Traditionally a style of interior design, the shabby chic look can just as easily be extended to your backyard. As a visual convention, shabby chic makes use of worn and distressed decorative features and antique furnishings in order to convey character and an unassuming feminine elegance. Here are some ways you can bring the shabby chic look to your Dutchess County, NY backyard.
Because shabby chic makes use of reimagining old and retro pieces, faded colors as well as those popular during the 1950’s are commonly featured. Stonewashed white is common as well as pastel pinks, blues, and greens. The subdued browns of salt washed wood and natural stone also feature in giving shabby chic its quiet beauty. Darker, richer browns such as that of polished wood, flagstone, or brick are also occasionally used, predominantly for flooring as a means to visually anchor an otherwise light and airy setting, as well as to bring a touch of warmth to the palette.
Flowers and Plantings
Roses are a hands down favorite of the shabby chic aesthetic, with feminine colors such as pinks, purples, and lilacs being favored. The Carefree Beauty is one such rose that embodies the qualities of the shabby chic style both in name and appearance. The Carefree Beauty is a fragrant rose with medium pink flowers that bloom repeatedly through late spring and early summer. The large clusters of creamy white flowers of the Kosmos rose also make it perfectly suited to this style. Other plantings such as lavender and foxglove also find themselves at home in the shabby chic style.
Shabby chic outdoor furniture is often worn and characterful and frequently mismatched. Very similar to that of the country rustic look. The overall effect is that of a selection of favorite items well-used and surviving even the uniformity of their sets. Salt washed or painted wooden furniture is favored, as is painted wrought iron and wicker chairs. The furniture is often made more comfortable with cushions covered in time-faded cloth and floral print. The use of vintage furniture and eclectic matching sense often gives an outdoor table set in the shabby chic style the feel of a tea party straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland.
Hardscaping for the shabby chic style often draws from cottage and country styles, as well as elements of French Chateau. As such, unrefined natural stone is common as is brick and to a lesser degree, cobblestone. Flagstone can also create an effective foundation for the shabby chic style. With a leaning towards beach cottage style, decking of salt washed wood is also a feature. The shabby chic style and the patio are a match made in heaven. Quaint paved walkways are also the perfect addition to a shabby chic themed backyard.
Additional Decorative Features
Recycling old pieces is a central tenet of the shabby chic style and so old pots, chipped enamel watering cans and buckets are frequently reimagined as flowerpots. More creative refunctioning includes using stepladders as outdoor shelving and old bicycles as decorative features tucked away in corners of the backyard their baskets overflowing with flowers. Benches can be used as both functional and decorative features, as can Rococo lamps and lighting fixtures. Neat picket fences and wooden or wrought iron arches - most commonly painted white – are also features that will bring a shabby chic design element to your backyard.