Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shabby-chic’ing chairs – Part 1

Photo credit: My Scandinavian Home
I’m a shabby chic girl… I am! I hate something that’s too polish. I like things (and people) with stories. They look and sound so much more interesting, don’t you think? As you might have guessed, shabby chic is the style of décor Rich and I are going for in our new house. We still want to keep things modern though; we just need that little twist that will give our home a bit more character. Luckily for me, Rich has similar tastes to mine so it’s been great fun exploring furniture shops and flea markets together and looking for special items we could give a second life to. 

At the moment we’re working on four chairs. I didn’t want anything that would be too matchy matchy so we went for different styles although fairly similar. The plan is to paint them in light colours; some in ivory, one in light grey and another one in maybe a very light blue. 

I’m no expert in shabby chic'ing furniture but I thought I’d share with you the experience I've had so far. First up is how to get started and pick the right furniture for your shabby chic project:

1. Go to flea markets & antique shops with an open mind!
When I first went to a flea market, I was slightly overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they had, the way it was displayed and what the pieces looked like. I'm one of those people who really struggle with Primark or anywhere that's too messy because they don't have the patience to search for hours for something or the energy to fight through piles of stuff. My point is - if you're anything like me - be prepared for the fact it's going to be busy, messy and slightly dusty in there and it's essential that you can look past this in order to spot interesting pieces with potential.

2. Don’t get over excited, stay focused.
Sometimes you’ll see a piece you think looks great and would look amazing in this or that colour. No matter how cheap it is, I don't recommend you to buy it straight away or you'll end up with a garage full of things you might never actually put in your house. Take the time to think carefully as to whether or not the item would fit in your house and with the style & vibe you’re going for. I spotted these wooden crates last time that I could just see as mini herb gardens but thinking of it, that would have never worked with our current kitchen and I had never even thought of creating a herb garden before! All I'm saying is it's ok to get ideas for upcoming projects or even fall in love with some of the items that you see but just make sure you think things through properly before making your purchase. 

3. Check the quality and amount of work needed.
When you’ve found a piece that you like and that you know for a fact will work in your home, make a note of its quality and a list what needs doing: good quality vs bad quality? is the chair or the table stable? Can you open the draws or doors smoothly? Are the handles fixed properly? Does the item have a special finish on that will require additional steps on your part (like removing factory finish for example)? What kind of paint will you need (metal, wood...etc.)? You might have more questions based on what you are trying to achieve and what your requirements are.

4. Try to score a bargain
If you are buying more than one item including one that’s a little bit pricy or one that requires a lot of work, don’t be shy and ask if they could make you a special deal. You’d be surprised by how many times they’ll say yes. Just remember that you won’t get it if you don’t ask for it! I have to thank Rich for this lesson; I've never haggled over the price of something before so when Rich said he'd ask for a discount, I was thinking good luck with that! but guess what... it worked! 

5. Come back regularly
Second hand shops tend to get new products regularly so make sure you stop by every couple of weeks to see what's new. Some shops sometimes post their new products on Facebook so it might be worth checking if your local shop does that too. Or perhaps just ask the owner to give you a call if he/she receives an item that matches your description; that's worth it in particular if you're looking for something very specific and quite uncommon. 

That's it for now. I hope this helps! Stay tuned for part 2 which will be on how to actually transform your piece of furniture from shabby to shabby chic. 

I'd love to hear about your experience with shabby-chic'ing too so pleae leave a comment below or drop me an email. 


  1. nice!! i am super excited to see your chairs!!

  2. Very nice deco tips and inspiration! ;)

  3. i like these pointers - very handy. i'm not in the market for new furniture, but this is one i'll keep bookmarked for the future (= our dream house)! x

  4. nice pict!


  5. I'm so glad I found your blog! Great pointers! Feeling inspired!



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