another look at our gramma’s attic and that shed full of old furniture at our family farm – we might uncover some treasures!
Kim Meckler is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.