Shabby chic kitchens are now one of the most sought-after kitchen styles, in the modern world; especially in country properties. This is definitely not a new style of decorating, because it originated in the twentieth century, shortly after World War II, when people wanted to create a charming way of decorating homes with little money to spare. The main theme in shabby chic decor is to make it look timeless and elegant by having furniture that does not match, but is close in color, and has a worn look to it. If you capture shabby chic in your kitchen perfectly, your guests will feel as though they have been transported to another time period when life was simple and easy.
Shabby chic kitchen styles are characterised by a rural style comfort coupled with old world whimsy. The scheme should be based around a base of white, or off-white with accent colors of pastels of blue, yellow, green and pinks, coming together to look as though not much thought was put into it.
Look around at your kitchen the way it looks now, and note the paint colors on the walls, cabinets, and trims. 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. Paint on the walls and furniture and some of your accessories will change it into a shabby chic style as well.
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. Wallpaper can also be used to make it look more homey and cozy, but stick with faded prints in pastel colors. 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.
If you have wood floors, sand them and make them look rustic and prevent splinters. 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.
Kitchen furniture and cabinets can be decorated in a number of exciting paint finishes, which is then distressed in varying degrees depending on just how truly ‘shabby’ you want your kitchen to look. If you are clueless when it comes to distressing furniture and turning it into shabby chic works of art, there are many tutorials that can be found online or in specialty decorating magazines.